Look, no one likes to listen to people whine about the officials, but the Bulls came roaring back, forced OT, and won the game against the Nuggets. They won the game until the refs decided to take it from them and make it a loss. There's simply no other way to say it.
Blogabull has a nice write up covering everything here.
However, to sum it up:
1: Koufos clearly goaltends a ball earlier. It is literally sitting on the rim when he tip slams it home, it's a no doubt 100% goaltend.
2: The refs said they can't review it because you can only review a call not a non call.
3: They appeared to not call goaltending on Noah's shot until they saw it on a monitor
4: If they had waited for the overhead view, they would have seen an angle where it looked pretty clear that Noah touched it prior to hitting the cylinder.
5: While the rule states you can't touch a ball that will touch the rim, and this certainly was going to touch the rim, the refs didn't rule it a goaltend for that reason. They released a statement saying it was in the imaginary cylinder but made the call prior to seeing an angle showing it probably wasn't.
The official rule on goaltending is that if the ball is going to hit the rim you can't touch it.
Rule 11, Section 1-A, Sub-Section g states that a player cannot:
Touch any live ball from within the playing area that is on its downward flight with an opportunity to touch the basket ring. This is considered to be a "field goal attempt" or trying for a goal.
I know people will quote the rule a:
Touch the ball when it is above the basket ring and within the imaginary cylinder
However, this is an "or" situation. You can't do "a" or "g", and this ball was clearly a shot attempt and clearly going to touch the rim. What makes it confusing is the refs statement saying that rule "g" did not come into play. They treated it like an alley oop and only called it a goaltend only due to the fact that it was above the cylinder. Except that it wasn't.
Now all of this would be somewhat moot. Bad calls happen, except Kosta Koufos had just goaltended the shit out of the ball a few plays earlier. The ball was literally sitting on the rim. It wasn't above an imaginary cylinder where maybe a fraction of the ball was over it and maybe it wasn't. The ball was physically touching the rim sitting on the middle of it.
It was one of the more obvious offensive basket interference calls you'll ever see. Having that juxtaposed against Noah's call which you would effectively never see called in an NBA game was mindblowing.
And if you don't feel bad enough about the refs?
While no one seemed to pick up on it, Andre Miller also traveled big time on the possession that led to the Andre Iguodala three. He runs in using a skip step for both his steps, then shuffles both feet with another little unintentional hop while trying to skid to a stop (he could only move one foot as a pivot but moves both), then also may have used a fifth step while trying to dive out and pass the ball to Iguodala.
It was definitely a travel, the question is only whether he ridiculously moved hit pivot foot twice or just once. So if the goaltend bit doesn't piss you off enough, just know that the final Denver shot also shouldn't have counted either. The Bulls were effectively reffed out of five to seven points in the final couple minutes of the game.
Outside of the controversy on the call the final 15 minutes of this game were a joy to watch. The Bulls executed on offense play after play. They hit big shot after big shot. They tore down the Denver lead and tied the game. They scored repeatedly in the final few minutes and overtime. It was a thrilling finish and would have stood up as one of the best games of the year had the refs done their job correctly.
Joakim Noah's ready to go
His final tip may have been ruled out, but Noah dominated the game with another absurd box score that you won't see too often. 14 points, 12 boards, six assists and seven blocks. Noah's help defense down the stretch gave the Bulls a shot as he blocked multiple shots that looked like sure baskets to keep the Bulls in the game to force overtime.
He knocked down the jumper to kick off overtime, should have had the tap to win the game, and overall is playing at an extremely high level.
It's nice to see good Nate
Down the stretch when the Bulls needed buckets, Nate Robinson was there to deliver, including the three with seven seconds left to send the game into over time. The Nuggets simply couldn't stop Robinson as he scored repeatedly down the stretch with a combination of long range jumpers, mid range jumpers, and forays to the hoop.
You can't count on Robinson to do that every game, obviously, but damn it's exciting when he does.
At any rate, it will go down as a disappointing loss for the team even if it was a fun game to watch. I'm proud of the team for their fight and for the comeback even if it came a little short.
Maybe Derrick saw something to inspire him to become mentally ready last night.
Filed under: Game Threads