By now you probably know about the horrible call that essentially handed the Oklahoma City Thunder a win against the Clippers last night.
With 11.3 seconds left in the game, Matt Barnes collided with OKC point guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson lost the ball during the contact, and was clearly seen touching the ball last before it went out of bounds. Somehow, the officiating crew awarded possession to OKC, which understandably caused Doc Rivers’ head to explode.
The refs reviewed the play to see if it was Barnes or Jackson who touched the ball last. Again, it was very clear on TV that Jackson did, and LA should have been given possession accordingly. But even after the review, the officiating crew gave the ball to OKC.
To anyone watching on TV, several camera angles made it obvious it should have been LA’s ball. The refs presumably have these same angles available to them during replay review, which made the blown call all the more confusing.
After the game, officiating Crew Chief Tony Brothers made a very interesting comment when speaking to the media. Brothers implied that, for some reason, the refs did not review the play using all of the available camera angles.
“When the ball goes out of bounds, the ball was awarded to Oklahoma City,” Brothers said. “We go review the play. We saw two replays. The two replays we saw were from the overhead camera showing down, and the one from under the basket showing the same angle but from a different view. And from those two replays, it was inconclusive as to who the ball went out of bounds off of. When it’s inconclusive, we have to go with the call that was on the floor.”
First things first, calling the play inconclusive even from the angles Brothers watched it from is a huge stretch. On top of that, why were TV audiences being shown extra angles that the most important people in the game at that time – the refs – were not? It doesn’t make much sense, and explains why Doc Rivers sounded off like this following the game: