Why the Last 2 Minute Report is Ridiculous
Yesterday, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Warriors on Christmas 99-92 and the ending of the game left Cavaliers fans in complete disbelief. Lebron James appeared to be clearly fouled late in the fourth quarter by Kevin Durant while trying to score a layup. Had he been awarded this foul, he would have had a chance to shoot free throws and trim the Warriors’ lead to just one point. However, the game referees did not blow the whistle for a foul and instead, it was a turnover, which allowed the Warriors to put the game on ice.
Imagine the surprise on the faces of those very same Cavs fans when the official final “tw0-minute report” from the NBA came out this afternoon. According to an article on Bleacher Report, “The NBA announced in a Last Two Minute Report released Tuesday that officials missed three foul calls on Kevin Durant over the final 1:12 of regulation during the Golden State Warriors‘ 99-92 Christmas Day win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.” Two of the three missed calls according to the report came on Lebron’s drive to the rim while trying for the aforementioned layup.
The NBA’s last two-minute report details mistakes made by officials in the previous day’s games and has been around for a few years now. It is an effort put forth by the league office to try and combat the complaints of angry basketball fans who claim officials have been missing calls.
So what happens as a result of these reports? The answer is painfully simple… nothing. Do teams have to replay the last two minutes of a close game? Do the officials get fined for missing a call? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding no; these reports are simply the NBA apologizing for poor officiating and undermining the officials by reporting their mistakes to fans. Which is why the NBA needs to stop putting these reports out to the public; they are of no use to anyone but the officials who can use them to learn from their mistakes. All these reports do is upset people on Twitter and cause arguments over what might have happened had calls been made.
While many Cavs fans are upset about the result of the no call and the ensuing loss during the Christmas Day Game, there is a much bigger issue that needs to be addressed by the NBA. That is the issue of why LeBron appears to not be getting foul calls when he is blatantly fouled. This year, LeBron is averaging 5.9 free throw attempts per game, which is only slightly higher than his attempts per game as a rookie in the 2003-2004 season (5.8). This is not a new trend; his free throw attempts per game average has been decreasing since 2009. Why is this? Is Lebron suddenly not as aggressive and driving to the rim? No. Is his career in decline? No. Is he not being fouled? We all know that is certainly not true, so why does he not get calls? The solution to this problem certainly will not be solved with reports about the mistakes made by officials after the game but by calling the fouls during the game.