NBA Admits Refs Blew It in Final Seconds of Pacers/Nuggets Game


On the game’s second-to-last possession, the Pacers gave the ball to Paul George in isolation. They didn’t even need a bucket. In a tie game, they just needed a point.

George started his move on Andre Iguodala, one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders. There was contact as the two clashed 30 feet from the hoop and the ball fell out of Paul’s control. Iguodala grabbed it and called time out, which gave Denver one last chance to win the game. Which it did on a controversial foul called on George as he and Iguodala, again, collided.

Both plays were probably fouls, but the attempted steal by Andre as George dribbled was more egregious. It seemed to be, clearly, a foul.

Now, the NBA has admitted as much, noting that the officials missed the foul.

This does nothing to help Indiana out in the standings, of course. I still don’t believe this one play was the reason the Pacers lost the game. But it certainly was the final roadblock that kept them from winning. The Nuggets still would have had time left to score afterward, but I am certain Paul George would have knocked down at least on of his free throws.

Tough break for Indiana, and this admission by the league will do little to take the sting away, I’m sure.

Tags: News

  • Josh Baker

    How can you still say that this play wasn’t the reason the Pacers lost? The call literally (actually literally) changed the outcome of the game. Given PG’s FT%, the Pacers get on average 1.62 points from his trip to the line. Who knows what happens in that last 2.2 seconds, but instead of no chance, the Pacers are in the driver’s seat. So in nearly every way, that lack of call was the reason the Pacers ultimately lost the game. Your stance is absurd.

    • Sean Bartz

      In a game that’s tied with mere seconds left, every possession has proven to be vital. You could make this very argument about any of the possessions or questionable calls throughout the game. Did the refs miss a call in the first quarter that would have sent a Pacer to the line? Then that missed call cost the Pacers the game just as much as the late calls.

      Points are points whenever they are scored in the game, and to argue otherwise is absurd.

      • Josh Baker

        “Points are points whenever they are scored in the game, and to argue otherwise is absurd.”

        But they actually aren’t. A point scored in a tie game in the first quarter does not have the same value as a point scored in a tie game with 5 seconds left. It just doesn’t. There’s so much time left in the first scenario for you to make up the difference. There is not at the end.

        In terms of determining whether or not you win, points at the end of the game add more value than points at the beginning. This is a truth. This is not something that should have to be debated.

  • Joe Betz

    Has there been any further clarification on the Utah out-of-bounds play?

    Also, in any game where a team finds itself tied in the final possession, we can point to percentages, missed free-throws, turnovers, and defensive breakdowns for why the team is in a position to make the winning basket rather than be up by a dozen points. However, this is a game called basketball, where road and home environments affect play, where runs begin and end, and where open shots rattle in or out.

    The Pacers, for a second night, fought back on the road to force the game into one-possession basketball. In this game, the refs have admitted Paul George, an 80% free-throw shooter, should have gone to the line. He would have made at least one free throw–if he missed both, the Nuggets still have to rebound and score.

    Therefore, the refs are the reason why the Pacers lost this game–and the refs have admitted as much. To focus on missed shots during the middle of the game and not on the Pacers ability to put themselves in a position to win is misguided. It sounds more insightful to describe a missed shot in the second quarter rather on what actually happened at the end of the game, so I get it, but come on…let’s call a spade a spade here.

    • Jack Wright

      oh yeah

  • lil-bang

    Surprising the league actually admitted it. I will give them props for that because normally they would not have. Just as long as this doesn’t become a routine thing, it will be somewhat meaningful. Not for the Pacers record however…

    I think Jared’s point is they can’t keep putting themselves in this situation. By situation I mean relying heavily on a big play night in night out to determine the outcome of the game; where you don’t have complete control of the play(possibly leaving it in the officials hands to determine the game).

    As previousley discussed the Pacers don’t win alot of games in blowout fashion, but they don’t have to win it in blowout fashion, just don’t make every game come down to the final 2 minutes where anything could happen. They actually can control that. I understand some games are going to be close. I think Jared is just saying for this team to get ot the next level: Don’t go on the dry scoring spell for 5 minutes and rely completely on shutting out the other team. Don’t wait til the last 2 minutes to turn it up the offense. Try to do that in the sooner so the outcome of the game is determined quicker. If you fail, give your starters more rest for the next game. Easier said than done, but I get what Jared is saying (If this is what he is saying)
    Yes, 99% “most likely” changed the outcome of the game, but basically just don’t leave it up to the officials, just get the job done, that’s what put teams on the next level.
    I put part of the blame on Vogel for running the play he did, easier to get a foul called on a drive to the rim instead of setting up isolation for PG and relying on a jumper…and also the drive by Hill has worked several games this year, why go away from it now?