Like many other NBA fans, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard watched the exciting conclusion of Monday night’s contest between the Knicks and the Nets. And, like many other NBA fans, Lillard wondered what exactly happened during New York’s final offensive possession of the game.
Ky blocked Julius Randle’s shot attempt. Why did Scott whistle and give the ball to the net?
– Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) March 16, 2021
OK, let’s break this thing down. Our investigation begins with the play itself …
The Knicks faced a three-point deficit with just 5.7 seconds left on the clock. Knowing that New York needed a 3-pointer to tie the game, All-Star forward Julius Randle caught an incoming pass, took a hard dribble and stopped near the Barclays Center logo on the wing right.
Randle appeared to move up and down without releasing the ball, resulting in an obvious movement violation. However, reruns showed that Nets goalie Kyrie Irving had cleanly swept the ball, which interrupted Randle’s shooting movement.
Brooklyn regained possession, New York fouled to stop the clock and James Harden drained two free throws to secure a 117-112 victory. Randle appeared to approach umpiring team chief Scott Foster after the last buzzer, but his Knicks teammates stopped him before the situation escalated. Randle was clearly furious, knocking over a chair on his way to the locker room.
Asked about the roaming call during his post-game media availability, Randle declined to go into details, saying it was “better that I don’t comment on the situation.”
“I was just frustrated, obviously,” Randle said. “We fought so hard to come back and try to win the game. I was just frustrated. That was about it. But we had another chance to go tomorrow. [against the 76ers]. So just focus on tomorrow. “
Julius Randle leaving the floor frustrated after Monday’s game ended:
“We fought so hard to come back and try to win the game” pic.twitter.com/HS93wHQ82q
– Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) March 16, 2021
Irving, who had a record 34 points in the Nets win, believed Randle made a smart adjustment after touching the ball.
“I was either going to make a mistake early [or defend straight up], but I saw him in line for a jump shot. I felt like I could get my hands on it, “Irving said.” Scott called Travel. I thought Julius had a good game after putting [the ball] down. I was going to foul him after that just to put him on the free throw line. But yeah, that’s what it looked like. This is how it happened. “
Kyrie Irving describes what happened in the latter part of Monday’s game to defend Julius Randle:
“I thought Julius had a good game after putting [the ball] down” pic.twitter.com/pfmjPXiPI7
– Net Videos (@SNYNets) March 16, 2021
Here is the relevant section of the NBA Rulebook regarding dribbling violations:
A player may dribble a second time if he has lost control of the ball due to:
1. A basket attempt on his basket, provided the ball touches the backboard or the basket ring
2. An opponent touching the ball
3. A pass or fumble that hits their backboard, basket ring or is touched by another player.
PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opposing team on the sideline closest to the point of the violation, but no closer to the baseline than the extended foul line.
Foster offered a clarification on the roaming call as part of a post-game interview with Bryan Mahoney of The Associated Press.
“The defender was seen to have touched the ball, but not to dislodge it or lose it,” Foster said. “With that, when the player goes down, he cannot intentionally drop the ball or dribble the ball or be the first to touch after dropping the ball.”
Essentially, the referees determined that Irving touched the ball as Randle approached for a shot, but it didn’t cause him to lose control of the ball. In this case, the rule allowing Randle to dribble again would not apply.
We’ll have to wait and see if the NBA’s final two-minute report confirms this interpretation.