Mea Culpa: That Was A Goaltend

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With 3:02 left in the fourth quarter, Joe Johnson missed a floater at the rim. As it was falling out, Andray Blatche, in perfect position to grab an offensive rebound, tipped in an easy put-back that would have put the Nets up 93-91. After about four seconds of the Knicks bench yelling, referee Bill Kennedy called the shot offensive interference.

I, in perfectly emotional form, went ballistic about it:

I was basing my statements on the angle I’d seen of the shot from above, where the ball clearly looked outside of the cylinder. According to the NBA rules, “once the ball rolls to the outside of the rim, the shot is over and anyone can touch the ball.” That’s what it looked like from overhead — a slight portion of the ball is still on the rim, which is allowable. UPDATE: According to the NBA’s video rulebook, which shows a concrete example, “Players are not allowed to touch the ball while any part of the ball remains in the cylinder above the basket ring.” This would apply to Blatche’s touch. So even though Blatche did touch the ball before it touched the rim, the ball was still above the rim even slightly, making the goaltend the correct call.

So, mea culpa. Even though it was a coercion call, it was the correct call.

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