Ball Don't Lie

NBA admits botched call in Raptors’ loss to Bulls (VIDEO)

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

Basketball fans don't particularly like the NBA's officiating, at various times calling it "rigged," "a conspiracy," or "really bad and it makes me want to vomit." For the most part, the league tries to ignore these complaints and goes about its daily business. Sometimes, though, the calls are bad enough that they have to apologize or correct a call after the fact. When they do, they post a correction on NBA.com.

That's exactly what they did on Friday afternoon in response to a key call in overtime of Wednesday night's Bulls-Raptors game in Toronto. The Bulls won the game 107-105, but a late call could have swung the outcome. With 1.7 seconds left, Joakim Noah was whistled for a foul on Amir Johnson as he went up to attempt a game-tying lay-up. The officials, however, called it a non-shooting foul, and Jose Calderon was forced to heave up a desperation three on the ensuing inbounds play. As the video above from YouTube user Kevin Rashidi shows in frame-by-frame detail, Johnson very clearly should have gone to the line.

So the NBA apologized today. Check out the full text after the jump:

With one second remaining in the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls-Toronto Raptors game on January 16, officials called a foul on Chicago’s Joakim Noah as Toronto’s Amir Johnson gathered the ball while driving to the basket. The officials ruled the foul was on the floor but upon review at the league office, the video replay confirmed that the foul should have been called a shooting foul with Johnson receiving two free throws. Click video here.

The missed call won't have a huge effect on the standings. For one thing, Johnson still would have had to make two free throws only to tie the game, and as a 70.4 percent shooter he's no sure thing. But that doesn't mean the call doesn't matter, and it could become meaningful over the course of the season. At 14-25, the Raptors aren't exactly in the thick of a playoff race, but the difference between being 5.5 and 6.5 games out in mid-January isn't insignificant. It also matters for the Bulls, who are currently locked into a tie with the Brooklyn Nets for fourth in the East. Depending on what happens the rest of the season, this game could be the difference in determining homecourt advantage in a home playoff series.

The broader issue, of course, is that NBA officials should get calls like this one correct in the first place. An apology is nice, but it doesn't really change the fact that the Raptors got screwed.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Westbrook a notable omission in voting for All-Star Game

      Westbrook a notable omission in voting for All-Star Game

      (Reuters) - Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is averaging a league-best 30.6 points per game this season but was a conspicuous absentee from the starting lineups announced by the NBA on Thursday for next month's All-Star Game. … More »

      Reuters - 20 minutes ago
    • Melo's 34 points

      Melo's 34 points

      Highlights from Carmelo Anthony as he scores 34 points in the Knicks loss the Wizards. … More »

      NBA.com - 23 minutes ago
    • GAME RECAP: Spurs 118, Nuggets 104

      GAME RECAP: Spurs 118, Nuggets 104

      Despite the pregame injury from Pau Gasol, Kawhi Leonard pours in 34 and gets a little help from his rookie teammate Dejounte Murray who scores a career-high 24 points as the Spurs top the Nuggets at home. … More »

      NBA.com - 25 minutes ago
    • Jazz go for fifth straight win against improving Mavs

      The Utah Jazz arrive in Dallas the hot team. The Jazz (27-16) are on a season-high-tying four-game winning streak going into Friday night's clash at American Airlines Center. Getting to five might not be that easy against the Mavericks, despite … More »

      AP - Sports - 39 minutes ago
    • Spurs C Gasol breaks finger during warmups, out indefinitely

      Spurs C Gasol breaks finger during warmups, out indefinitely

      Spurs center Pau Gasol is out indefinitely after breaking his left ring finger during pregame warmups Thursday night. Gasol missed San Antonio's 118-104 victory over the Denver Nuggets. The team said there is no timeline for Gasol's return. … More »

      AP - Sports - 43 minutes ago