If you watched the chaotic ending of the Spurs-Thunder game 2 you are likely still hearing the cries from TNT co-announcer Chris Webber’s that the refs missed the offensive foul call on Dion Waiter.
Final play of Spurs v Thunder, Game 2 (Video: TNT)
At first few looks it appeared that Chris Webber outrage of the non-call was warranted and that the Spurs were robbed by the officials but after taking some time to view the play a few times we see that at least two violations occurred on that play as pointed out by the Thunder’s Dion Waiters.
Dion Waiters sitting at his locker, scrolling through his phone postgame: "He stepped on the line anyway"
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 3, 2016
Waiters is correct, even prior to his forearm shove to get space to inbound the ball Ginobli commits a violation by stepping on the line as WGN reporter correctly points out on Twitter.
Obviously Waiters can't shove Ginobili, but Ginobili can't go over the line either. pic.twitter.com/9SY1UO8FLH
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) May 3, 2016
The violation would have only resulted in a delay of game call and the Thunder would have gotten a reset of that inbound play but even before Ginobli steps on the line it is obvious that he is encroaching the 3 foot radius that the inbounder is provided by the rules.
If we ignore Ginobli’s violation of encroaching Waiter’s 3 foot area of space and then the violation where he steps on the out-of-bounds line we can surely ignore Waiters foul and then 2nd violation where he left his feet to get the inbound pass off which we haven’t even mentioned.
In the end the series of violations in that inbound play by both sides make it a wash and we received an ending that most basketball fans and players covet which is the game being decided on the court by the players and not by the officials.
In the officials not making the calls on Waiters or Ginobli the Spurs were able to get possession of the ball by stripping Durant when he tried to receive Waiters lob and had about 9 seconds to score with an advantage in numbers but they failed to convert and were only able to get one shot up, a three pointer from Mills in the corner which he airballed.
The focus should instead be on the great bounce back performance of the Thunder who were demolished in game 1 by the Spurs, losing by 32 points. Durant and Westbrook showed their resilience by coming out in full-on attack mode from the start, ending the night combining for 57 points against one of the NBA’s best defenses and willing their team to a win in a place where the Spurs have lost only 1 other time in 45 games this season (regular season + playoffs.) In addition, the Thunder were able to win despite LaMarcus Aldridge’s dominating 41 point night.
The talk should be on all of these points about the Thunder’s play but of course today that wont be the case as the talk will instead be centered on the missed call on Waiters inbound play which is a shame.