NEW YORK — According to the NBA, the Heat shouldn’t have won Tuesday night’s game against the Pistons.
The NBA’s Last Two Minute report indicates that there should have been two fouls on the Heat during the final play that ended with Hassan Whiteside’s game-winning tip-in to lift Miami to a 97-96 victory over Detroit.
The report pointed out a loose ball foul on Rodney McGruder with 5.4 seconds to play that was not called. McGruder ran into the paint and knocked down Ish Smith as James Johnson’s shot bounced off the rim.
According to the report, the second foul on the final possession that should been called was on Whiteside. The report states that Whiteside “grabs and pulls [Andre] Drummond’s jersey, affecting his ability to retrieve the rebound” with 5.0 seconds to play on the sequence that led to Whiteside tipping the ball to Dragic for the rebound.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was aware of the report when asked about it before Wednesday’s game against the Knicks, but he believes there are some flaws that come along with it.
“It neglects the 46 minutes before, of all the plays that can happen,” Spoelstra said. “We talk about that all the time with our team that you have to play all the way to the last possession. … But the most important possession is whatever possession you’re in. It’s not just those last two minutes. It’s in the first quarter. It can be when everybody is just trying to spar and get loose, those might be the most important possessions of the game.”
Aside from those two mistakes by the officials, there were some correct non-calls.
While Dragic shot the ball with 1.9 seconds to play, Tobias Harris seemed to make incidental contact with him. But the report states it was not a foul because “it does not affect [Dragic’s] shot attempt or ability to control the ball.”
While Whiteside went up for the game-winning tip-in with 0.8 seconds remaining, the NBA ruled there was no foul on the Heat center because he made just “incidental contact” with Drummond.
Drummond then made contact with the rim on Whiteside’s tip-in with 0.4 seconds to play, but it was not ruled goaltending because it “does not cause the ball to make an unnatural bounce.”
What is a Last Two Minute report? For every game that’s within five points at the two-minute mark, the NBA analyzes the final two minutes and issues a report on the officiating the next day.
Even though the NBA admitted there should have been two fouls on the Heat on the final possession that would have prevented Whiteside from making the game-winning basket, Miami’s win over Detroit stands.