The quality of in-game officiating has been a hot topic in the NBA this season, as referees have repeatedly ruined close games due to blown calls.
The latest incident of officials blowing a game in the dying stages came on Friday night in the game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder.
After a game-tying three — which was insane to begin with — from Russell Westbrook, the scores were tied at 95 apiece with 5 or so seconds to go in the game. The Bucks advanced the ball via a timeout, and inbounded it to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who proceeded to drive baseline and dunk the ball over Westbrook to give the Bucks a narrow victory.
The thing is though, Giannis actually stepped on the baseline as he was driving past Josh Huertis, which was left uncalled. Not only that, a ref was watching Giannis drive from the exact baseline the Greek Freak stepped on.
Two of the officials that were in charge of the Thunder-Bucks game were Derrick Stafford — who is a crew chief — and Leon Wood. Those two refs have had a shocking week, as not only did they blow the end of the game between Milwaukee and Oklahoma City, these two officials were also in charge of the Christmas Day game between the Cavs and Warriors, a game which ended with several no-calls on LeBron James’ drives.
The NBA’s officials as a whole have been copping a lot of flak this week for the quality of their refereeing, and it’s gotten to the point where the NBA will begin to take action, starting with trying to revamp the review system to stop incidents such as the one we saw between the Thunder and Bucks.