The Knicks and Nets played a tight game, and we will spend most of today talking about what? You are right, the refs. Yet again, poor refereeing took over a close dramatic game, and this time the protagonist is probably the most often mentioned ref – Scott Foster. Julius Randle was so mad; the entire Knicks roster got between him and the refs just to make sure nothing happens.
With 5.7 seconds to go in the game, the Knicks were down 3 and inbounded the ball to Randle. He went up for a shot and then landed back down with a dribble. Scott Foster call a traveling violation, and Randle immediately reacted – he claimed Kyrie touched the ball on his way up, so there was no travel. The replay proved him right.
We’ve seen so many annoying, unnecessary reviews that take a gazillion angles and a debate to determine what happens, yet an obvious mistake like this doesn’t get overturned. The NBA’s review system is both bad for the product’s entertainment value and doesn’t work! Damian Lillard was watching the game and decided to speak out.
Ky blocked Julius Randle shot attempt. Why did Scott foster blow his whistle and give the nets the ball?— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) March 16, 2021
This wasn’t the only frustrating mistake in the game. With 3:48 to go in the 4th quarter, Kyrie Irving stepped on Frank Ntilikina’s foot and fell down. Frankie Smokes was called for a foul, which was his 6th, so he fouled out. The ref had a perfect point of view on that one – no excuses there.
We’re not going to see any major changes during the season, and even after the season, don’t hold your breath for an honest assessment from the NBA. If they love anything, it’s good PR – admitting there’s a serious problem with the rules and how they are enforced won’t happen.
But we get to hope changes will be made, from the review system to some of the rules. I want to reiterate something we’ve said many times – this is primarily the NBA’s responsibility. The refs are doing the best they can given the position they are put in. More and more absurd rules, a dysfunctional review system, and players flopping doesn’t help either.
Everyone has their share of the responsibility and should work together to make the basketball game, a.k.a. their core product, better.