The league issued a statement telling us something we all already knew: Kendrick Perkins’ basket with 1:05 remaining should not have counted. The statement reads:
“Kendrick Perkins was improperly credited with a basket that should have been ruled offensive basket interference with 1:05 remaining in last night’s game. Although a player is permitted to touch the net while the ball is in the cylinder above the rim, Perkins also touched the ball while it was still in the cylinder which is a violation and constitutes goaltending.”
Of course that doesn’t change anything as the Thunder went on to win 107-103, but it certainly does add a bit of flavor to Oklahoma City’s win. The tip put the Thunder up a point with a minute left. It was a critical play in the game and I don’t think even the most homertastic Thunder fan could deny that OKC caught a break there.
However, watching live in the arena, I actually thought Russell Westbrook’s shot had dropped through on its own. Most of the other writers around me thought the same thing. So you can imagine the position the officials were in during that situation. They got it wrong. They know and the league knows it. We all figured out what happened on the tip after watching the replay three or four times. The officials didn’t have that luxury. Maybe that’s the real question though: Why didn’t the officials have that luxury?