Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tom Thibodeau discusses Game 2 controversy: Referees missed fouls on Tyrese Maxey and Nick Nurse’s timeout blunder in Knicks’ loss to 76ers

In a frenzied effort to secure a victory in Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers with a score of 104-101 on Monday, the New York Knicks delivered what could be seen as the standout moment early in the 2024 playoffs. However, this being the NBA, controversy is never far behind the excitement. Indeed, the league’s Last Two Minute Report on the game offered plenty of material for discussion.

The analysis revealed that Tyrese Maxey, the 76ers guard, was fouled twice during the play, which led to him losing possession of the ball, which then allowed Donte DiVincenzo to score the decisive 3-pointer for the Knicks. Moreover, it was mentioned that the officials could have allowed a timeout request from the 76ers’ coach, Nick Nurse before the inbounds play.

Following this game, a 76ers representative declared the team’s intention to file a formal complaint with the NBA regarding the referees’ performance in the first two games of the series, which the Knicks are now leading 2-0. The initial game’s Last Two Minute Report pointed out two instances of oversight: a missed call on a Maxey layup attempt with around a minute left and a failure to spot travel by Knicks’ guard Jalen Brunson with 17 seconds to go, marking the only mistakes identified against either team in the final moments of Game 1.

Knicks’ coach Tom Thibodeau dismissed the complaints from the 76ers, addressing the issue ahead of Game 3. With his usual coaching flair, Thibodeau redirected the focus toward calls he believed were missed against Brunson throughout the series, stating his lack of concern over the grievances from Philadelphia.

“My focus is on the entire 46-minute game report,” declared Thibodeau on Wednesday. “There was no way they were going to call a foul in that situation. Watching how Jalen has been defended, I’m entirely focused on Game 3. We remain undistracted by these discussions. My attention is on the full game, not just a two-minute segment.”

So far in the series, Brunson is averaging 7.5 attempts at free throws per game, an increase from his 6.5 average in the regular season. This marks another instance of Thibodeau advocating for his All-Star guard, reminiscent of a postgame news conference in early April when he repeatedly emphasized that “he’s getting fouled.”

The initial series matchup has been notably intense, and it’s expected to continue that trend as the action moves to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Thursday.

During Monday’s Game 2, which saw the New York Knicks securing a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, the NBA disclosed in its Last Two Minute report on Tuesday that the referees missed several calls towards the end of the game.

According to the report, the missed calls include a situation where, with 27 seconds remaining, Jalen Brunson grabbed Tyrese Maxey’s jersey without a foul being called. Another overlooked foul involved Josh Hart making contact with Maxey, causing him to lose balance and fall, with 25 seconds on the clock. Additionally, Joel Embiid of the Sixers was deemed to have fouled Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo by hitting him in the head/face area with 34.7 seconds left, which wasn’t called.

Following these oversights, the Knicks were able to clinch a remarkable victory with back-to-back 3-point shots by Brunson and then DiVincenzo, the latter securing the game-winning points after Maxey’s attempt to receive an inbound pass resulted in a fall. DiVincenzo’s successful shot put New York in the lead by three points with only 13 seconds remaining, leading them to a 104-101 win and a 2-0 series advantage.

The report further mentioned a failed attempt by 76ers coach Nick Nurse to signal a timeout in the last 24 seconds because the officials did not acknowledge it. This was during a moment when Maxey lost the ball due to Hart’s intervention, with the officials determining that the timeout call coincided with Hart touching the ball, leaving the 76ers without control over it.

A representative for the 76ers expressed on Monday that the team plans to lodge a formal complaint with the NBA concerning the refereeing in the first two games, highlighting that the team faced setbacks from two decisions in Game 1 as per the NBA’s review.

The complaint will include an assertion that a timeout should have been recognized after Brunson scored a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left, altering the score to 101-99.

Embiid voiced his frustration on Monday, criticizing the refereeing standards. He highlighted multiple instances where Maxey was fouled, drawing parallels to a similar situation against Miami involving Tyler Herro. Embiid described the officiating as wholly unacceptable, emphasizing the gravity of such oversight in playoff games.

Nurse recounted his attempt to call a timeout, noting that despite making eye contact with the referee, his request was ignored. He detailed the chaos that ensued after trying to call a timeout a second time, suggesting perhaps he needed to physically enter the court to grab the official’s attention.

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.
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