NBA: THE IRRELEVANCE OF THE L2M REPORT
The Los Angeles Lakers moved to 23-3 with last nights win, good enough for the league’s best record alongside the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat in turn were handed their first home game loss in 12 tries this season but still hold a 18-7 record, which puts them at third in the Eastern Conference.
Now, if the two missed foul calls weren’t enough to favor Lebron and company, it was also revealed that there was another error made in the last two minutes of the game, with the third and final one going in Los Angeles’ favor as well.
Lakers guard Danny Green didn’t get called for a double-dribble with his team up 110-107 and 1:16 remaining in regulation. The possession ended with Anthony Davis making one of two free throws following a Duncan Robinson loose ball foul that put L.A. ahead 111-107 with 1:01 left.
The Heat don’t have time to dwell on the end of the quarter. They were playing on the first night of their back-to-back as they are hosted by the Dallas Mavericks tonight. However, it does put into perspective the idea of even having a L2M report in the first place. It is not only irrelevant, but it is terrible. It’s great that the NBA wants to participate in accountability and transparency, but I still fail to see how this helps anybody.
The league means well (I guess), but you know the saying about good intentions. A referee admitting that he/she missed a call, or made a wrong call, means nothing where it matters: the win-loss column.
A loss based on missed calls isn’t as important during the season, where a team has multiple chances to rectify mistakes and improve standings. In the playoffs, though, it is literally win or go home. Each team has four games out of seven–and four games only–to win and prove that it is worthy to advance. There is no room for error. There are no do-overs. Win or go home.
Even the most casual of fans should be wondering the point of the L2Ms. Unless the league goes and changes the outcome of a game (e.g., awards the losing team a win if it’s determined that the incorrect calls went against that team)–which ain’t happening–then the reports are mostly meaningless.
It’s been a bit of a mess, yes. Especially for the Miami Heat, whom have been on the receiving end of bad calls on a couple of games this season and prior ones. The NBA has remained quiet for the most part, except when they must defend itself. Owners are slowly speaking out, even in such petty ways, it may be a bit of a rallying cry. Things certainly feel like they’re coming to a head. The current CBA between officials and the NBA runs through 2022. If players continue to speak out, we may see it amended before then.
So until then, the streak of the L2M reports making no one feel better continues.