George Karl, of course, thinks the shot shouldn’t have counted. From Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears:
“Three-fourths of the ball is still in the cylinder when Perkins touches it,” Karl said. “Three-fourths of the ball, not half of the ball.
Kenyon Martin agrees.
“It was goaltending, man, all the way around,” Martin said. “Everybody in the building and everybody on TV saw it.”
Perkins, on the other hand, took a more pragmatic approach.
“I saw it come off the rim and got a hand on it,” Perkins said. “They didn’t call it, so it must not have [happened]. Just go on and play. I didn’t question it.”
As for me, I think it was probably offensive interference. That screencap up top is pretty damning. However, a play such as this cannot be reviewed, and when you watch it in real time, it’s hard to even realize that Perkins tipped the ball in.
In fact, I’d guess that’s the reason the official play-by-play data credits Russell Westbrook with the basket. Watching at full speed it looks like Westbrook just gets a nice bounce. Since it couldn’t be reviewed, the call stands and that makes a ton of sense to me. You try getting that call right 100 percent of the time in the split-second it took to happen.
The cruel irony of this whole thing is that the Nuggets won a game last month thanks to a non-reviewable botched call. Something tells me they’d trade that victory for this one in the amount of time it takes for a guy to tip in a ball that’s still in the cylinder.
UPDATE: According to the NBA (via Woj) — Yep, should have been called offensive goaltending.
(photo via Rob Roberts)