NBA officiating is very, very difficult. The players are fast, the players are strong, and there is a lot of contact on just about every play. The natural inclination for officials is to try not to make yourself a major part of the outcome of any game. In crunch time, things get hectic and whistles often swallowed. That's what happened Sunday night in Detroit as the Cavs swept the Detroit Pistons.
Except, it didn't happen in the way you'd assume. And it didn't happen in the way Reggie Jackson thought it did. The NBA issues reports for all games that are within five points heading into the final two minutes as a way of promoting accountability for officials. Here is the way the reports are described by the league:
Below is the league’s assessment of officiated events that occurred in the last two minutes of last night’s games which were within five points at the two-minute mark (and during overtime, where applicable). The plays assessed include all calls (whistles) and notable non-calls. Notable non-calls will generally be defined as material plays directly related to the outcome of a possession.
Here is the full report from Game 4. I'm a bit of a biased observer, but on the second to last possession of the game, Kyrie Irving tried to drive on Reggie Jackson and Jackson cut him off. Jackson was not set and he was moving. It absolutely affected Kyrie Irving and he was forced to throw up a bad shot as time expired. It was right in front of my media seating, and it was fairly obvious. Still, you go with it because it's understood officials don't want to make that call unless they have to.
Still, Irving took some twitter abuse for the play.
That was a comical last shot by Kyrie beforehand by the way— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) April 25, 2016
The NBA's report indicates that there was an incorrect non-call on the play. Irving should have gone to the free throw line, where he would have had the opportunity to give the Cavs a four point lead. He's a decent free throw shooter.
Without the call, though, Reggie Jackson pushed the ball up the floor. I had a tough view of it, it was on the opposite end of the court. The NBA's report indicates that the officials made the right decision to not blow the whistle on Irving's tough defense, and in fact notes that it was Jackson who initiated the contact. Jackson after the game called on the league for much more accountability when it comes to officials. I'm guessing this isn't what he had in mind.