By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Officiating in the NBA is always a point of contention for basketball fans, and for whatever reason, the league likes to add another spoon to the pot by releasing Last Two Minute Reports the day after games. And when a playoff game is determined by just two points, you can imagine the Last Two Minute Report gets more attention than usual.
Such was the case for the Celtics-Bucks Game 4, which took place on Sunday afternoon. The Bucks won, 104-102, to even the series at two games apiece.
The Last Two Minute Report on Monday revealed that officials missed three calls — two that should have gone against Milwaukee, and one that should have gone against Boston.
The report noted that the officials missed Jayson Tatum clamping his arm around Giannis Antetokounmpo prior to an Eric Bledsoe pass sailing out of bounds for a Bucks turnover with 1:11 left to play.
Twenty-five seconds later, Antetokounmpo got away with a forearm to Semi Ojeleye, preventing the Celtics forward from contesting the shot attempt. Antetokounmpo missed the shot, but the report noted that the officials missed the offensive foul call.
And in what’s sure to raise some eyebrows in Boston, the report noted that Khris Middleton fouled Jaylen Brown in the act of shooting with 42 seconds left to play and the Celtics leading by one at 100-99. Instead of two foul shots for Brown, the Bucks gained possession. Malcolm Brogdon hit a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a two-point lead on that ensuing possession.
The Celtics would score just two more points, losing the game by two.
The Last Two Minute Report said that all other calls and non-calls in the final two minutes were officiated correctly.
Obviously, a note on a report the day after a loss doesn’t help the Celtics much, and the whole effort to release such reports are always a bit puzzling. Transparency is always a positive thing, but opening up a series of gripes, regrets and complaints doesn’t really serve anybody well.
Just ask Jaylen Brown:
A facepalm emoji is almost certainly the proper reaction to such news.