Knicks: NBA’s L2M report upholds non-call on RJ Barrett’s overtime-sending dunk

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
Jan 16, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) dunks the ball against Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York coach Tom Thibodeau said after the Knicks’ 123-121 heartbreaking overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors Monday that it was hard to tell what a foul was.

Indeed it was.

During perhaps the most crucial play for the Knicks, reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes appeared to have grabbed RJ Barrett‘s right arm during his overtime-sending dunk.

The NBA’s official Last Two Minutes report admitted that there was contact. But they said it was not enough to call a foul that could have given a bonus free throw for Barrett, who could have clinched the game if he makes it.

“Barnes (TOR) makes contact with Barrett’s (NYK) upper off-arm during his dunk shot that does not affect the speed, quickness, balance and/or rhythm of his shot.”

NBA’s Last 2 Minutes Report

Thibodeau felt the calls were inconsistent as the Raptors were given 41 free throw attempts against the Knicks’ 35. The six-free-throw difference may not be glaring, but it haunted the Knicks in the game they lost by two.

“The free throws hurt us. …I don’t really care if a game is called tight or if it’s called loose. I just want consistency. That’s what I look for. And so it was physical. There was a lot going on. And so again, I want to watch to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.”

Tom Thibodeau postgame via MSG Network

The Last Two Minutes Report said the officiating crew of Scott Foster, JB DeRosa and Cheryl Flores got every single call right in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime.

But Thibodeau and the fans who watched the game thought otherwise.

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