Opinion: Slam dunk? NBA's botched call on James Harden basket should yield automatic review

CLOSE

USA TODAY Sports’ Mark Medina explains the expectations surrounding Carmelo Anthony.
USA TODAY

Let’s get this out of the way: the NBA wants to get the call right.

I’ve sat in enough referees meetings, talked enough with vice president/head of referee development and training Monty McCutchen and president of league operations Byron Spruell and heard plenty from Commissioner Adam Silver to know.

However, the NBA can’t have a situation like Tuesday night when Houston guard James Harden’s dunk went through the rim and net but wasn’t awarded two points because refs were not sure the ball made it through the net.

The Rockets lost to San Antonio 135-133 in double overtime, a game in which Houston led by 22 points and in which Harden’s dunk with 7:50 left in the fourth quarter would’ve put the Rockets up 104-89.

If the refs can check whether a shooter’s foot was on the 3-point line to determine if it’s a two-point basket or 3-pointer — even if the point is added or subtracted at the next dead ball — they should be able to check if the ball went through the hoop to ensure all points have been counted.

With all the replay reviews in a game, a review to make…

Read Story