To say that the moving screen call by referee Michael Smith on Kevin Garnett in the finals seconds of Game 2 has raised some controversy and discussion is an understatement.
In case you some how missed the foul, here is the replay…
Obviously all of us here in Philadunkia nation were delighted when KG got slapped with the call. In our opinion, were not sure what all the crying is about as even without our Philadunkia tinted glasses on, it appears to be a legitimate foul. However, Garnett himself did not share our opinion.
You could argue that Garnett is right and that the official should have let the players decide the game. Still, the officials had already warned KG about his moving screens and he chose not to heed those warnings, so didn’t Garnett (a player) actually decide the game by ignoring the rules and warnings? You could argue that point as well.
It’s likely we will all never agree on the validity of Smith’s call on KG in Game 2, but one thing is for sure, it was a rare whistle. But just how rare is an offensive foul call in the final seconds of a close playoff game? Well thanks to the crack research staff at ESPN.com and our friends at Elias, you can find out after the jump.
From ESPN.com via Elias…
Over the last 5 postseasons, there have been 106 playoff games with the score within 3 during the final 10 seconds of regulation or OT. There have been 3 offensive fouls called in a tie game OR on the trailing team in those situations, including Monday’s moving screen against Kevin Garnett.
That means that offensive foul calls have been made in a tie game OR against the trailing team in only 2.8 percent of games with the score within 3 during the final 10 seconds of regulation or OT over the last 5 postseasons.
The whistle against Garnett was the ONLY moving screen called in the final 10 seconds of regulation during a 1-score playoff game over the last 5 postseasons.
Offensive Fouls Called With Fewer Than 11 Seconds Left, Tied or Trailing by 3 or Fewer in Postseason
>>Last 5 Seasons
In short, offensive foul calls in the final seconds of a close playoff game are almost, but not quite as rare as as 76ers win in Boston during the post season.