Refs Admit Foul On Jayson Tatum Was Missed In Celtics….

he NBA instituted a penalty for flopping this season, but there already is controversy over the new ruling.

The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks each were issued a flopping technical in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s matchup at Madison Square Garden. Kristaps Porzingis tried to sell a foul call on Donte DiVincenzo, but the referees stopped play and R.J. Barrett hit a free throw to put the Knicks up 87-86 with 7:24 left in the contest.

Nearly a minute later, Jalen Brunson was handed a flopping technical on a Jayson Tatum contested 3-pointer. The Celtics star hit a free throw to cut the deficit to 88-87 with 6:40 left to go. The technical was issued after a New York shooting foul, and Tatum hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 88 apiece.

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But replay review showed Tatum had his foot under Brunson when he landed, which should have been a shooting foul and three free throws for the Knicks guard. New York did build a six-point lead, but Boston came back and held on for a 108-104 win. However, if Tatum was called for a foul on the Brunson 3-pointer, that could have changed the tide of the game.

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“We missed the foot-to-foot contact which should have resulted in a personal foul and reviewed for flagrant,” the official NBA referees X account posted Thursday. “Had no foot-to-foot contact existed, this type of secondary and theatrical movement by Brunson would meet the criteria for a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul for flopping. It is possible to have a foul and a flop on the same play, but the foot-to-foot contact is what causes Brunson’s movement and no flop should have been called.”

It’s unlikely a Flagrant 2 would have been called on Tatum. But if it was called a Flagrant 1, then that would have meant more free throws for the Knicks. And even though New York went 14-of-26 from the free throw line Wednesday night, it could have been an opportunity to build a larger lead.

1   What do you think? Leave a comment.

That didn’t end up being the case. Unfortunately, we might see more referees going to the replay monitor to make sure flopping technicals are issued correctly.

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