GIFs, NBA, Smack / Feb 6, 2014 / 3:30 pm

Were The Raptors Robbed By The Refs On Kyle Lowry’s Called Foul?

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry (Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY Sports)

This is almost a rhetorical headline because Kyle Lowry got jobbed Wednesday night by the refs in Sacramento. Trailing 105-99 with 28.5 seconds remaining, Lowry curled around the three-point arc for a look off an inbounds play. As his momentum carried him into the shot, rookie Ben McLemore was all over him. The shot fell and McLemore appeared to foul him on the attempt, giving the Kings a chance to cut the lead to one. Except, the refs called an offensive foul on Lowry.

Say what?

Shooters will sometimes jack their legs out during a jump-shot in an effort to draw a foul. Jamal Crawford does this especially well, which is why he’s the NBA’s leader in four-point plays. But prior to the 2012-13 season, NBA referees started to institute the so-called, “Reggie Miller rule,” whereby they elected to tag the offensive player for the foul if they appeared to have initiated the contact lower-body contact when they took the jumper. Reggie Miller was even more of an artiste than Crawford at this particular chicanery, hence the name.

Ostensibly, the Reggie Miller rule is why the referee called Lowry for the foul. As you can see, the call shocked him enough he jumped off the court and ran away:

After he sprinted away from the refs and the play, he was awarded a technical foul (his second of the game) and ejected, but Lowry was already headed to the locker-room anyway. He never looked back.

The Kings won the game easily, 109-101, after the offensive foul went against the Raps. But when you look at the replays, Lowry didn’t intend to kick his legs out to initiate contact; his legs weren’t sticking out any more than usual when a player is attempting a rushed three-pointer. The call appears baseless. We can understand Lowry’s reaction, and any anger Raps fans might have for referee, Eric Lewis.

Lowry was careful in his post-game comments because this is just the sort of scenario that could lead to some harsh words for the refs and a hefty fine for Lowry, compounding an already tough month where he was overlooked for an All-Star spot most NBA observers agreed — ourselves included — he deserved.

The Raptors got hosed, and there should be an asterisk next to the loss in their record. One of the overlooked parts of the whole ordeal is that Sacramento shouldn’t have a caveat attached to their win because they might have won anyway. It’s just a shame the referees didn’t let the players decide the outcome themselves.

(videos via Frank Den and Toronto Raptors; h/t: SI.com)

Did Lowry and the Raptors get robbed?

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  • 2cents

    I just saw the highlights on NBA.com to see if you guys would post anything about this BS. And you guys don’t disappoint. Thank you.

    Yes, I am a Raptors fan, but over the last 2 years, I don’t know of any other team that is consistently ROBBED at the end of games. For example, remember last year Bargnani was fouled on a last minute shot against the Bobcats, and the NBA (afterward) admitted they missed the foul call.

    I don’t mind the NBA fining players for outbursts, but they better start fining the refs for not reviewing calls like this (under 2 minutes) and making the right one whilst the game is still being played.

  • 2cents

    Oh and this BS technical foul for “showing up the refs” has to stop. You make a BS call, you better be prepared for players to show emotion.

  • Jose

    In the words of the late George Carlin,the pussification of the NBA continues.Cant even brush up against a defender.Not everyone shoots going straight up and down especially with momentum involved.

  • JAY

    Just for the record, both of Lowry’s technicals were called after he when walking/running away from the refs. The first once was absolutely ridiculous. He was having a heated conversation with the same ref, then turned around and walked away. 5 seconds later, there’s a whistle and he’s T’ing up Lowry. Commish Silver better do something about his zebras.

  • 2cents

    I was unaware that they came so late, but this just makes the whole episode even worse. Lets see if Silver is his own man, or Stern still pulls the strings.