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.
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.
Did Lowry and the Raptors get robbed?
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