Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday that the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report of Miami’s overtime loss to the Wizards only confirmed what he and his staff already knew.
The NBA’s daily report, which analyzes officiating during the final two minutes of any game that’s within three points at any point in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, stated that the officiating crew of Scott Foster, Ray Acosta, and Marat Kogut failed to make three calls late in the game in the Heat’s favor that arguably could have changed the outcome.
The most glaring was a missed five-second violation on the Wizards’ Markieff Morris that would have given Miami possession trailing by one point with 12.9 seconds left in overtime.
“We had the video where we put the clock on it and it’s over six seconds, six and change,” Spoelstra said. “It’s just disappointing that it’s that far off. If it was five and a 10th of a second, OK, that’s human error. But it was over a full second off. That’s disappointing. The explanation after the fact is disappointing. That doesn’t mean we were going to win the game. That didn’t decide the game, but there were a couple of big plays down the stretch that could have changed certainly the momentum and complexion of the game.
“The guys really covered a lot of ground and really went down to the very final option and at that point you didn’t even need the official clock, you know that’s too late by the time it reaches him. I don’t even need to look at it to know it was the wrong call.”
With the Wizards retaining possession, the Heat was forced to foul Tomas Satoransky, who went on to make one of two free throws to extend the lead to 115-113 with 10.2 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Dwyane Wade missed a two-foot floater with 4.1 seconds left that Kelly Olynyk rebounded, allowing him to put back a layup attempt with 1.8 seconds left that also missed.
The report said a foul should have been called on Morris, which would have given Olynyk a chance to tie the game at the foul line. The report stated: “Morris makes contact to Olynyk’s right elbow and affects his putback shot attempt.”
With no call, the Wizards grabbed the rebound and the Heat fouled Kelly Oubre Jr., who put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws.
The report also stated that Josh Richardson was called incorrectly for a foul on Morris on an attempted steal with 1:36 left in overtime. The report stated that Richardson “maintains a legal guarding position and cleanly dislodges the ball from Morris.” On the play, Richardson knocked the ball away in the direction of Wade, who would have had a fast-break opportunity. Instead, Morris converted one of two free throws to give the Wizards a 110-109 lead.
Spoelstra said the Heat is taking these as learning experiences that will make the team stronger.
“We’re in these situations and we’re getting better from them,” Spoelstra said. “They’re just making us tougher, more resilient, more confident, more comfortable in these late-game situations. I love it. I love where we’re going with it. We will get over this hump. We will get that breakthrough. But the resiliency that’s coming out of it and that’s always research shows the number one factor in all sustained improvement is your ability to develop resiliency and our guys are doing that together.”