NBA Referees Call for Last 2-Minute Process Reform: Latest Details, Comments

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 23, 2016

Apr 21, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) points up after a play during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One day after the NBA said referees missed multiple calls in the final two minutes of Thursday's playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, the referees have disputed those charges.

The NBA Referees Association announced it disagrees with "L2M (last two-minute) decisions and calls for L2M process reform." 

The biggest play in question involved Rockets star James Harden pushing off of Golden State's Andre Iguodala when he hit the game-winning shot with 2.7 seconds left.

The NBA released an officiating report from the game on Friday saying that Harden should have been given an offensive foul for pushing Iguodala off of him. 

However, the report was not limited to Harden's final shot. The league announced there were four additional missed calls that happened in the final two minutes of the game, "including the failure to call a foul on Golden State's Draymond Green when he threw Michael Beasley to the ground as Houston was inbounding the ball with a second remaining."

The Last Two Minute Reports are relatively new. The NBA first announced it would be making the "crunch-time calls" public in February 2015, per Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press (via NBA.com). 

NBA executive vice president of referee operations Mike Bantom told Mahoney the purpose was to build "a system that would allow us to provide some insight into our process and set a criteria that would allow us to be more standardized and more consistent."

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Mahoney also said the previous system, in which the NBA only commented on mistakes, was not fair to the referees. 

The Last Two Minute Report is a review conducted by a senior basketball operations manager or senior referee manager. 

Even though Golden State is still heavily favored to advance after a 73-win regular season, the admission from the NBA that crucial calls were missed did play a role in the outcome of a playoff game. That's the worst nightmare for the league, as all of these games are under a microscope.