Here is the incredible reason why NBA official Kane Fitzgerald called Deandre Ayton’s game winner good in game 2 of Suns vs Clippers.
Game-2 of the Suns vs Clippers was certainly a long one. The final minutes of the game especially felt like an eternity, with the many timeouts and reviews taken. However, it was undoubtedly a close and entertaining game. And, Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton gave the match a fittingly incredible ending.
With 0.9 seconds left on the clock, and the home team down by one, Jae Crowder had to inbound the ball. Some were expecting the ball to go to Booker. Others were expecting it to go to Cameron Payne, who had been having an incredible game. But, Monty Williams found a way to dupe everyone.
With Booker screening for him, Deandre Ayton soared to the rim, a put down a perfect lob from Jae Crowder. In fact, the lob was so perfect, that the Clippers believed that a goal-tending foul should have been called.
However, while his colleagues were unsure, NBA official Kane Fitzgerald instantly announced that there would be no such call. But why?
Well, let us explain.
Kane Fitzgerald shows off how well versed he is as a referee after knowing exactly what to call on the Deandre Ayton dunk
For those who may not know what goal-tending is, it is a rule that was formed long ago, keeping the big-man in mind. Essentially, when a player shoots the ball, the shot can only be blocked on it’s way up, or at it’s apex.
Once the ball has either passed that point, or bounced off the backboard and going in, if a player tries to block the shot, a goal-tend is called. And in this case, the offensive team is awarded the points the shot would have been worth.
On the other end, if an offensive player tries to touch the ball while it is still on the rim, an offensive goal-tend is called, and the other team gets the ball.
So, with these rules in mind, let’s watch the play in question here. Watch the clip in the tweet below.
DEANDRE AYTON GAME-WINNING OOP 🚨
SUNS UP 2-0 pic.twitter.com/QJGhUUhxAF
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 23, 2021
Now, the ball perhaps wasn’t going to go into the basket. However, because it was touched after the apex and before it had the chance to touch the rim, under normal circumstances, an offensive goal-tend could have been called. But then, why was it not?
Well, the simple, but sometimes forgettable fact is, there can be no goal-tend from an inbounds play. In fact, it is so forgettable, that even the officials initially believed a goal-tend should be called. However, Kane Fitzgerald never seemed to be in doubt and decided that no call was necessary.
Officials nowadays have often become the target of everyone’s hate. So, we believe, that when a referee does this well, they deserve some massive credit as well. And of course, so does Suns head coach, Monty Williams, for drawing such a genius play, that got them a 2-0 lead in this series.