Wilt Chamberlain had several baskets during his 73 point game against the Knicks that could be counted as offensive goaltends.
Wilt Chamberlain was an anomaly to say the least. Even 60 years after him taking to NBA hardwood, the league hasn’t really seen a 7-footer with his type of athleticism, both vertically and on the ground. Apart from his raw talent when it came to the game of basketball, many overlook the obvious skill and finesse with which he played with.
His touch around the backboard was revolutionary as big-men prior to him couldn’t use the backboard to their advantage when not in the paint. Though he didn’t hit all too many bank shots, he certainly could when given the opportunity.
Another shot that Wilt Chamberlain doesn’t get enough credit for is the fadeaway. His long legs leading into longer strides across the paint, resulting in an abnormally high set point led to him knocking down a few of these types of shots every game.
Of course, talking about go-to shots that Wilt possessed would be incomplete without his iconic ‘dip shot’. There isn’t an official name for it but the shot (perhaps finger roll would suffice for now) is him simply lowering the ball into the basket, earning him the ‘Big Dipper’ moniker.
Wilt Chamberlain and a few discrepancies with his 73-point offensive masterclass.
Wilt Chamberlain in the 1962 NBA season was simply absurd. The fact that he had two 73 point games in this season and it wasn’t even his highest scoring game of the season is truly mind-boggling. One of these games was against the Knicks, the same team he put up a 100 points against.
The first person in the past decade or so to bring up a discrepancy about this game by Wilt was Bill Simmons in his ‘Book of Basketball’. On page 92, ‘The Ringer’s’ founder claimed that the Warriors superstar had several offensive goaltends during this offensive masterclass of his.
For those not in the know, the NBA was forced to change goaltending rules due to the fact that Chamberlain could tip the ball back into the basket while it was still in contact with the rim. He could also, very easily, redirect shots from his teammates into the hoop.
“The rule evolved over the years because, in the tape of Wilt’s 73-point game in ’62, he redirected a number of jump shots from teammates into the basket before they hit the rim, something that wouldn’t be legal now,” said Bill.
A brief analysis of the tape from this 73-point game from Wilt Chamberlain.
The official box score from the game against the Knicks claims that Wilt made 29 field goals. Of those 29, 24 can be seen in the video above. There are merely a couple of these FGs that could classify as offensive goaltends.
Take the shot at the 18th second mark for example. This could be seen as a lob to Wilt Chamberlain but also as a shot attempt by his teammate that Wilt guided into the basket. The latter of those two hypotheticals is technically an offensive goaltend, negating the basket.
A lot of the made field goals here, aside from fadeaways and fast-break dunks are of the type that is described above.
When it comes to the 5 field goals that are not shown on the tape, by all means they could’ve all been goaltends on Wilt’s part. It should be noted that he also made 15 free throws this game. This would bring the total up to 63 points that are either documented on film or at least known to have taken place for certain.
The remaining ten points a.k.a, those 5 shots, are not be seen and hence, could’ve been goaltends, as stated earlier. Bill Simmons claimed however, that Chamberlain had definitively made 22 points off of offensive goaltends and quite frankly, the math doesn’t check out on that.