NBA President Rod Thorn acknowledged that GoldenSate Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal should have been called for goaltending on a critical block of Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis’ go-ahead shot late in the Warriors’ 122-120 win over the Dallas Mavericks on April 1, at American Airlines Center.
“Upon review at the league office, we have found that a shot taken by Dallas’ Monta Ellis with 16.0 seconds remaining in overtime was on the way down when initially contacted and ruled a block by Golden State’s Jermaine O’Neal, and should have been ruled a goaltend. The exact trajectory of the ball when touched was impossible to ascertain with the naked eye, and the play was not reviewable.”
Warriors guard Stephen Curry hit the game-winning jumper following O’Neal’s controversial block.
Dirk Nowitzki asked for an explanation of the non-call from the officiating crew of Danny Crawford, Sean Corbin and Eric Dalen after the game and was told the whistle wasn’t blown because the ball would have been short of the basket by two feet.
“If that’s the case, then he can get it out of the air, but where I was from, I think it had a chance to at least hit the rim,” Nowitzki said after the game, via ESPNDallas.com. “That’s a goaltend to me.”
The Mavs have been involved in two other critical missed calls late in close games, but Dallas benefitted on the other two occasions.