The NBA announced Monday there was one incorrect no-call and noted the officiating crew didn’t see Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau calling for timeout in the final 5 seconds of the frantic finish against the Thunder that led to Andrew Wiggins’ game-winning buzzer-beater on Sunday.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ screen on Paul George that freed Wiggins was ruled to have been illegal, based on Towns’ stance being too wide. The report notes Towns was stationary but his leg was out, which clipped George.
“I ain’t looked at it but I’m pretty sure, it looked like it [was illegal],” Russell Westbrook said after the Thunder’s 115-113 loss to the Timberwolves. “I haven’t seen it but I think it is, just based on the conversation we had in the locker room.”
George was slow to get up after the play, but said following the game he was unsure if the screen was legal or not.
“I don’t know if it was illegal or legal,” George said. “The officials are human like we are, they make mistakes. Like we turn the ball over. It’s part of the game. Give Wiggins credit for making a big shot.”
The report also said Thibodeau signaled for timeout despite not having any remaining following Carmelo Anthony’s go-ahead 3 with 5 seconds remaining. Official Gary Zielinski was standing in front of Thibodeau, with his back to the coach, as he signaled for a timeout. It’s unclear if Thibodeau verbally called for a timeout as well.
“People want to point fingers at why things happen all the time instead of saying, ‘OK, how did I contribute to that?'” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said of the timeout situation. “I think we’ve got to look at coming down the stretch what were things we could have done better … No question that was going on, I saw that, but for me I let the league office deal with that. That’s their problem. I’ve got to deal with what we’ve got to try to get better at.”