Monty Williams Slams Refs After Controversial No-Call Against Knicks

Monty Williams

Getty Monty Williams of the Pistons

Monty Williams, the head coach of the Detroit Pistons, went off on the officials following a controversial no-call in the closing seconds of their 113-111 loss to the New York Knicks on February 26.

Williams started his postgame press conference by saying “the absolute worst call of the season.” He went on to say, “We’ve done it the right way. We’ve called the league. We’ve sent in clips. We’re sick of hearing the same stuff over and over again.”

The no-call came with the Pistons ahead 111-110 and 7.9 seconds left in the game when the Knicks’ Donte DiVincenzo dove for a loose ball and collided with Ausar Thompson of the Pistons.

When talking about the specific no-call, Williams said, “We had a chance to win the game and the guy [DiVincenzo] dove into Ausar’s legs and there was a no-call. That’s an abomination.”

After the game, the referees acknowledged that a foul should’ve been called.

Crew chief James Williams said in the game’s pool report: “Upon postgame review, we determined that Thompson gets to the ball first, and then was deprived of the opportunity to gain possession of the ball. Therefore, a loose-ball foul should have been whistled on New York’s Donte DiVincenzo.”

Players Sound Off

Though DiVincenzo did not directly state whether he thought the play should have been whistled, he did say he thought the Knicks dodged a bullet.

“You can go back the whole game and nitpick calls. Do I think we dodged a bullet overall? Yes,” DiVincenzo said, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. “I have great respect for Monty and everybody over there. Like I said, we dodged a bullet with the win. And whatever the opinions are, that’s fine.”

Cade Cunningham of the Pistons kept it short: “Didn’t go our way. I mean, there’s nothing to say. There’s no words for it. It is what it is. That’s how it’s been.”

Ex-Knick Quentin Grimes, who was dealt to the Pistons at the league’s February 8 trade deadline, said, “I think everybody on the team — everybody in the country — thought Ausar got fouled. Game goes a totally different way if he gets fouled and we get that call, so that’s just how it is.”

Promising Effort From Detroit

While the disappointment of the loss, and the way it came, will undoubtedly overshadow any positives of the game for the Pistons, their play should be acknowledged.

Cunningham erupted for 32 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists in the loss. He drained 5 3-pointers while shooting 71.4% from deep and 52.5% from the field as a whole. He also went 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

It was the third straight game in which Cunningham scored at least 25 points, although the Pistons lost each one of those games. So far in the month of February, Cunningham is averaging 21.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 7.6 assists, while shooting 46% from the field and 42.5% from three.

Grimes, in his return to Madison Square Garden, added 14 points while draining 3 threes. Thompson, a standout rookie, had 3 steals.

The Pistons, who fell to 8-49 following the loss, will face the Chicago Bulls on February 27.

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