Last 2 Minute Report Paints Different Picture of Controversial Knicks-Pistons Game

Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein celebrates with Josh Hart

Getty Isaiah Hartenstein #55 of the New York Knicks celebrates the win with Josh Hart #3 after the game against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden.

The New York Knicks turned from dodging the bullet in their 113-111 win over the league-worst team Detroit Pistons to deserving of the victory.

According to the NBA Last 2 Minute Report, the referees missed two Pistons violations before the controversial non-call on Donte DiVincenzo which led to Josh Hart‘s game-winning play.

With 58 seconds left, the Pistons’ possession which saw former Knicks wing Quentin Grimes scoring a go-ahead layup should have been awarded to New York.

The call in the live play was out-of-bounds with Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein as the culprit in favor of the Pistons.

But upon review, the NBA found Jalen Duren guilty of a loose ball foul.

“[Duren (DET) holds Hartenstein’s (NYK) wrist, affecting his ability to get to the rebound,” the Last 2 Minute report said.

Then before Jalen Brunson misfired a 3-pointer which led to the wild endgame sequence, Duren was guilty again of another violation. This time, it was a defensive 3-second against the Pistons second-year center with 25 seconds remaining.

“Duren (DET) is in the paint for longer than three seconds without imminently actively guarding an opponent,” the Last 2 Minute report said.

The non-call led to the Brunson miss which started the mad scramble for the ball leading to the non-call on DiVincenzo. The Last 2 Minute report upheld crew chief James Williams‘ assessment in the pool report that a loose ball foul should have been called on DiVincenzo for diving into Pistons rookie Ausar Thompson.

“Thompson (DET) deflects the ball from NYK, which ends their team control. However, he does not yet gain possession before DiVincenzo (NYK) drives into his lower body. A loose ball foul was warranted,” the Last 2 Minute report said.

But it could have been a different scenario if the game officials had not missed the two earlier non-calls favoring the Knicks.

‘Sums up Our Team, Our City’

Hart epitomized the grittiness of the shorthanded Knicks team.

His heroics capped off his second 23-point effort in February. He had a complete line for the night, collecting 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in a yeoman’s job sans their starting frontcourt.

“Yeah, man! That sums up our team, sums up our city. We grind, we fight, we scratch, we claw and we find a way [to win],” Hart told MSG Network’s Rebecca Haarlow after the win that pushed their record to 35-23.

The Knicks maintained their hold of the fourth seed in the East over the 33-24 Philadelphia 76ers.

Brunson paced the Knicks with 35 points and 12 assists while DiVincenzo added 21 on 5 of 10 3-point shooting.

Tom Thibodeau Felt Refs Were Consistent

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau deferred his comment on the controversial play but he was okay with the game’s officiating because he felt there was consistency.

“I don’t want to comment on stuff like that because I haven’t watched the film,” Thibodeau told reporters during his postgame press conference. “I thought in general, it was very physical. Jalen’s drive, I thought, there was a lot of contact. But I was okay with that because I felt like there was contact the other way as well.

So, to me, it’s not as tight one way and loose the other way. You can call it tight, you can call it loose. I’m looking for consistency. I thought they were. It was a hard-fought game. I thought they played well and I thought we battled.”

In the end, karmic justice prevailed.

Read More