It started Thursday with the Sun Sentinel's posting of a story about how the NBA Last Two Minute officiating report said the referees missed a critical late five-second inbounding violation by a Heat opponent for the second time in a week, grading the call in the overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings as INC, for incorrect. But it didn't stop there. The reply from the referee union's official Twitter account read, "A fundamental flaw with the L2M leads to this sort of media reaction. The 5-second violation should not have been an INC - our has it within a couple tenths of a second. To expect a human to be as exact as stopwatch is unreasonable. The referee followed protocol." The response from the NBA, on their Twitter, was, "This is not accurate; all calls in L2Ms are evaluated by reviewers trained to rate plays the way officials are instructed to call them; their decisions are approved by ref ops senior staff (former officials) and senior b-ball ops personnel, all with many years of NBA experience."
playoffs in the playoffs use stopwatches
Which is why, as we pointed out in this space a few weeks back, such five-second violations should be timed electronically, just as 24- and 8-second violations are. Again (as we also previously pointed out), no two people count to five in the exact same amount of time. In addition, some sort of visible 5-second clock would make it easier for the player inbounding to call for a timeout (if one remains).