The Mavericks have filed a protest with the league office to contest their loss against the Hawks on Saturday, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link).
Dallas is citing a “misapplication of the rules,” according to Stein, and the team hopes to convince commissioner Adam Silver that the final 9.7 seconds of the game be replayed with Atlanta holding a two-point lead in a jump-ball scenario.
The play of question saw Hawks guard Trae Young attempt a layup that was blocked by Mavs forward Dorian Finney-Smith. Officials stopped the play, calling Finney-Smith’s block a goaltend. While that happened, Hawks forward John Collins grabbed the ball and converted a putback.
The officiating staff reviewed the play and determined that a goaltend shouldn’t have been called, but the crew decided to count Collins’ basket. Atlanta went on to win 111-107.
“One of the refs told one of the players it was an inadvertent whistle that came after the putback – but everybody who was watching it said it came before the putback,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said, as relayed by Mark Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. “That’s neither here nor there because if it’s a goaltend and then it’s an inadvertent whistle, you stop play. But then they went and reviewed it. And they reviewed it for a goaltend. So either you can’t review it because it’s an inadvertent whistle, or you review it and it’s a goaltend, the play stops right there, unless there’s something I don’t know, and that’s always possible, but I’ve never seen anything like that.”
This is the league’s second protest of the season, with the Rockets unsuccessfully contesting a double-overtime game against San Antonio in December. Atlanta was led by Collins’ 35 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks on Saturday, winning its second straight outing.
Regardless of the league’s decision on the game, Cuban will likely receive a fine for publicly criticizing the officiating. He’s received several fines during his time with the team and is widely known as one of the league’s most outspoken owners.
“It would be one thing if we were making positive progress. But we’re not,” Cuban said. “Out of the 70 refs, give or take, I think I counted 17 that have five years or less experience. That’s a lot. And you can’t expect new refs to be any good. And that’s because we do such a horrific job of training in the G League. Not a poor job. Not a marginal job. We apply literally no resources. The Joey Crawfords and Bennett Salvatores, I’m so glad I can call those guys out, because they’re awful at their jobs.”