Did you catch Wednesday night's Cavs-Pacers game? If not, you missed a classic. The Pacers, trailing for most of the third and fourth quarters, closed the gap in the final minutes.
In the closing seconds, with the matchup tied, Indiana's best player drove against Cleveland's best. Victor Oladipo took LeBron James to the rim, but LBJ pinned his shot against the backboard. Cleveland called a timeout, and LeBron drilled a game-winning three. Onions.
When King James swatted Oladipo, I had the same reaction as many others: I yelled, "GOALTEND!" The refs, however, called it a clean block. It was a close call, but check it out in slow-mo; it sure looks like the ball hit the backboard before LBJ got a piece of it.
After the game, Oladipo said the block should not have counted, and Indiana should have gone up by two.
"I got a step on him," Oladipo said, according to the Associated Press. "I felt like I even got grabbed on the way to the rim, tried to shoot a layup, it hit the backboard, then he blocked it. It was a goaltend. It's hard to even speak on it. It just sucks, honestly. It really sucks. Even though we fought our way back, we tied the game up, that layup was huge."
But LeBron hit a three, so it really doesn't matter, right?
"Give him credit where credit is due. The three was big-time," Oladipo said. "Definitely huge. But who's to say they even run that play? We don't know what happens. It's unfortunate. It really sucks that they missed that."
Victor Oladipo (correctly) says LeBron's block with 3 seconds left was a goaltend. It's not reviewable, however, because there was no whistle to trigger it.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 26, 2018
Even LeBron admitted he thought it was a goaltend.
It should be noted, however, that this wasn't the only call the refs appeared to miss in the final moments. On the possession before Oladipo's drive, it sure looked like the ball went off of Thad Young.
🚨To all Lebron haters 🚨 Shut the hell up about the goaltend if you are not going to mention how the possession leading up to that Thaddeus Young tipped it out of Lebron’s hand yet they still called it out on Bron...the refs just evened the playing field for a missed call!! pic.twitter.com/Ai8BdLblkJ— Armand Walker (@A_walk25) April 26, 2018
Cleveland has an opportunity to close out the series in Indiana Friday at 8 p.m. EST.