On Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls provided empty proof when the NBA’s last-two-minute report confirmed two miscalls in the final 13 seconds of regulation in Monday’s overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. received.

Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen moved in with 12.1 seconds remaining, and guard Donovan Mitchell committed a lane violation with 4.6 seconds remaining, tying the game and forcing overtime. Neither violation was invoked.

The Bulls were plagued by a lack of lane violation calls after guard Alex Caruso was called for back-to-back lane violations in the third quarter. Mitchell finished with his career-high 71 points in his 145-134 comeback victory over the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

The Bulls were also frustrated with no calls after a similar refereeing error at home to the Cavaliers two days earlier.

“It’s two games in a row,” manager Billy Donovan said Monday. “(The L2M report) does nothing. It could be three games, which is disappointing because the players felt they fought and competed.”

Lamenting the L2M report has become a familiar frustrating refrain for the Bulls this season.

DeMar DeRozan should have been given a trip to the line for potential game-winning free throws twice this season. His first missed call came in his second game of the Bulls season against the Washington Wizards. The second was against the Cavaliers on Saturday when Caris LeVert fouled DeRozan with 2.6 seconds remaining.

“They honestly want to keep it to themselves,” DeRozan said in October after reports emerged from the loss in Washington. I’m not Marty McFly, nor can I go back and play in the future.”

Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan, 11, will face Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, 45, in the first half of Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cleveland.

All but the last two minutes, Donovan questioned the difference in perception of foul calls from Monday’s refereeing team, which consisted of Tony Brothers, JB DeRosa and Suyash Mehta.

The Bulls were called for 12 fouls and 33 fouls in the third quarter alone. The Cavaliers called him 27 times. DeRozan hit the line with his typical frequency — taking 12 free throws — but the rest of the Bulls hit only 22 total free throws, compared to Mitchell’s 25 Hit 1 free throw.

Donovan described the game as “difficult to watch at times”.

“What I would like to see is foul consistency,” Donovan said. “I rarely insist on calling another team, but when our players are fouled, I try to fight for them.

“I think the free throws have been a huge factor in the game. Obviously I didn’t get as close to the free throw line as Mitchell did. That was a big problem.”

The Bulls aren’t always on the receiving end of the wrong call. His two mistakes listed in his L2M report during last Wednesday’s overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks could have swayed the game against the Bulls.

According to the report, the referee missed a foul by Patrick Williams on a layup by Giannis Antetokounmpo to keep regulation at 1:39 to give the Bucks an 8-point lead before Wesley Matthews with 53 seconds left in overtime. mistakenly called a shooting foul. DeRozan made both free throws for the 113-110 Bulls lead.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that so many of the Bulls’ games this season have been affected by umpire errors in the final two minutes. Twenty of the 37 games had margins of five points or less in the final five minutes, and the Bulls went 7-13 in those clutch situations.

Donovan was frustrated by the continuing pattern of decisions in the L2M report, but stressed the importance of execution to ensure the Bulls didn’t leave the game to chance or blow the umpire’s whistle.

“What can be controlled must be controlled,” said Donovan. “Obviously we have to block out better regardless of the situation.

“Whatever your last game is, you have to get over it. I think you can see what we’re doing wrong.


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