The 2011-12 Portland Trail Blazers season was a disaster, and many have pointed to an infamous late-game goaltending call as a key turning point. Who could forget? Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge was called for goaltending a Kevin Durant shot by referee Scott Foster, a call that helped push the game to overtime, where the Oklahoma City Thunder wound up defeating the Blazers. The next day, the NBA admitted that Foster's call was incorrect. Foster later apologized.
Before that game, Portland was 14-10. After that Feb. 6 game, the Blazers would finish the season 14-28, fire coach Nate McMillan, trade Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby, and allow Luke Babbitt to step onto the Rose Garden court.
Anyway, this all brings us to a weekend column by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
League officials will use replays for three additional calls this season. Officials will review plays in which defensive players may have taken charges but were in the restricted area under the basket. If by review an official finds the player was in the restricted zone, he can change the call to a blocking foul.
They will also call for reviews of goaltending in the final two minutes of games, and all flagrant fouls will be reviewed to assess their classification.
NBA commissioner David Stern had hinted in various addresses that the league would look to amend its rules to cover situations (read: messes) like the one created by the goaltending call on Aldridge.
So here we are. In theory, if the exact same Durant/Aldridge play happens during the 2012-13 season, the referees will be able to review Foster's call, deem it incorrect, erase the basket credited to Durant, and then carry on with the game.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter