Following the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan critiqued the officiating that led to Portland getting the ball back with seconds remaining, reports Darnell Mayberry of the Athletic. Donovan claimed that the whistle for the jump ball happened too quickly.
I don’t even know if (LaVine) necessarily ended up looking for anybody because there was such a quick jump ball called,” Donovan said. “I mean, it was about as quick of a jump ball as I’ve ever seen, and you can’t challenge that. I didn’t think it was really a good call at that point in time. Like, I get tie-ups, but they just kinda like grabbed the ball and then she just called jump-ball, Dannica did.”
Bulls star Zach LaVine agreed with his coach.
“It was a quick whistle,” LaVine said. “There’s a lot of things you can’t control. But it happened. I didn’t think it was a jump ball. I didn’t think they had their hands on the ball. But it was called. So that’s the way the game goes.”
However, Donovan did have praise for Damian Lillard’s performance.
“Listen, I’ve got all the respect in the world for him as a player,” Donovan said. “It’s way more about us. It’s nothing to do with him. We put him in those situations. He obviously made a really tough shot over (White) to cut it to within 2. And then I think closing the game out whether it was advancing the ball or Zach being stronger pivoting through and taking the foul and making two free throws, in my opinion, none of that makes a difference. We get the ball inbounded, we get fouled, we make 2 free throws, even if he throws one in there’s six seconds to go, there’s obviously not enough time to go the length of the floor. Give him credit. They were great shots.”
Well, that’s one thing we can all agree on: they were great shots.