NBA ACKNOWLEDGES ANOTHER END OF GAME MISTAKE—A CHANGE IN RULES? (COMMENT). I posted here and here about the possibility that the NBA was in the process of changing its unwritten rules about not calling fouls in the last two minutes of a game. After a December 30 game, the league announced that the referees had made a mistake by not calling a foul on a last second shot attempt to tie a game. Now, the NBA has announced that the referees made a mistake in not calling a foul on a last-second shot in the Dallas Maverick-New Orleans Pelicans game on January 11 (see this article by Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas). I have criticized the ways that officials have refereed the last two minutes because of the uncertainty for players and referees. (The argument against my criticisms is that the NBA has been refereeing games this way for years, so players know what to expect).
Nick criticized the existing practice here on the ground that seeing a game decided by an obvious uncalled foul is more unsatisfying than seeing a game decided by free throws and that not calling fouls in the last two minutes makes it harder for the losing team to come back. Jeff commented here that as a matter of fair play, a foul at the end of a game should always be called. Of course, I agree with them.