Luke Walton, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers hit a new season low on Monday night when they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies, just two nights after falling to an Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans team.
With these losses, the Lakers fell to 29-31, into 11th place in the Western Conference standings and three games out of the eight-spot. While there were many reasons for the loss, a lack of defensive effort and abysmal bench play being a couple, there were two egregious missed calls by officials at critical times in the fourth quarter.
The first was an obvious goaltend when Joakim Noah the ball directly off the rim on a James shot, and the other was a blatant eight-second violation, when the Grizzlies were still in the backcourt and the shot clock read 15.
Walton was at a loss for words post-game about the gaffes, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“They just told me it wasn’t. I mean, they told me that wasn’t. They told me the goaltending on LeBron was not goaltending. There’s nothing I can do at that point other than take them for their word. That was a big moment.”
James was also noticeably frustrated by the calls and struggled to even reiterate what the officials said to him on the court:
“Yeah, the explanation I got on the goaltend was that… I won’t even tell you what the explanation was. What he told me, then that was a goaltend; the explanation that he gave me. He said the ball went off the backboard and when the ball hit the rim, he was allowed to touch the ball. That’s what he told me. That doesn’t make any sense. He said the shot didn’t look like it was about to go in. But it was on the rim, so it doesn’t matter if it’s going to go in or not. If it’s on the rim, you’re not allowed to touch the ball if it’s in the cylinder.”
“On the eight-second call, they said they thought they got the ball past halfcourt. They thought. Either you know for sure, or you don’t. It was definitely 15 (seconds on the shot clock). When I looked at the shot clock, it was 15 and they hadn’t got the ball past halfcourt. But, I mean, it happens.”
Regardless of the missed calls, this was a Grizzlies team that the Lakers beat in Memphis last December. The Grizzlies have since traded Marc Gasol entered Monday’s matchup on a four-game losing streak and having lost seven of the last 10.
There was absolutely no reason why the Lakers should’ve even been trailing in the first place, but poor officiating in key moments certainly doesn’t help.
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.