When LeBron James pinned Victor Oladipo’s attempted game-winner against the glass on Wednesday, many of us were experiencing vivid flashbacks to the 2016 Finals.
Presumably none more so than Andre Iguodala, who surely had a PTSD relapse just watching it.
The problem was that in the moment, we were all too busy freaking out to realise it was a goaltend.
Actually, in fairness to you, dear reader, you may well have noticed the ball hit the glass before James touched it.
But the referees, whose full-time job it is to be rather ‘noticey’ when it comes to these things, did not.
James then proceeded to hit a game-winner of his own, much to the disgust of Oladipo, who made his thoughts known post-game.
“I got a step on him and I felt I even got grabbed,” Oladipo told reporters. “It hit the backboard and he blocked it. It was a goaltend. It’s hard to even speak on it. That layup is huge.”
LeBron later vouched for his block’s legality.
The Pacers thought @KingJames's block was clearly goaltending.
— FOX Sports Cincinnati (@FOXSportsCincy) April 26, 2018
“Of course I didn’t think it was a goaltend,” he with a smile. “I try to make plays like that all the time. He made a heck of a move, got me leaning right and he went left and I just tried to use my recovery speed and get back up there and make a play on the ball.”
The replay certainly suggests otherwise.
But the play was not reviewed because one of the referees must blow their whistle before the officiating crew can go to the monitors.