The NBA defends the use of the Last Two Minutes Report

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The NBA have a practice of publishing a 'Last Two Minutes Report' where referees are scrutinised for the final 120 seconds of games in order for the league to check they are performing like they should when it really counts.

There's been plenty of instances during this postseason where controversial calls have been made and the likes of Miami Heat man Dwyane Wade and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr have questioned the use of the report when mistakes are still happening, in their opinion.

From James Harden's pushoff to Russell Westbrook's missed travelling call - both against Golden State - the referees have been kept busy during the playoffs so far.

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NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe justified the necessity of the report to USA TODAY Sports and insisted that this practice ensures they really do have the best officials in the world.

"One of the things we know internally because we study this is how good referees really are – how good they are compared to all other sports and basketball everywhere else,” VanDeWeghe said. “We’re very confident that these guys are the best in the world, and they really are phenomenal.”

According to the NBA, referees make the right call 96.2 percent of the time on whistled plays and are 87.2 percent accurate on all plays, including no-calls, on more than 500 reviewed plays during the playoffs. Those statistics show the referees make the correct decisions not only more often than not, but almost always.

During the regular season, refs were correct 95.7 percent on whistled plays and 88.6 percent accurate on all plays, including non-calls, on more than 6,000 reviewed situations during the regular season.

Much like when Wade believed he was fouled in the final moments of the Heat's game five loss to the Charlotte Hornets, upon review, most of the time the officials are proved correct in their actions.

“They’re unbelievably good at what they do,” VanDeWeghe said. “To me and Adam (Silver, NBA commissioner) and everybody here, why wouldn’t we share the information with everybody?”

VanDeWeghe's comments come after Kerr stated he didn't see the benefit in going over the calls after they have been made. The Coach of the Year has a point, to a degree, as even if the referees are wrong they cannot reverse the decision.

However, that's not what the system is about. It's about transparency and on that front, the NBA feel that they are doing a good job.

“We’re, at times, internally our toughest critic,” VanDeWeghe said. “But we want our fans to understand, we want our players and teams to understand. The idea is in these close games we want to share everything. We want to be fully transparent on the ones we missed and certainly the ones we do well on.

“Adam is a big believer in full transparency, and a big believer in education. Our fans want to know as well. They want to understand why a call was made, what the rule was and how we viewed it. Was it correct or incorrect?”

Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Dwyane Wade
Western Conference
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors
NBA Playoffs

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