by Micah Hart
A lot of griping in the Twitterverse last night about the play above, as it appeared at first as though Kevin Durant committed a backcourt violation, giving the ball back to the Nuggets with 14.8 seconds left and down only a point. However, after the referees huddled, they reversed the original call and ruled Durant was not in fact in violation.
To clear up any controversy, we went to the NBA Rulebook:
NBA Rules 101 — Backcourt Violations
The NBA rulebook states “A ball being dribbled is (1) in the frontcourt when the ball and both feet of the player are in the frontcourt, (2) in the backcourt if the ball or either foot of the player is in the backcourt”.
You can see above that when Durant received the ball off the inbounds pass, his left foot touched the midcourt line. This, in effect, established him as being in the backcourt — meaning there was no backcourt violation. Had he landed with both feet in the frontcourt and then stepped on the midcourt line, he would have committed the violation and it would have been Nuggets ball.
In this case, the officials got together and reversed the call, and though it may have been painful for Nuggets fans, it was indeed the correct decision.