Noah’s Controversial Tip Raises Questions About Lobs, Too


CHICAGO – An alternative dateline for this post would be TIP CITY, except there’s no such place, no parallel metropolis to the NBA’s much ballyhooed LOB CITY.

Everyone’s been to Lob City, right … the site of literally hundreds of highlight alley-oop slam dunks at Staples Center and elsewhere? It’s simple yet exhilarating stuff: Ball gets delivered near or at the rim, grabbed in flight by a teammate and flushed down for a swift and manly two points.

But a play that was mechanically similar – except for the flushing part – got waved off to thwart the Chicago Bulls’ hopes in a 119-118 overtime loss to the streaking Denver Nuggets at United Center.

Down a point with 7.1 seconds left, the Bulls had to settle for Marco Belinelli‘s shot from the left side as their last, best chance. The shot looked to be short – until Joakim Noah reached up and tipped it through.

Pandemonium ensued. The game clock showed 1.7 seconds. And then, the celebration went dark. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau exploded, Bulls players anguished and the arena got cranky-loud as the referees, given the chance to review the play during a 20-second timeout called by Denver, invalidated the basket as offensive interference by Noah.

Chicago’s beef was two-fold. With 47 seconds left in overtime, Nuggets center Kosta Koufas had cleaned up a running layup from Ty Lawson that, to some, still appeared to be dancing indecisively on the rim. That tip put Denver up 116-115 – and it was not reviewed.

The reason given? There was no call on the floor of offensive interference. Therefore, nothing to review, per NBA rules.

The question Thibodeau and the Bulls maintained through their ire? The refs didn’t call anything in the moment on Noah’s tip/violation. Yet they did review that play during Denver’s brief timeout, as the arena’s P.A. announcer informed the crowd: “Goaltending is the call on the floor.”

Even that was off because, as an offensive player, Noah couldn’t technically have committed goaltending.

Here’s Thibodeau pointing out what he saw as the discrepancy in how the two plays were handled and ruled:

“I don’t understand it one bit. Koufos’ play, I asked why it wasn’t reviewed. … Clearly, it was on the rim, and they told me that because they didn’t make the call, they couldn’t review it. If that is the rule, then that is the rule. I thought we had the video stuff to make sure we got it right. Then down on the other end … they are tough calls for bang-bang plays, but I don’t understand why one is reviewable and the other one isn’t. After watching the replay, and I watched it when it occurred, they never made the call on that either.”

Good luck putting that toothpaste back in the tube. A league spokesman said that the very fact the officials reviewed the Noah play meant that they had something to review. Sort of a reverse-Catch 22, or something.

Here is Denver coach George Karl‘s take:

“There’s no question it was goaltending. The ball was going to hit the rim. I was too far away to see the play on Kosta’s tip-in shot.”

Players are divided, in poor position to see what happened on the two plays, or both. Denver’s Andre Iguodala said of the Noah play: “It happened so fast, it was hard to see. There was one angle on the replay, I thought you could tell it was going to at least make the rim.”

Chicago’s Jimmy Butler sounded more resigned when he said: “It was a goaltending. That is what they called. It’s not like we can change it.”

Then there was Noah, who went from disappointed to puzzled to lathered up as he repeatedly was asked about it:

“It’s very disappointing. I feel like you play this game so hard… Maybe I don’t understand the rules or something. I just don’t understand how you can review my tip-in but two plays before that you can’t review the other one. There’s got to be consistency. It’s just frustrating how things like that can happen. I know the refs are doing the best that they can in that situation, but it cost us the game today.”

So, Noah was asked, they ruled offensive interference in the moment?

“No, they called good. They called basket. So I didn’t understand. I thought the rule was, if they called it good … Maybe. I don’t know, I’m not sure, I don’t know the rules. They gave us two points. Then they went to review it after they called the basket good.”

And about that Koufos play…

“I just don’t understand,” Noah said. “Why wouldn’t you review that one. That’s what’s frustrating. How are you going to review [mine] but you can’t review the one two plays before that. It’s [bleep], man. It’s [bleep].”

There’s no way Noah or anyone from either side deserves a fine for head-scratching out loud over the crazy sequence. For the record, the NBA did add a rule this season for situations in which referees aren’t certain “whether a goaltending or basket interference violation was correctly called.”

The procedure to be used is:

  • Review will only occur on goaltending and basket interference violation calls.
  • Video review will take place ONLY in the last two minutes of the fourth period and all overtime periods.
  • Review must take place immediately after the preceding violation call.

There’s the rub: If the refs didn’t call a violation – as they asserted on the Koufos play – there should have been nothing to review. Once they reviewed it, though, there must have been a call – which the Bulls dispute – or they can’t have reviewed it.

There is, however, another issue in play. Let’s face it, the Bulls were claiming that the policeman didn’t actually witness them speeding – without acknowledging whether they were or not.

Of greater interest here at Hang Time Headquarters – and in my role as pool reporter immediately after the game – was how Noah’s completion of a ball delivered to the rim differs from all those alley-oops that get thrown down, even though the ball is perilously close to or over the cylinder when Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan or dozens of other guys snag and slam it.

Do dunks enjoy favored status over tips? Would Noah have been fine if he had been in position to catch and dunk Belinelli’s “shot”? Who’s to say it wasn’t a pass in the first place?

NBA media policies do allow for a pool reporter to speak to the refs after a game involving a pivotal ruling such as this. But they allow for only one question to be asked – first relayed in writing to the crew chief, then asked in person.

One question. Even though there were three or four good ones hanging over this controversial ending.

With Bulls media boss Tim Hallam as go-between, I was able to meet with the referees in their dressing room. I put my question to veteran Ken Mauer: What’s the difference in ruling between an alley-oop pass that is delivered to the rim and dunked, compared to the ball that Noah deflected into the basket?

Mauer’s response:

“There is no difference. If we deem the ball in its descent has a chance to score, and therefore it’s in the cylinder, it’s either offensive basket interference or it’s goaltending. That’s it.”

In other words, all those lob passes that seem headed right toward the rim – many even seem like they might be viable shots of their own – supposedly aren’t to be grabbed and slammed. If they are, they’re supposed to be waved off and ruled violations, regardless of the oohing and aahing in the stands.

Guess you can judge for yourselves if that’s how those plays routinely get officiated. Again, those lob passes don’t have to actually be in the cylinder when touched – they simply have to be judged to have a “chance to score.” Think about how often you’ve seen one taken off the scoreboard.


  1. Randal says:

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.

    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you
    know. The design look great though! Hope you get the
    problem fixed soon. Many thanks

  2. chandler says:

    bulls got screwd becasue theY CANT review that

  3. v says:

    every year the NBA loses its’ characte; if the players aren’t striking it’s the referees = this year the referees control the gamesss stearn lost his way on the road weighted down by greed; nba is not like it used to be and i don’t care how the players look or play today – sad!

  4. James says:

    You can’t prove that beleneli wasn’t intentionally lobbing it to noah. There for the basket should be good. Its a double standard, several alley oops this year alone could have hit the rim if the player didn’t grab it and slam it down.

  5. Bryan says:

    From what I have seen this year all I can ask is this…

    I get that they needed jobs, but did the NBA really think that the replacement zebras from the NFL would make good refs? Or did Stern just totally give up on trying to hide it this year since he is on the way out?

  6. Tony says:

    In the end, Denver wins the regular season ball game. No major professional sport or human being is perfect. Im just happy that David Stern is stepping down. Finally!!! Hopefully after that day happens, the NBA will be less favorable to its “Bigger” marketing teams giving the small market teams a better chance to be recognized and given equal chances of winning championships. I always had a feeling that Mr Stern only favored his big market teams who made more revenue for the NBA than little market teams. Its obvious that the LA Fakers (Showtime), Miami CHeat, Boston Sell-tic-kets, Chicago Bulls-hit, San Antonio S-pur-b, Houston Pockets, Dallas M-have-riches, and Detroit Pistols (Bad Boys) only have won ships under his watch. Stern loves and favors the big market teams that gets good revenue over teams like Clippers and OKC who are good teams but just aren’t as popular as the other big market teams. The NBA is so predictable these days.

  7. Julius23 says:

    You want to talk about unfair, just try being a Raptors fan and youll see what unfair refereeing is. No doubt the raps got alot to learn but the calls against us, especially the first part of the season, totally brutal. And it’s always the same referees, you can tell who they are just by looking at there smug, guilty face. They reek of corruption…So to sum up the situation..Hey Thibodeau, I hear what your saying and that is why I’m playing a tune on my little violin…Cheers!

  8. adam says:

    Come on here are you guys living in a different world. You not only pushed the nuggets around all night. The refs never call when ty gets fouled at the basket. Also on the play where mcgee dunked on noah he pushed mcgee. You could see it on the replay. Lets not talk about fair when it comes to the lack of calls for the nuggets. Have someone watch that game from the beginning that is not bias. Anyone can see the nuggets got pushed around and if the nuggets pushed back it was a foul. Nuggets would have been up 30.

  9. sports fan says:

    didn’t make my last line completely clear – If there was consistency from the refs from the point of the Koufas play, calling goaltending in the first place, then that is a completely separate topic on what could ‘ve happened for the remainder of the game.

  10. sports fan says:

    Koufas goaltended but there was no call on the floor of offensive interference therefore nothing to review.
    Noah goaltended but there was no call on the floor of offensive interference therefore nothing to review.
    BUT the refs did review it, which they weren’t supposed to because there was no call on the floor.
    This is specifically where the inconsistency was & this is why the Bulls were robbed.
    Anything else discussed is irrelevent.
    If there was consistency from the refs on this one then that is a completely separate topic on what could ‘ve happened.

  11. eknujsra says:

    Noah should have dunked it. That way, it wouldn’t be called offensive goal tending.

  12. W/E says:

    U guys dont know what u are talking about, the ball was clearly above the cylinder, it was heading for the rim it doesnt matter if it wasnt straight on target but still it was gunna hit the cylinder and bounce so yes it was above the cylinder so its a goaltending case closed.

  13. Justin says:

    There is a difference between goaltending and a tip in like that or a lob. If you shoot a desperation shot, and you tip it in to help it out, no goal tending. If you tip it when the ball is circling the rim, then goal tending. And lobs are lobs, you can tell it wasn’t a shot. if the ball is purposely thrown up like a lob, don’t call goal tending. Also if the ball is going to go out, then you should be able to tip it in.

    As for Noahs tip in, the play was clean. no goal tending or nothing. 2 points. I did not see the other tip in. i would guess it was fair too.

  14. TT says:

    It’s a good call by the refs to deny the Bulls a victory. The ball is clearly going to hit the rim and Tom Thibodeau should be fined for lashing out at the refs. Very unprofessional. He should be fired because he’s solely responsible for DERRICK ROSE’S ACL TEAR LAST SEASON IN THE PLAYOFFS AGAINST PHILLY!! KNOW YOUR ENEMY, BULLS FANS!!

  15. whatever says:

    it’ll be interesting to see all the fines for criticizing the referees LOL. Or maybe they’ll forgo that to cover their shame since things looked bad here.

  16. Matt says:

    This thread is so long, and for good reason. I agree with both calls were offensive basket interference, but like noah said we need consistancy. It just isn’t fair to review one play, but not a similar one made a few seconds ago. If a defender can not go and rebound that ball, why can an offender tip it in? They shouldn’t be able to, just get position, go up and grab it like any other rebound. 1.7 seconds enough time for quick put back shot. Anyway, refs should have been fair and did a no call, no review, just as the previous play. Can not go back and forth in the NBA, Fairness for all cities, equal plays for equal players

  17. stubs says:

    Denver got the W. I won’t argue the call either way because, as Jimmy B says, “That is what they called. It’s not like we can change it.” However, don’t go feeling that great about your team Nugget fans. Remember, that was a game where the team they had to go to overtime against pne that was missing at least 3 of it’s most important players. Let’s hope these teams get to face off again this year!

  18. Brandon says:

    There is no need for me to make a long argument and waste my breath. All I know is that the refs made a bad call. If he had taken the ball and dunked it, this probably wouldn’t be an issue. I agree with Joakim Noah. Consistency is key.

    • Chitown says:

      Exactly.They have now set a precedent for all future well earned dramatic finishes to be erased. I mean seriously,is anyone aware of how impressive it is to time this to redirect a ball in flight OUTSIDE the cylinder and win a game?

      Luck? maybe a little……illegal… It’s done on a daily basis in the NBA.

  19. RH says:

    Is it possible the NBA wanted Denver to keep its streak to boost ratings for the Nuggets vs Thunder game the next night? o_O

  20. Referee says:

    Ken Mauer that head official is a joke.. CLEARLY HE WON THE GAME for the NUGS…he was the PLAYER OF THE GAME .. Sorry bulls fans, it just impossible to win a basketball game if you’re playing 8 vs. 5..

    • Chitown says:

      You know I disagree. He is one of the better refs in my opinion. And I’ve never seen him bail at the end of a game like that. I was reall diappointed. As a bull sfan and a baskatball fan it just leaves you hollow because it was a fun and well contested game with exellent play by some lesser known players.The league missed an oppurtunity to correct what was done at a time that it doesn’t affect either team involved or their standing.

      • Referee says:

        Yah Ken is a vet ref but poor officiating and inconsistency really changed the outcome of the game..The league shuld do sumthing about dis referees makng terrible calls that can cost you a game..Its very disappointing and just disgraceful to see a hard fought game ended dat way..

  21. Pollock says:


  22. Pistons Fan says:

    To those calling Denver fans “crybabies” for complaining of no calls…it sure seems like this board was started so Chicago fans could cry about the officiating. If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black I’m not sure what is.

    Everyone seems to allege Koufos’ interference was incorrectly permitted–or at least it should have been reviewed. But, as so often happens with sport, disputed calls are naturally offset. Lost in this discussion is that the very next play Noah interfered to the same degree. This play was also permitted. Thus, the plays cancel themselves. If one play is the subject of scrutiny so should the next.

    As for the final play, watching it live I thought the ball was short and Noah’s tip was legit. However, the replay(s) seemed to reveal the ball was in the cylinder when it was tipped. I’m not a trained official, but my understanding of the rule is if the ball is in the cylinder, no player–offensive or defensive–can touch it.

    If the argument is the final play shouldn’t have been reviewed because the Koufos play wasn’t reviewed that argument FAILS. The point of reviewing plays in game is to get the final score correct. During the replays, it became clear (to me at least) Noah tipped the ball while in the cylinder. If Chicago fans want to argue they win because that play wasn’t reviewable based on previous plays that’s lame. The previous plays offset each other and the final play was correctly waived off. Don’t get me wrong–officiating this year has been really bad BUT here the final score was correct.

    • Chitown says:

      Actually,the argument isn’t which teams are playing or who is involved. Even though the picture above can be MEASURED. The issue is that within one minute of revieweable time the league rule was misapplied to the final play after being ruled correctly on Koufos no call. The difference between not seeing things and making a DECISION to review AGAINST league rules is the issue. Coach Tibs said it outright. Tough to see BUT THEY CHOSE TO REVIEW!

      They reviewed it by the way so quickly that ALL the live cameras missed the ruling,I would bet they didn’t see above angle and GOT OUT!.

    • Khalis says:

      Why didn’t the refs review all three tip-ins? If a game is that good and teams are playing that great you would not want to make a mistake that would cost a team the win! If I was the refs all three tip-ins looked close so I would have waived them off and went to replay to get the correct outcome! It was in the last minute of the game so it wasn’t like the game would have lasted an extra hour for the correct rulings! Just me but who am I!

  23. I’m enjoy watching the Nuggets play, but I have to confess that this looks like a “shaft job” on the Bulls players. Lack of consistency is what is wrong with the league.

  24. justAnbaFan says:

    The NBA is rigged for certain teams to win IF the game is close Everybody is gettin paid its all entertainment just like wrestling. That’s why I stick to college and highschool sports cause they got something to play for. Its all storyline once u make it pro nowadays

  25. jorje says:

    Game 6 2006 NBA Finals

  26. Rabz says:

    That shot from Bellinelli was never going in, at the point that Noah tipped it, the ball was going to come up short hitting the rim so you can’t possibly call it goal tending

  27. yup says:

    The calls are so ridicolous, bad referees are ruining the game. Really, someone should put them in their places and stop clowning the show. Ridiculous season we are watching.

  28. RubioMadness says:

    I have had experience as a referee and it is honestly one of the hardest jobs in the world. You have to make split second decisions constantly and no matter what you call you’re going to have someone hating you. Everybody sees things differently, They have to make the call. Sometimes I wish people would understand that it is a hard job, one that most people couldn’t do.

  29. a.d. says:

    that rule does’t exsist in europe,where basketball is much slower,i don’t understend why it’s still here.officiating is way behind everything in this league.

  30. John L says:

    Has Lebron ever been called for offensive basket interference in his entire NBA career?

  31. bullsfan says:

    Obviously I am a Bull’s fan. I have never liked the Nuggets because they pick up a bunch of thugs to play basketball for them. For example Allen Iverson, Jevale McGee or Carmelo Anthony. I think the Nuggets have had an easy win-streak so far and it’s going to be snapped in their next game so don’t get your hopes up Denver fans. That was one of the worst calls I have seen in an NBA game in my life but not because I’m saying Noah didn’t goaltend. I honestly do not know. But I Koufo goaltended and the blind refs were too stupid to actually review it. The rule clearly states that if it was not called it shouldn’t be reviewed. So why did they review Noah’s? It was a stupid call. If you’re going to review one, review the other. The Nuggets winning streak should have ended last night but the refs blew it. The only thing I have to say to Denver: Good luck against the Thunder in your next game. I can’t wait to watch you get killed…..

  32. WILKSY08 says:

    Does any Bulls fan remember Deng’s game winner against the raptors last year? Watson airballed it so Deng tipped it in and won the game. This play was exactly the same, so 100% shou;d’ve been a basket

  33. WILKSY08 says:

    Jamie C- Noah’s tip in after the Koufos play was clearly off the rim and out of the cylinder, you must have some eye defomrity. On Koufos’s play you can CLEARLY see that the ball was still touching the rim as he touched it. A call should’ve been maade. As for the last shot, I understand why it was called interference but Belinelli’s shot had no chance of going on, even if it was on its downward trajectory. Bad call, Buls fans have every right to complain about that one.

  34. Brain32 says:

    This is silly, I didn’t even know it was in the rules, there should be no such thin as offensive basket interference, only goaltending. I fail to see just what is trying to be regulated in cases such as these?

  35. Minsoup says:

    Mad props to Jimmy Butler though, called it how the game called it and moved on.

  36. NHbleedsGREEN says:

    I think the refs got the Koufas call and the Noah call correct.
    Seriously and honestly believe that.

    • Mytownla says:

      You just made it obvious to the world that your basketball i.q is WELL BELOW a negative and you should start following golf or some ish, i mean seriously, r u really that dumb

  37. John L says:

    What if it were Lebron tipping in the game winning shot instead of Noah?

    What are the chances that the refs would have taken the basket away from Lebron?

    0% chance…..and the Sports Center anchors would have been talking for hours about what a great game-winning play Lebron had made.

    Double standard for stars in the NBA is tha most frustrating thing.

  38. Bulls robbed says:

    In basketball, basket interference is the violation of (a) touching the ball or any part of the basket while the ball is on the rim of the basket, (b) touching the ball when it’s within the cylinder extending upwards from the rim, (c) reaching up through the basket from below and touching the ball, be it inside or outside the cylinder, or (d) pulling down on the rim of the basket so that it contacts the ball before returning to its original position.

    Noah should have got the points. A) The ball was not on the rim of the basket when he tipped it in. B) the ball was no within the cylinder. C) Noah was not reaching up through the basket from below and touching the ball

  39. derrick says:

    bulls won that match not nugget

  40. Tyler Lefever says:

    Nuggets!!!!!!!! They would have made that last shot with 1.7 seconds left anyway!!! Just add another W to the Win streak!!!!!!!

  41. Jeff says:

    That was a legit tip in an if I see ken maur on the street I will show him what real offensive goaltending is…. With a tire iron.

  42. nuggsfan9 says:

    The Koufos play could have gone either way.. as well as the play that Noah tipped the very next Chicago basket, neither were called, officials can NOT go to instant replay outside of 2 mins thus NO REVIEW IF NOT CALLED. Noah’s tip at the end was clearly interference.. either way officiating by NBA officials has got to be more consistent as they are the WORST officials in professional sports PERIOD!

  43. pejta24 says:

    GO Nuggets !!!

  44. Jamie C says:

    Really? are bulls fans crying about the officiating? If anything the Bulls got homecooking calls. Hey Noah, what about the tip in after the koufus play you’re crying about? It looked to me like you did the same exact thing. It was a goaltend at the end of the play get over it bulls fan.

  45. kdub63 says:

    Both Koufos’ and Noah’s plays were goaltending. Arguing about referee calls by siting basketball rules in the NBA is ridiculous. Traveling, palming and the charge are basically ignored. It is clear the league asks referees to simply create “fairness” in the game – not to enforce the rules of the game, Therefore, let’s see if the game was fair? As sited above, there were obvious no calls throughout regarding Noah that would have resulted in free throws for the Nuggets. Oh, and what about the travel called in Andre Miller near the end of the game that took away a bucket. Any of these calls could have changed the game. There were, however 2 examples of NBA officiated in action that perfectly illustrate fairness in action at the expense of the rulebook:
    Example 1:
    — Koufos’ gaoltending on a follow shot – NO CALL
    — 2 possessions later Noah goaltends following up a shot – NO CALL (make up no-call?)
    Example 2:
    — Inside the last couple of minutes in OT Wilson Chandler is pushed out of pounds on the baseline by Noah. There is no call and the possession is given to Chicago
    — The very next possession Chicago is called for a bogus turnover. Even the TV commentators in Denver said “gotta love the make-up call”

    Noah’s goaltend on the last play of overtime was too blatant to ignore. I agree, it did not appear that the play was called on the floor by the officials. It was just the last example of a really poor night by the officiating team. However, in the end it was the right, and “fair” call. To claim otherwise simply identifies you as a Bulls Fanatic.

  46. Chitown says:

    Every lob has a chance to hit rim/socre on descent.

    Good luck Blake.

  47. W/E says:


  48. Chitown says:

    Been watching tape. Saw it live. Koufos ball on rim 50% off? no call (not reviewable). Noah follow 32 seconds left,off rim,could have called it and reviewed it…but not interference per tape. Noah tip pictured above 50%+ off cylinder (NO CALL). Time out Denver. Review (AGAINST PREVIOUSLY STATED RULE due to NO CALL MADE). Watched the tape,lead official caved to pressure of moment,violated league rule,subsequently SUPPORTED by NBA.

    Didn’t think the bulls were going to win last night but they earned it and the league is saving face……..but based on this will change rules (and secretly censure official)

    Props to Denver the better team on season but off last night.

  49. mjm6783 says:

    I think the bigger question is why the hell do we have offensive goaltending in the first place. It’s a pointless rule. If you fail to box out an offensive player and he gets right to the rim to tap in a ball that’s rimming around, that’s the defense’s fault. What’s even crazier is that it’s counted as offensive goaltending, even if the ball hasn’t hit the rim or backboard yet, how is that not considered an alley oop?

    • Jamie C says:

      Okay how about you flip the roles, and have a defensive player do the same exact thing Noah did, but instead block the shot. That would be Goaltending right? These rules need to be in place or else players like D.Howard, and Javale Mcgee will score 50ppg “offensive interference” plays.

  50. MJfromOKC says:

    I see a clean tip in.

  51. jas1123 says:

    In basketball, goaltending is the violation of interfering with the ball when it is on its way to the basket and it is (a) in its downward flight, (b)” entirely above the rim and has the possibility of entering the basket, and (c) not touching the rim.[1][2][3] In both NCAA basketball and NBA basketball, goaltending is also called if the ball has already touched the backboard while it is above the rim in its flight, regardless of whether it is in upward or downward flight. read the part above that is the definition of goal tending according to the rules. entirely above the rim and has the possibility of entering the basket in the replay that ball wasnt even above the rim and had absolutly no chance of going in therefore not offensive interference/goaltending.

  52. jas1123 says:

    Oh, and on the Lebron issue the refs are gona do what they been told to do make him look good and do whatever they can to give him titles. They aren’t gona call the game against miami just aint gona happen. The only silver lining is if your blowing them out what can they do I hope they start making tons of bad calls then it will just become blatant and obvious that there being paid off by the nba too call the game his way. Another investigation and suddenly the corruption at the top will show its ugly head.

  53. NBA fan says:

    Well, I think that the review thingy was fishy indeed, but, nonetheless, referees made good calls as Koufos tip in was good and Noah’s was an interference. Look where the ball is when both touch it. Koufos – not directly above the rim Noah – half the ball IS directly over the rim.

  54. jas1123 says:

    LOL first of all the nuggets aint got a chance to go all the way keep dreaming, second of all when rose gets back you all nugget fans won’t have to worry about the refs calling the game, cause it wont be close to begin with it will just be the nuggets getting beat down by the bulls.

  55. Tom says:

    its getting to the point where the referees/officiating depict whom is ganna win the game…perfect example is MIAMI HEAT.. the referees favor calls FOR Miami, rather AGAINST them.. the only reason why Miami is still on the streak they are, is because countless games there are NO calls , but at crucial moments of the game, will they call certain calls for certain teams… they need to weed out all their refs they have now, and get a new system, because all of them are crooked.. do you watch how the referees are friendly , or even talkative with players, and some coaches(Erik Spoelstra).. point is, these Players in the NBA work too hard to make it to where they are nowadays, now matter the fame of the player… they have the right to have a fair, clean game, that isn’t effected by the calls the refs either miss, or favor for teams…. Until the officiating is fixed, its all College hoops for me!!

  56. Ted says:

    Remove offensive interference. Goaltending should only be on the defensive end and not on the offensive end. This would reduce situations like this. It’s a crazy rule to begin with. That’s your ball, you tip it into your basket, that should be allowed. Even if the ball is in the rim. Just like what they do in Europe

    • 1For1 says:

      If they removed Offensive Interference, then anyone would get every rebound unboxed out because the defensive player would be too afraid of being charged a goaltend XD.

  57. dz says:

    Videos are only for alley-oop replays. Referees are there for technical fouls when you argue with them.

  58. Victor says:

    Ok i see how bulls fans think they lost but f-that..
    First of all no OT, andre miller did not even come CLOSE to travelling when he was in the lane even worse call then koufus goaltend(not being called im saying) and the fact of the matter is Noahs Shot WAS goaltending… and isnt there arule that says they gotta review every game deciding play or something along those lines which the noah tip was? either way denver oop to faried/mcgee/chandler with 1.7 sec left easy bucket win no matter what

  59. Rocky says:

    Let’s go Nuggets, all the way!
    Enough of cows tears!

  60. Bulundo says:

    its clear that nuggets fans who commented did not admit it was really the refs inconsistency which caused the game..
    reading mauer’s response(see the mid part of page) does not coexist with the call they have done..they clearly violated what he said was the rule..”that a play should not be reviewed if not called” what they did not do on the kuofos tip in..
    i also see noah’s tip same as an alley oop..the difference is it was going down when he touched it,but clearly it still did not hit the rim when he tipped it,.. the ball and his hands were not yet on the cylinder when the touch was made

    the bulls should have won.. and im also puzzled by this rule, why is it a violation if you’re just helping your team get a score..even they will give the tipper the score, i believe his team mate won’t be mad.. interference, i think should only be called on the defensive side…

  61. jonathan says:

    alright bulls fans, if this were to happen to the nuggets I admit I would have been pretty pissed. But BELIEVE ME, as a nuggets fan this NEVER happens, were always on the wrong side of the whistle. So I find it pretty funny that the one time the nuggets get a break there’s an article written about it LOL.

  62. Mk19 says:

    The bulls hasnt done jack squat since Phil left and never will

    How does it feel to have your star savior take his sweet ol little time even after the doctors cleared him to play

    Rigged, as if the NBA didn’t favor Jordan during his era. Well know its Lebron era, so deal with it

  63. dd def says:

    the refs have been so bad this year. I mean, absolutely horrid. I’ve seen some games with blatant biases, I’ve seen some that weren’t so much biased as just absurd and confused. something needs to be done because this is getting way out of hand, it’s gotten to where there’s no integrity anymore. and the rapidity of these usually blatant miscalls and missed calls is inexcusable. hey stern, why don’t you earn that check and do something with your idiotic officials, perhaps lend them a rule book and a set of binoculars?

  64. Willis says:

    As a life long Denver fan, I am frankly surprised to see this call go our way – especially on the road vs. a large market team like Chicago. Yes, NBA officiating is notoriously terrible and tonight was no excuse. As a Nugs fan, I am more than used to consistently POOR officiating. Still, that call at the end did look to be a goal tend – was the play on Kofous a few before a goal tend? Probably. Did the refs miss that call? Probably. Are the Nuggets defiantly being favored somehow because of a new founded win streak? Defiantly not. This tough loss due to very poor officiating is just something Denver fans have been dealing for a long time now. Regardless, Even if the tip was counted good the Nugs still had 1.7 seconds and a time out to advance the ball to half court for a final shot – plus I am sure you could argue there were many other missed calls in the game so this one play at the end, while it stands out the most, was not the game deciding play as it had been put into motion for the previous 4 quarter and over time. Just deal with it Chicago fans and move on.

    • NHbleedsGREEN says:



    • Gameon says:

      Right!!! Willis my fellow Nuggets fan for once the whistle was in the Nuggets favor

  65. tanbear says:

    Anyone that says that was not goaltending has never watched or played a basketball game in their life. It might have gone in on its own. I understand being frustrated with the Koufus call, but Noah did the exact same thing the next play down. it was the right call, so stop complaining.

  66. Sunny says:

    And now they all get fined for criticizing the referees and Stern and Silver live happily ever after. The end.

  67. DENVERNGGTS says:

    Denver was on a 11 game winning streak and was starting to get some attention. Surely Stern wants this to continue. #sternconspiracy

  68. olegkot says:

    IF we are trying to even last 2 minutes of the game calls – here is the real picture: Kufos goaltended [referees did not review], then next Bulls attack – Noah goaltended (32 sec left) [referees did not review – make up call] – Why nobody is seeing this way and nobody talks about it? Then, Noah goaltended again at 1.7 sec left – this one was reviewed and called controversial call.

    BTW, last minute referees did not call fouls:
    1. on Robinson against Ty Lawson [touch to the elbow],
    2. Noah against Wilson Chandler – smashed to the elbow

    And these were “no calls” against Nuggets…

    In my opinion, you should see the whole picture, including makeup calls, which made situation even [more or less] before last seconds. Nuggets won not because referees – because they are just a better team this season, and I’m happy for them.

    • interesting says:

      It is nice to see that somebody noticed the Noah goaltend of the missed Robinson layup with 32 seconds left.

  69. […] Noah’s Controversial Tip Raises Questions About Lobs, Too ” | Hang Time Blog […]

  70. Reid says:

    I agree with the fact that both calls should’ve been reviewed and the refs in the NBA are terribly inconsistent, but if it were “rigged,” the Bulls wouldn’t be so upset about it. Teams in general wouldn’t be so upset; coaches wouldn’t speak out against the refs and face fines, players wouldn’t get mad about calls and be ejected and fined, etc. It’s not rigged, it’s just that the refs are human.

  71. theking0522 says:

    Thanks God the it was the Denver that got that call and not the Heat…..Haters will be complaining about refs and how they favor Miami. Seems to me that the refs are favored Denver big time…Is Stern pushing for the Nuggets also? Hypocrites!!! Refs make mistake all the time. It has nothing to do with any team.

  72. Kerry says:

    This is for the Denver fans who said for us Bulls fans to deal with this obviously bad call. We will. And while your at it, go count you championship banners. Shouldn’t take too long.

    • Nick says:

      Good for you, those banners you have are getting a little dusty. How many times did you beat the Nuggets this year? Get over it.



  74. olan enriquez says:

    the refs should have been called a “technical call” or at least a “flagrant call” there…:’-)

  75. drymou says:

    i believe this rule must change , and be like fiba;s when you can tip in without being called offensive interferense

  76. olan enriquez says:

    should be counted, coz the ball didn’t touch the ring yet. how come they’re not calling an alley-oop above the rim?

  77. Kyle says:


    • Nick says:

      Bulls weren’t robbed, get over it. The ball was over the rim and he touched it, offensive interference, plain and simple. Whether it should be a rule or not doesn’t matter because it currently is a rule. How about the travelling call that got called on Andre Miller with 17 seconds left in regulation? If that had not been called incorrectly, Nate Robinson may not have hit the three to tie it and send it to overtime. $#!t happens, get over it.

      • Kyle says:

        NBA official Ken Mauer blatantly admits to hypocrisy, favoritism, double-standards, failure to call plays correctly, complete subjectivity, and thus direct interference in the score of NBA games. Every “lob” on a downward trajectory “that has a *chance* to score” is goaltending/interference. So in other words, at least 50% of all lobs *should* be called goaltending/interference, but *are not*.

        The fix is in! Lets see if en be ay dot com deletes this comment like they do all mine (for no legitimate reason, and with no explanation provided). BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!! YOU THOUGHT YOU KNOW EVERYTHING!!! LET’s PLAY NBA 2k13 IF YOUR GOOD IN BASKETBALL!!! BLAH BLAH BLAH!! :))))))) :POOP:

  78. O-I says:

    It was clearly offensive interference, nuggets earned 12 in a row.

  79. berry says:

    consistency of calls, always a problem.. unless it concerns a superstar-laden team. on all those lobs, i’m quite sure not all of them are legit. but even if it were offensive interference, they’d let it go ’cause it’s entertaining.

  80. Mike says:

    I find it funny that there are so many questionable calls throughout a game but the only ones that get any attention are the ones in the last few minutes. Two points lost in the middle mean just as much as two points in the end, I don’t think it makes sense to argue about one call at the very end if you wouldn’t be willing to go back through the whole damn game, but no one would ever do that because in the end it won’t change anything, just like arguing about this won’t change anything.

  81. christopher says:

    this is the worst year in the NBA was just because he did such rascals chicago but I atravo to bet that if the move involved lebron james embers neither reviewed and earned the NBA game is a novel and not everything is as before preference based on the play it became clear that it was not illegal but the question is that if the move was valid denver?

  82. Nick says:

    NBA official Ken Mauer blatantly admits to hypocrisy, favoritism, double-standards, failure to call plays correctly, complete subjectivity, and thus direct interference in the score of NBA games. Every “lob” on a downward trajectory “that has a *chance* to score” is goaltending/interference. So in other words, at least 50% of all lobs *should* be called goaltending/interference, but *are not*.

    The fix is in! Lets see if en be ay dot com deletes this comment like they do all mine (for no legitimate reason, and with no explanation provided).

  83. Police says:

    NBA: Referee screwed the call

    No apology, no suspension, final score stands and they will not do anything about it. In other words the NBA has already crowned the 2012-2013 NBA Champion since the season started. ITS RIGGED!

    • 416 says:

      Yea Right, one game and it’s rigged. Let’s go and see how many close game non-calls costs on my beloved Raps. They might literally the 8th seed or 8 games better than their record. At least bulls fans got a blog about it.

  84. Junel says:

    The question is… call has been made. So its a clear win initiated by the refs. Thats all……. next time be careful to the ref. Ref can dictate the outcome of the game…………and the winner is..the referee

  85. Scott says:

    i did not even know that rule existed, have sad it that!

    basketball “get the ball through the hoop but any means neccessary”

    it should only be interferance if the opposing team play tips it out

    yet another stupid rule used in todays game of basketball

  86. I love the name goobergeiger says:

    First of all, it was clearly O-interference. Not just “going to hit the rim,” but over the cylinder. Whoever wrote this article obviously didn’t watch the entire game or even the last 2 minutes because their perspective is painfully out of context.

    Second of all, after Koufos’ interference (which was interference), Noah went ahead and got his own interference, which the refs promptly didn’t call. It was an obvious make-up call, which is a BS unwritten rule of NBA officiating. But, no, it wasn’t some grossly unequal thing.

    Third of all, Noah got away with fouls all game, including JaVale’s dunk on him and most o-rebounds he gets. Nuggs also probably got away with a lot of calls. The refs are human. They get caught up in the game. But, please, the Bulls did not get the short end of any stick. There just happened to be one (correct) call that went against them at a bad time. Deal with it.

    • chicago says:

      First of all stop crying you got the WIN
      Second of all, after Koufos’ interference (which was interference), Noah went ahead and did not interference; you could go see the game again. You just mad because NOAH was boxing out, its call get BIG, and strong. I never knew Denver team was so soft on basketball game. That’s why you guys don’t get any where in playoff because Denver mentally or physically not strong, Denver team is cry baby, its like kid is telling his dad, other kids are hitting me, come on dude its basketball it going to be physical, its physical game. No one in as NBA player will tell you that I did not play good because I was getting foul.

      • Edward P says:

        All game the announcers said their was another foul on Noah missed. He should have recieved at least three more calls in that game so stop crying. Nuggets just beat the Thunder too, oh wait maybe they only won because of the refs!? No they won cause they played better, and they beat the Bulls and are better than the Bulls.

        47-22 Nuggets

        36-30 Bulls

        The only statistics that matter.

  87. Referee says:

    Let say noah’s tip in was a goaltending..but that koufus tip-in is clear as a crystal ball,it should hve been called goaltending..d ball was still in the rim and he touched it..are dos junky refs blind? or maybe dey’ve done der best to gave the nuggets the “W” to keep the winning streak alive so the league can still make more money out of it?:) NBA officiating is just terrible and lack of consistency.. BUt yeah its the NBA., “Where terrible officiating happens”….

  88. Referee says:

    Let say noah’s tip in was a goaltending..but that koufus tip-in is clear as a crystal ball,it should hve been called goaltending..d ball was still in the rim and he touched it..are dos junky refs blind? or maybe dey’ve done der best to gave the nuggets the “W” to keep the winning streak alive so the league what more money out of it?:) NBA officiating is just terrible and lack of consistency.. BUt yeah its the NBA., “Where terrible officiating happens”….

  89. Referee says:

    Let say noah’s tip in was a goaltending..but that koufus tip-in is clear as a crystal ball,it should hve been called goaltending..d ball was still in the rim and he touched it..are dos junky refs blind? or maybe dey’ve der best to gave the nuggets the “W” to keep the winning streak alive so the league what more money out of it?:) NBA officiating is just terrible and lack of consistency.. BUt yeah its the NBA., “Where terrible officiating happens”….

    • Mytownla says:

      You need to go back to school asap bruh

      • Referee says:

        No need bruh,hve enuf of it..just a typo error,,just a human committing mistakes but not terrible as ken mauer that a–hole head official that won d game for d nuggets & clearly the BEST PLAYER OF THE GAME…

  90. kjkds says:

    both moves were the same, they should have both received the same call

  91. Marc123 says:

    Noah is a HARDWORKER. If he got the talent that Howard got. He would have dominated the NBA.

  92. Marc123 says:

    The bulls win this one!

    • Common Sense says:

      Last I checked, they actually lost. I’m definitely not a nuggets fan, in fact I pretty much hate the team, but they won. Fans always scwabble over which calls were made and which ones weren’t but the fact is that was clearly goaltending, as was koufos. And there were fouls all over and there were many other goaltending calls missed, some by Noah. The game is over. All that any team can hope is that the refs make an equal amount of horrific calls on each team, THEY WILL NEVER GET IT RIGHT BUT THEY CAN AT LEAST TRY TO MAKE IT EVENLY WRONG! They did their best. No team gets it worse, all teams lose ones to bad calls, and all teams win games by bad calls. Its the same mentality that creates comments like “my team won!” and then followed by “They lost”. Stop whining or celebrating, just relax and call it a game! Yes, they shouldn’t have reviewed it, but Noah shouldn’t have goaltended. Who cares, it’s over! Next time, don’t let the team stay that close in your home court so it doesn’t come down to the wire. Never give the refs the opportunity to win it or lose it for you!

  93. jonathan says:

    Don’t forget the fact that on Koofus’s goaltend Noah pushed him in the back (which he did on several other plays to several nuggets) which could have been the reason for it. As a nuggets fan I have seen the nuggets lose a lot of games because of the refs and never have any of them been on sports center……so it’s pretty frustrating to see people giving so much attention to this. Go cry about it cause us nuggets fans don’t care

    • Scott says:

      chicago got robbed of a win

    • Gameon says:

      haha thank You Jonathan The Nuggets get reamed all the time even on their home floor you are right us Nuggets fans don’t care. The Nuggets killed the Bulls in Denver (yes we are better) and we took care of business in Chicago, THE STREAK CONTINUES!!!!!

    • Dommy says:

      lol and the nuggets didnt make any fouls that didnt get called for the entire game? aw yup cool story bro

    • Samuel says:

      The bulls are winners in my heart. and everyone complaining needs a pickle

    • Jay says:

      Fact of the matter is, this isn’t simply an issue of bad ref calls; it’s a violation of NBA rules, hence why all the attention. Does this answer the cause of your frustration?

  94. dink says:

    noah ‘s a horse , best center in the league hands down

  95. WILKSY08 says:

    Just an example of how poor the officiating has been all season at United Centre. We seem to get more calls away these days. NBA officiating lacks consistancy, they seem to be more whistle happy in the east which I simply don’t understand. Shoking, just shocking

    • tommy says:

      welcome to the life of a toronto raptors fan

      • 416 says:

        And someday we might even have a blog about our long lists missed calls. Hang in there my purple buddy!

    • NHbleedsGREEN says:

      At least the bulls game wasnt decided by 1 basket vs a team with a 22 game win streak.
      The refs saw LeBron take 3 steps at least once on a dunk last night.
      That was the difference in the game!!!
      (or maybe the 21 TOs and 9 missed free throws)

      • Game Time says:

        Oh wow. You want to talk about bad calls or lack of. The ball was clearly off Green’s elbow last night and the ball went to the Celtics. STFU.

      • Jay says:

        I agree with Game Time. You need to quit complaining cause boston had the better end of the stick last night, but still lost.

  96. Lakers fan since the 80's says:

    Clearly not goaltending, and no video review? Hmm kinda fishy to me.

    • slider821 says:

      the refs strike again! Question is, which team will get screwed by them next?

      • the refs stike again, and on top of that Noah Sux…Make your own shots next time, stop trying to steal your teammates thunder of making the winning shot…Its funny out of all the comments no one captured that fact, the fact that Noah was tryin to be a hero, tried to steal the show, stole his teammate’s shot, and screwed the bulls out of a loss

  97. kangu says:

    good point on on what is now the difference between an ally-oop play and the controversial play by noah.

  98. googergieger says:

    Noah pushes off on Chandler when he tips the ball in, no call.

    Noah hits McGee something obvious when McGee throws it down on him. No call. Noah fouls Iguodala on a three attempt. No call. Noah should have fouled out in general before the over time, and he didn’t.

    It was clearly a shot and it was clearly going to hit the rim. When someone throws an alley oop and it has a shot to go in the refs will sometimes call it. A while back Andre Miller throw an oop from the three to Faried and it looked like it was going in and the refs waved it off because Faried caught it and threw it down.

    • qwfrshgfjnd says:

      yeah. most alley-oop lobs clearly weren’t going to hit the rim. the dunker just catches it near the rim. the only questionable thing here is why the shot was reviewed when it supposedly wasn’t called before it was reviewed.

    • sleeplessbull says:

      are you crazy? what are you talking about… yeah… if it is like that all players on both teams should have been fouled out!! go play some chess Basketball is not for you!!!

    • shinrips says:

      You must be from Denver or ate Nuggets for Breakfast.

    • Mike B says:

      Are you really that stupid to argue fouls and whether or not Noah should ahve fouled out or not? You can do that in every NBA game with almost any player out on the floor!! googergieger don’t reply if you are just going use this to bash a player or team you obviously simply don’t like. The fact remains Noah got called on a play where the ball WAS NOT GOING TO GO IN THE BASKET nor was it over the cylander when he tipped it. But in the play prior to that where Koufos clearly touched the ball as it danced on the rim was more than evident!! Really bad officiating crew. They need to stay home and knit a blanket if they are too old to see!!

      • dd def says:

        the officials this year have been all around terrible. so have the morons working game clocks and score boards. I’ve seen teams get points for the opponent making a basket, there’s been countless clock issues muddying up the tempo of games, and refs have been, maybe no biased, just absolutely terrible. they honestly have me missing doneghy and bavetta. at least the were bad on purpose.

      • xantheus says:

        oh no someone said something that Mike B doesn’t agree with so obviously they are the stupid ones and are just hating cos they don’t like a certain team. I love the game of basketball in general and don’t support any one team in the NBA however i agree that Noah should have fould out before over time with all the non-calls he should have had.

      • Samuel says:

        they should clone joey Crawford and have a bunch him officiating every single game

      • Ben says:

        the ball was going to hit the rim and that’s what the refs called. They didn’t make the call based on the fact that they missed the koufos call or missed some fouls noah may have committed. they made the right call regardless of any butthurt Chicago fans opinions it was the right call. the bulls players are just moving on whilst all their fans cry about one call that they didn’t like. people can be so one-eyed

    • NHbleedsGREEN says:

      Agreed my friend.
      Noah should of let the shot go in.

    • HP says:

      Noah is under the basket when Doufus tips that shot illegally back in. Look at the replays. Deng had a hand on him, but its a Mans sport. Thats nothing obvious.

      • ctownsgreatest says:

        Fact is that it should not have been reviewed. Looked like basket interference to me, but if they didn’t initially call it then they shouldn’t have been able to go back to review it. They should have caught it the first time around. Granted the Bulls fans would still complain, but it would be the right call made under the framework of NBA rules.

    • uhdsadajsgd says:

      what the heck dude??! Noah put his arm up and maybe it hit Mcgee a little, but basketball is a contact sport! do you know how many players would get fouled out if refs called BS, wimpy calls like what your saying? Everybody would get fouled out! And the offensive interference call? Rudy fernandez one time put in a shot by brewer that didnt hit rim or board, and they counted it, so they basically condradicted their previous call