In the final seconds of the LA Clippers 114-106 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, referee Lauren Holtkamp called what looked to be a phantom foul on Shabazz Napier. With the game winding down, JJ Redick got the ball across half court, and held the ball right near Holtkamp. Napier, trying for one last steal, started swiping at the ball. At one point, with Napier obstructing Holtkamp’s view, he swiped, and appeared to foul Redick. Redick even looked at the ref, and exclaimed “He fouled me”.
About 2 seconds later, Holtkamp blew here whistle, and called a foul on Napier. If you look closely, Napier did extend his forearm on Redick, which is the reason for the call.
Phantom Foul Call of the Year by NBA referee Lauren Holtkamp pic.twitter.com/DWe7Pve0Be— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) October 28, 2016
This one call might have made some people think:
It at least has to be asked: what was the spread on this game? https://t.co/ZsUgBxNmwE— Lucas Hann (@LucasJHann) October 28, 2016
For many Clippers fans, the thought running through their minds might have been that a technical foul was being called on Redick. Why? Well in the past, Holtkamp has seemed to have a short fuse when it comes to Clippers players complaining about calls.
Remember this technical on Chris Paul?
Or how about this technical and ejection on Blake Griffin?
To be honest, both calls were reasonable technical foul calls, although many refs might have looked past them. In CP3’s case, he is one of the top players in the league, and the technical seems to have been for him slapping his hands together in frustration with a call. For Griffin, he was already on a technical, and many refs would swallow their whistle in that situation. Griffin should have known better, and not given a ref the opportunity to call a technical, but still.
Anyway, it’s nice to see that Holtkamp can make some calls in the Clippers favor.