The "unwritten rules" of basketball suffered a serious defeat at United Center on Thursday night, when the Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 104-103 in controversial fashion. Bulls star Jimmy Butler was awarded two free throws, with less than a second remaining, after his elbow was grazed by Marcus Smart during his buzzer-beating attempt.
Let's take a closer look:
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Did Marcus Smart catch a piece of that elbow?🔬 pic.twitter.com/QRQzxVbD42— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 17, 2017
If you pause the replay at the right second, it does appear that Smart did just get a piece of the elbow:
...and that technically constitutes a foul under the rules of basketball, in which Butler stepped to the line and made both free throws:
but, that is a tough call to make with the game on the line.
Let 'em play or make the call? Basketball's never-ending argument continues.