NBA Finals: Was blown call against Cavs a case of 'old-school refereeing?'

Cleveland Cavaliers fans who enjoy claiming the refs are out to get them had a field day with one blown call in Sunday’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy had an alternate explanation.

“Old-school refereeing,” the former coach explained.

With less than a minute to go in the game’s first quarter, Golden State’s Steph Curry forced a left-handed three-pointer in hopes of drawing a three-shot foul from Cleveland’s Jordan Clarkson.

The nearest official, Derrick Stafford, wasn’t buying it however and held his whistle as Curry’s shot airballed and fell out of bounds.

When it came time to award possession, however, Stafford immediately gave the ball back to Golden State, claiming that the ball had been tipped by a Cleveland player.  It was clearly the wrong call and LeBron James quickly came over to argue with Stafford.

Despite James’ protests, the call was not reversed.

Over on the sidelines, Van Gundy claimed it was an immediate makeup call, the type not seen much these days, particularly in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Van Gundy: “Now this is old school refereeing. He may have missed the call on the shot, he’s not going to then penalize them a second time for the ball going out. So you just give the ball back.

Mike Breen: “That’s nice to say, but they say old school refereeing is dead though.”

Van Gundy: “I’m into old school refereeing.”

 

It’s hard to tell if Van Gundy’s instincts were right or if Stafford simply blew the call.

But both drew plenty of ridicule on social media.

The take here: If it’s a foul, call the foul .. even if it’s late.

Otherwise? Keep that whistle swallowed. Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals is no place for “old-school refereeing.”

20 PHOTOS
The best photos from the 2018 NBA Finals
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The best photos from the 2018 NBA Finals
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on May 31, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
May 31, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) in game one of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors dunks against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on May 31, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
May 31, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) in game one of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 03: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors attempts a layup against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 3, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 03: LeBron James #23 and George Hill #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts during the game against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 3, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
June 3, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the second quarter in game two of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
June 3, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) go for a loose ball during the second quarter in game one of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 03: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the third quarter in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 3, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31: Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors exchange words in overtime during Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on May 31, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 06: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors attempts a layup defended by LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third quarter during Game Three of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 6, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 06: Stephen Curry #30 and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate with Kevin Durant #35 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second half during Game Three of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 6, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 06: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors attempts a jumper over Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second half during Game Three of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 6, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 06: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter during Game Three of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 6, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jun 6, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors center Jordan Bell (2) dunks the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second quarter in game three of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Jun 6, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and Golden State Warriors center Jordan Bell (2) go for a rebound in game three of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Shamus/pool photo-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: Jeff Green #32 and Larry Nance Jr. #22 of the Cleveland Cavaliers compete for the ball with Draymond Green #23 and Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors in the first half during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walks off the court after being defeated by the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-85 to win the 2018 NBA Finals. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: Kevin Durant #35 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-85 to win the 2018 NBA Finals. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Trophy after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-85 to win the 2018 NBA Finals. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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