Donovan Mitchell commits similar lane violation he did versus Bulls
Donovan Mitchell commits same lane violation from Bulls game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Insert the "He can't keep getting away with this!" Jesse Pinkman meme.
Donovan Mitchell, the Cleveland Cavaliers star who's led his newly found team to the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference, committed a free throw lane violation on his own shot. Again.
Flashback to the Bulls-Cavaliers standoff just at the turn of the New Year. Mitchell shot a free throw with 4.7 seconds left in regulation. He clearly left the lane early, captured the rebound and putback the layup to tie the game.
Hereâs the Donovan Mitchell put back after the intentional miss. The ref at bottom of screen is so intent on starting the clock he isnât watching for Mitchell violating the free throw line before the ball hits anything. This cost the Bulls the game. pic.twitter.com/vMfRZ8MedS
— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) January 3, 2023
And again, on Thursday night, against another Eastern Conference foe in the Brooklyn Nets, he repeated the same violation.
Like the play in January, he caught the rebound and attempted the putback, this time not succeeding. But, his act on the ball allowed the Cavaliers to gather the ball and hit the game-winning three, thanks to Isaac Okoro in the corner.
Back when the violation was committed against the Bulls, head coach Billy Donovan offered his dissatisfaction with the missed call and the eventual Last Two-Minute (L2M) report.
"And I think the Two Minute Report will come out and say he crossed the line," Donovan said after the game in January. "I could be wrong and if I'm wrong, I'll apologize. But at least what I saw on film, it made it hard for Patrick to block him out because he was certainly across the free-throw line before the ball hit the rim. And if that's the case, it's a violation. And my question would be: Who is looking at that? And again, if I'm wrong, then I'll apologize and say I was wrong. But that's what the rule is so clearly we're going to see that in the Two Minute Report."
MORE: Billy Donovan predicts missed call on Mitchell putback
After Mitchell putback his own free throw against the Bulls in January, he led the Cavaliers to an overtime victory by way of a franchise-setting 71 points. Mitchell dropped 31 points on Thursday night on 11-of-24 shooting, adding six rebounds and a lone assist.
The play is a microcosm of the poor officiating that's taken place in the NBA this season. At this point, officials should be aware of his tendency to cross the line too early. And they should take note for the future.
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