The mistakes and luck handed to Cavaliers coach David Blatt could have serious repercussions to the Bulls, should they not come back to win this series.
Before LeBron James’ game-winner at the buzzer, the Cavaliers should have been hit with a technical foul — something the league will obviously review and release a report on Monday afternoon.
After Derrick Rose tied the game with a driving layup to tie the game at 84 with 9.4 seconds left, Blatt tried desperately to get a timeout called when the Cavaliers burned all their timeouts on the previous possessions, while trying to get the ball inbounds.
Cavaliers assistant coach Tyronn Lue went on the floor to grab Blatt before the officials saw Blatt signaling for the timeout, which by rule should be a technical foul on the Cavaliers and transferred possession to the Bulls.
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
“I almost blew it. Good thing they caught it, my guys,” Blatt said.
After James’ drive was thwarted at the rim, the officials had to check the replay to see how much time was left before the ball was to be inbounded, giving the Cavaliers time to convene for a timeout they didn’t have.
He started to draw up a play for someone other than James to catch and shoot, before James announced he was taking the shot.
“I was supposed to take the ball out,” James said. “I told coach there was no way I’m taking the ball out unless I can shoot it over the backboard and it can go in.”
Still, had at least one official been on the baseline after Rose’s game-tying drive, the game’s fortunes would’ve drastically turned — giving the Bulls a foul shot, the ball, and a front-row seat at a possible 3-1 lead.
But they’ll be left to wonder, “what if” until they’re able to step on the floor Tuesday in Cleveland, and there’s no way to truly assess the damage until then.
In other words, Tyronn Lue, you're the real MVP.