Van Gundy doesn't like emphasis of NBA's 'L2M' reports

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy reacts after a call during the first half.

Auburn Hills — Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy wants the whole story to be told, not just the finale.

In NBA parlance, it’s the Last-Two-Minute Report (L2M), a mechanism by which the league reviews officials’ calls in the last two minutes of games that are decided by five points or fewer.

In some cases, those reviews go against the actual calls that referees made — or didn’t make — that may have had a hand in the outcome of games.

Warriors forward Kevin Durant criticized the NBA on Tuesday, after the L2M revealed that the Cavs’ Richard Jefferson — who defended Durant on the final shot of their showdown on Christmas Day — should have been called for a foul in the final seconds. Jefferson stepped on Durant’s foot, causing Durant to fall and time expired — with no call made at all.

Even though the goal is to be more transparent, Van Gundy is not a fan of the report.

“What I don’t like in general is this emphasis on the last two minutes of the game being more important than the first 46 minutes of the game,” Van Gundy said Wednesday. “Presumably, at least, in the public eye, the only things we care about are in the last two minutes of the game.

“We want to stop and replay stuff in the last two minutes of the game because we want to get it right. I guess we don’t care about the first 46.”

Talk about delays.

But Van Gundy’s point is one that Durant picked up — and expounded upon — on Tuesday, when asked about the play with Jefferson. Although it may not have decided the game completely, the critical non-call helped complete the Cavs’ comeback, ending the Warriors’ seven-game win streak.

For Durant, though, the report isn’t about the transparency; it’s also about making the officials look bad.

“I think it’s (expletive) the NBA throws the refs under the bus like that. This happened to be in our favor, (but) not even in our favor. We don’t get the win. But to say I got fouled and (there should have been) the technical (on LeBron)? Just move on,” Durant told reporters.

“You can’t fine us for when we go out there and criticize them and then throw them under the bus for the two-minute report. What about the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter?”

The Pistons haven’t had many close games that fit into the parameters of the L2M reports, but Van Gundy disagrees with the premise of putting so much more emphasis on the last two minutes and not on the fourth quarter or the entire game.

That’s the fix he’d suggest, but also in considering the entirety of how officials are performing and how it’s perceived.

“If you’re going to give the fans and the media a report on the officials, let’s get a report on the whole game — let’s not just do this L2M report,” he said. “The idea is right because they’re trying to be transparent. In practicality, it’s emphasizing the wrong thing and not looking at an overall performance of the referees.”

Free-throw attempts

The Pistons are getting to the free-throw line a lot less than they did last season. Part of the issue is due to the injury to Reggie Jackson — one of their leading penetrators — who missed the first 21 games of the season.

Some of it is Andre Drummond’s improvement at the line and teams opting less to foul him intentionally and send him to the line. But there’s no simple explanation for why the Pistons rank 27th in free throws made (14) and 28th in free-throw attempts (18.9), hitting 74 percent.

The total number of attempts is down 26 percent from last season.

“Everybody’s down a little bit. We’re just not getting to the line as much,” Van Gundy said. “It is a concern and over the next couple weeks, there’s stuff we’re looking at with our offense: What do we need to do to put more pressure on the rim? I’ve got to look at that.”