Watch the clip above. In the span of 13 seconds, we have 2 screens and a shooting foul on a drive to the basket.
Let's break down the play:
- Is the first screen by Red #21 legal? It's pretty close and calling it would be putting junk into the game.
- Is the second screen by Red #231 legal? Definitely not. Red #231 moved into a defender and did not give the defender time and space to avoid contact.
- Is the foul by White #44 accurate and right? It's close and an argument can be made either way on the contact.
The point of this video is to bring out two points:
- Officials must work to get the first illegal act instead of penalizing the subsequent action. In this play, a team control foul for an illegal screen should have been called on Red #231. White should have the ball to inbound on the sideline. Instead, a shooting foul is called on White #44 which puts Red #10 on the line for possible 2 points.
- Do not make the game harder for yourself. If the trail official in this case was refereeing the defense, then that illegal screen would've been really easy to call. Instead, the crew exchanged an easy call for a much tougher call to make.
Much easier said than done, and that's why officials must referee the defense and avoid getting tunnel-vision.
This is a case study in game management: understand that as officials, we should always work to get the first illegal act and not punish the second act. Coaches tend to get upset when an official's missed call results in a possible scoring opportunity for the other team.