Can the New York Knicks protest wrong foul call on Jalen Brunson?

Ed Malloy admitted it was the wrong call after the game.

New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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The bottom line is that the New York Knicks got screwed. You can argue that other factors went into New York's 105-103 loss to Houston on Monday, and you'd be right. Let's not pretend that makes a pivotal last-second call any better.

Tom Thibodeau could not challenge the foul call on Jalen Brunson because he had already used it earlier in the game. The officials reviewed the play but only to confirm how much time was left on the clock. Shortly after, Ed Malloy confirmed that Jacyn Goble made the wrong call (subscription required).

"After seeing it during a postgame review, the offensive player was able to return to a normal playing position on the floor,” Malloy said in the interview with a pool reporter. “The contact, which occurred after the release of the ball, therefore is incidental and marginal to the shot attempt and should not have been called."

Ed Malloy, via The Athletic

In his postgame interview, Brunson deflected questions about the foul by saying it was a "great call." He and Thibodeau were careful not to get fined by the NBA, which is ironic they had to do so considering one of the league's employees (Goble) committed a costly mistake.

Knicks can file a protest in response to wrong Jalen Brunson foul call

As The Athletic's Fred Katz noted, it'll be tricky for New York to win a protest, even though Malloy already admitted it was the wrong call. Here's what the NBA looks at when a team files a protest:

"The process of protesting the outcome of an NBA game based on an incorrect ruling or misapplication of the rules does offer a final court of appeal for an especially aggrieved team."

Steve Aschburner, NBA

Technically, the Brunson foul call wasn't an incorrect ruling or misapplication of the rule. It was simply a missed call.

If the Knicks do protest the loss, Adam Silver will have the final say. Don't bank on Silver taking New York's side, though.

The last time a team won a protest was in 2007 (subscription required), so the odds aren't in the Knicks' favor. Don't be surprised if the organization decides not to file a protest, especially because it could cost them $10,000. That isn't a large sum of money to New York, but if the Knicks were to lose the protest, the league would keep the $10,000. It'd be a double blow to lose because of a wrong call and then to lose money in a protest.

Unfortunately, it's a lose-lose situation for New York. All that fans can ask is to keep Monday's officiating crew far away from the Knicks, at least Goble.

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