Zach LaVine Misses Assist Prop By One Amidst Debatable Play During Bulls vs. Hornets
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach LaVine
The Chicago Bulls won for the second time in their past five games, and Zach LaVine did just about all he could in the effort. LaVine scored 27 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists, but it’s that last figure that has sports bettors talking on Wednesday night.
LaVine’s five assists fell under his standard assist prop of 5.5 by one, but those watching at home can see that might be a mistake.
With 7:18 left in the game, LaVine finds teammate DeMar Derozan on the perimeter, who immediately takes one dribble towards the hoop and is fouled on his shot. The shot goes in and he makes the free throw to complete the three-point play.
LaVine was not given an assist on the play.
Zach LaVine's over/under assists was 5.5 tonight…
He finished with 5 and this play below wasn't credited as an assist. pic.twitter.com/RVvBvrkWH2
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) February 10, 2022
Assists are some of the most disputed stats because of the subjectivity.
The official NBA video rule book states:
“An assist is credited to the player tossing the last pass leading directly to a made field goal, but only if the player scoring the goal demonstrates and immediate reaction toward the basket after receiving the ball.”
Typically, that means a direct attack and score within two dribbles.
As the video shows, DeRozan is on the move toward the basket as he catches the pass from LaVine. He takes on dribble into his running jumper when he’s fouled and makes the basket. It looks similar to this play listed as an assist on the official NBA website.
The NBA, as detailed in this story by Darren Rovell, has multiple cameras and decision makers tracking statistics every night. However, mistakes still happen and recently the league and sportsbooks have made necessary adjustments.
Other close calls in the game included a LaMelo Ball assist to Terry Rozier, where Rozier takes a jab step before his two dribbles to the basket for a score making it more of a subjective call on what “immediate reaction toward the basket” means. A rebound credited to LaVine also appeared to actually be hauled in by teammate Nikola Vucevic.
While some sportsbooks stick to house rules that stat bets will not be adjusted or paid out once the final decision is made after the game, others, such as FanDuel, have issued refunds to winning bets following stat corrections.
We’ll see if LaVine’s assist prop is next.