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During the 76ers playoff game against the Raptors, Philadelphia star James Harden got away with taking six steps between dribbles.
James Harden already has a bit of a reputation for traveling. Like many stars in this NBA age, Harden gets away with an extra step or two regularly.
During Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs series against Toronto Harden set a new standard for carrying.
And the refs let him do it.
Watch: James Harden got away with worst travel of all-time
Count those steps. Harden picked up his dribble at the top of the front of the 76ers logo at half court and didn’t put the ball down again until he was at the key.
Were the referees even watching the guy with the ball in his hand? Did they not see how utterly unnatural that whole movement look? It was plainly obvious from the broadcast view but not apparently from the floor.
If we want to cut the refs some slack, it’s possible that carry was so outrageous that the official didn’t believe his eyes. It did almost look like an optical illusion. Almost.
For what it’s worth, the missed call didn’t play much of a part in the outcome of the game. Philadelphia was in control for most of the outing. They held an 18-point advantage at halftime and held onto it in the second half without much issue.
Harden finished with 22 points, five rebounds, 14 assists, a steal, a block and just one turnover.
Raptors fans will definitely want the officials to pay a little bit more attention next game. If it happens again, it could have a much bigger impact.