The no-call following Kobe Bryant’s foul on Ricky Rubio was met with a wide-eyed, pleading reaction from the aggrieved shooter, Rick Adelman storming to mid court demanding an explanation, and 51 percent of fans at Target Center booing their lungs out. (The other 49, wearing purple and gold, had a different-but-also-loud reaction.) Twitter was equally reactive. Bitching. Expletives. Allegations of corruption. Probably some unpleasant messages directed @kobebryant.
In truth, it probably didn’t matter, and it is only one play out of a great many that decided tonight’s game. Had a foul been called on Kobe, Ricky would have had a chance to force overtime by making three consecutive free throws. His season free-throw percentage of 77.4 tells us that there is a 46.4 percent chance that he would’ve made all of them and five more minutes would’ve been added to the clock next to a tie score. If overtime is a 50/50 proposition (probably generous, given that they have Kobe and… we don’t) then it means that a foul call would’ve given the Wolves a 23.2 percent chance of winning the game.