Pacers-Bulls (Game 2): Controversial play with Hibbert late in game shouldn’t have happened
Since the 76er-Heat game on Monday night was a blowout where there weren’t any impactful ref calls that could have changed the outcome, we’re going to focus on the Pacers-Bulls game, which was a completely different story.
There were several bad calls (and good calls) in a fairly physical 4th quarter in this game. They are too numerous to go through in this post, but we’ll try to get to some more of them posted on Tuesday. For this post we are featuring what we think will be on Tuesday the most talked about play from the game.
It’s the alleged Roy Hibbert “push-off” foul on Joakim Noah the refs called against Hibbert with one minute remaining in the game, Pacers down 90-85. It was a huge call since it kept the margin wide enough for Chicago to hold on for the win and go up 2-0 in the series.
It’s a tough call to make for most refs. TNT analyst Chris Webber does have a point in his commentary that there was probably enough separation between the two players that made the contact Hibbert initiated “incidental.”
But after looking at the replay many times, it’s still very subjective. If I were the ref, I wouldn’t have made that call because Hibbert’s arm wasn’t creating separation — he already had enough since Noah was originally far enough away from Hibbert, relatively speaking.
However, the point that I’m sure alot of people are missing is that Hibbert’s shot attempt should have been waved off because…HE TRAVELED! Check out the video below where you’ll see Hibbert not only lifts his pivot foot before taking the shot, he puts it down and lifts it again!
The refs who missed this travel are Bob Delaney (#26), Marc Davis (#34), and Rodney Mott (#71).
It’s amazing that refs miss relatively easy travel calls like this one. Have we let the game of basketball get so out-of-hand and away from the rulebook that “expert” TV analysts who used to play in the NBA don’t even look for it anymore? At least you can see in the video on the sidelines that Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau makes a traveling signal with his hands.
In cased you haven’t seen it yet, we address the whole problem of missed travels in the NBA — which is one of the most overlooked aspects of the game in our opinion — in this video at RefCalls.com/missed-travels. Check it out if you have some time.