Home > Blocking, Charging, Dallas Mavericks, Offensive foul, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phantom foul, Shooting foul > Thunder-Mavericks (Game 5): Most important ref calls and no-calls: Dallas didn’t benefit during comeback win

Thunder-Mavericks (Game 5): Most important ref calls and no-calls: Dallas didn’t benefit during comeback win

Because we’ve had such amazing comeback wins (or meltdowns, depending on how you look at it) late in the 4th quarter of both the Western and Eastern Conference finals games the past two nights, we’ve decided to focus on the ref calls and no-calls from the 4th quarters of both Game 5s that closed out both series. The 4th quarter is when most of the important calls occurred, and those calls could have had an impact on the game, so we decided to take a deeper look.

Below is video from Wednesday night’s Oklahoma City-Dallas 4th quarter that closed it out for the Mavericks. We’ve concluded that Dallas’ comeback in the fourth quarter was not a result of the refs calling too many fouls against Oklahoma City since Dallas had more wrong calls/no-calls against them than OKC.

We’ll have video from Thursday’s Miami-Chicago game coming out later today.

In this video, you’ll see the following clips.

  • Ref Monty McCutchen will incorrectly call a foul against OKC’s Russell Westbrook when it appeared he got “all ball” on a block of a shot of Dallas’ Shawn Marion. Marion would go on to make 1-of-2 free throws to cut the OKC lead to 83-77.
  • The refs don’t call a foul on OKC’s James Harden when he appears to push off on Dallas’ Jose Barea, perhaps because Barea has a history of flopping and he tried to sell this one like he has done with others. Harden would go on to score a basket to give OKC an 87-79 lead.
  • The video is inconclusive if the ball went off Dallas’ Jason Kidd or Chicago’s Nick Collison. Ref Monty McCutchen called the ball off of Kidd.
  • The refs miss an arguable travel by OKC’s Kevin Durant driving to the basket, and also miss him pushing off a bit on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler, although the push-off could have been incidental. Durant would go on to score to make the game 92-86.
  • Ref Derrick Stafford will call a blocking foul on OKC’s Eric Maynor when it appeared he was established defensively before Dallas’ Shawn Marion ran into him. Marion would go on to make 2 free throws to cut OKC’s lead down to 92-90.
  • The refs miss some contact that Dallas’ Jason Terry applies on OKC’s Russell Westbrook as he’s putting up a shot, but it didn’t hurt OKC much because Kevin Durant would score on the ensuing possession.
  • Ref Jason Phillips calls a loose ball foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler on OKC’s Russell Westbrook when a foul didn’t appear to be warranted. However, OKC would turn the ball over on the ensuing possession, so it didn’t hurt Dallas.
  • The refs made the correct no-call to not call a foul against Dallas’ Tyson Chandler when he and OKC’s Russell Westbrook were going after a rebound.
  • Ref Derrick Stafford incorrectly calls a foul against Dallas’ Tyson Chandler on OKC’s Russell Westbrook on a drive to the basket.
  • Anonymous

    On the last rebound clip, I don’t understand how chandler kicking his leg between westbrook’s leg can be considered incidental contact.  There was no foul on the arms, but chandler kicked his leg out and tripped westbrook. Neither player jumped straight up and down, but chandler kicked his leg under wear westbrook would be coming down.  

    On the last call against chandler, that is another case of the officials being lazy and calling an anticipatory foul.  There was no contact, but they expected it.  Similar to the call you didn’t review of Durant “fouling” Marion on the dunk late in the game.  No contact was made, but the officials still made an anticipatory call.  

    On another note, why don’t the broadcasters show more replays of questionable calls? 

    • RefCalls-TopFlops staff

      We wouldn’t characterize it as a “trip.” They were both in mid-air, so you can’t trip someone in mid-air. It’s borderline, but here’s our philosophy: One of the issues that makes consistent interpretation of contact like this a challenge is the subjectivity of how much contact is too much. We have noticed among younger folks who grew up watching the NBA over the past 10 to 15 years, their threshold for contact is much lower than folks like ourselves who have been watching the NBA for the past 35 years. There is a phrase under “incidental contact” in the rulebook which gives refs alot of leeway to interpret on their own what they think is too much. It’s a mixed blessing since in theory you can avoid calling fouls on every little touch foul, but the challenge is getting all the refs to call the right amount of contact consistently, just like how we’re doing that now between ourselves.

      We believe the amount contact that was received in the 70’s and 80’s to warrant a foul back then should still apply now. The last thing anyone wants is to have today’s NBA players be characterized as being sissies or wimps because they are being coddled by the refs on the slightest of contact. It’s bad for the game, and has resulted in an increase of what is called “ticky-tack” or “touch” fouls. We almost want to celebrate anytime a ref doesn’t call a ticky-tack foul because it slows down the game if they do, and gives the team that received the foul an unnecessary advantage.

      We checked out that Durant foul on Marion late in the game. You’re missing the hit on Marion’s head that Durant put on him. You have to slow it down and review the camera angle from above the basket. It’s clear as day that was a foul, so we didn’t put it in the video.

      • Jamiegage78

        how was that not a foul for contact…westbrook didnt get knocked to the ground on his own…he had the rebound..had posession of rebound..until chandler bumped him causing ball to get loose….dallas has been getting these timely no calls all playofs

        • RefCalls-TopFlops staff

          He hardly got touched. People who think that’s contact should have seen contact in the 70’s and 80’s. Today’s players (and fans) need to man up and not complain on the slightest of fouls. Even Westbrook didn’t complain.

  • Pessimism

    Nice review.

    Maynor’s blocking foul was the correct call. It was also, I believe, a “home call”. It would have been called differently in OKC (although it shouldn’t have). Maynor is moving into Marion on this play, trying to force a charging call. Had he stood still, a charging call would have been warranted. Typical sneaky, cheating play by an OKC player.

    There was no contact on Westbrook’s final flailing drive. He also traveled.

    • RefCalls-TopFlops staff

      We agree on everything except Maynor. He was actually leaning backwards as Marion hit him.

      • Pessimism

        Exactly. He’s not standing straight up as he should be. He’s leaning backwards; in effect, he’s thrusting his lower body into Marion’s airspace. The viewing angle is deceptive. It is not a charge.

        If you watch for the impact, Marion’s body barely makes contact with Maynor. Only his feet do. Marion is attempting to avoid the collision entirely. He nearly succeeds. The only reason his feet make contact with Maynor’s torso is because Maynor angles his lower body forward and to the right, effectively tripping Marion while he’s in mid-air.

      • Dmd

        If I remember correctly, the announcers actually said they agreed with the call later after they showed the angle from above.

        • RefCalls-TopFlops staff

          Yeah, that comment confounded us since they seemed to be blaming him for getting hit, which happened to be one of the worst TV analysis we’ve heard in a long time. I would bet most people would agree, if there was a poll among knowledgeable folks, that he was established.

    • Mister_F

      Sorry Pessimism, but Maynor’s block should’ve been a charge hands down. I honestly can’t remember a more obvious block/charge play that went the wrong way (that is it was a reaaaaaaally bad missed call).

  • RefCalls-TopFlops staff

    Yeah, he got hit in the head. Probably easy to miss if one is looking at Marion’s arm or the ball.

  • RefCalls-TopFlops staff

    yeah, all those calls that went against LAL and OKC that we documented throughout the series shows we’re mavs fans. give me a break. like we just told you, fans like ya’ll need to man up. westbrook didn’t even complain. done.

  • Jaimefernanez

    just out of curiosity with all due resepect to the website what qualifies anyone who works for your company to make the call a call was right or wrong…any of you a ref? ever been a ref? how are you different that any fan saying their team got cheated

    • RefCalls-TopFlops staff

      We were tempted not to respond since we’re seeing multiple usernames and email addresses coming from the same IP address, so something tells us you may just wanting to “hide” behind some bogus email addresses. We normally don’t respond to people who use different usernames to try to make it look like there are multiple people wanting to call out an issue when it’s just one person who has an agenda. But for this time, and this time only, we’ll respond to your question:

      Just read the rules, and use the rules as your basis for all decisions. It’s like a judge who has to interpret the law in a court room. A judge can’t make up his own laws — the verdict and sentence has to be based on what the law says. We had a ref consulting for us, but unfortunately the refs’ verdicts weren’t supported by what the rulebook says. That’s how bad the problem is — refs who refer to “rules” that don’t exist in the rulebook. We see it all the time. There is a ton of laziness among the people responsible for holding the refs accountable. Hopefully we can help fill some of that void.

  • RefCalls-TopFlops staff

    The stats don’t lie. We post everything in the video so people can decide for themselves, although we have a very strong understanding of the rulebook that most people haven’t put the time into studying like we have. Hundreds of hours.

    If the Heat end up getting an advantage, we’ll call that out, too. But the missed travels by the refs are much more apparent when Wade & James play.