Heat-Mavericks (Game 5): Two big ref calls/no-calls near the end of game
We’ll be working on videos of missed calls from Thursday’s Game 5 and publishing them on Saturday and Sunday. But before doing that, we wanted to feature two plays near the end of the game that had an impact on the outcome.
They both occurred with over 2 minutes remaining, so there was still plenty of time for the outcome of the game to be affected by subsequent plays, but they were big plays nonetheless.
The first is of Dirk Nowitzki driving along the baseline where the refs (specifically Bill Kennedy) missed Nowitzki traveling on his way to a dunk that put the Mavericks up 102-100.
Then on the very next possession, it was a tough call for ref Joe Crawford to make at real speed when LeBron James caught the ball as he was driving to the hoop, and was called for a charging violation on Tyson Chandler.
Chandler was established when James charged into him, and Chandler was in the restricted area (or on the line, which is the same thing). The key question is where was James when he “received” the ball? It’s pretty clear he received it in the lower defensive box area, so this was a good call.
The lower defensive box (LDB) is the area between the tip of the free throw circle, down to the end line, and out across the lane a couple of feet to some small hash marks along the end line that are hardly visible, but they are there.
The reason why the LDB is relevant on block-charge situations like this is because the rule makers understood that it would be impossible for a defender to get out of the restricted area quick enough if an opponent on offense received the ball real close to the basket. It would give the offense an unfair advantage. So that’s why they came up with a reasonable amount of space and grant the defender a “waiver” to legally be in the restricted area.
Check out the video below for these two plays.