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Missed travels by Dallas (Game 3). Plus, an admission from Mark Jackson about constant missed traveling

June 8th, 2011 No comments

We know you’re reading this post after Tuesday’s Game 4 in the Finals is over, but we still have some business from Game 3 to finish before moving on to Game 4. We regret we didn’t have enough time to publish a video of all the ref calls we thought the refs got right in Game 3. There was just too much stuff to cover that we believe the refs got wrong, which we’ve done over the past couple of days through other posts.

In the video below are the Dallas travels the refs missed in Game 3 (the Heat’s missed travels are here).

In the video is some of my favorite dialogue from national TV announcers about missed violations from the refs. In the last clip at about the 1:20 mark, Jeff Van Gundy calls out the refs for missing an obvious Jason Kidd travel, which must have made play-by-play guy Mike Breen and analyst Mark Jackson uncomfortable because they had just been raving about how Kidd was so smart to fake out Dwyane Wade to get him to foul him and said nothing about the travel. Personally speaking, we lose alot of respect for announcers who don’t point out the most obvious of travels that are missed.

After Van Gundy opened up about Kidd’s travel that wasn’t called, fellow analyst Mark Jackson let it fly, perhaps because he doesn’t have to worry about keeping his announcing job since he’s “outta there” after these NBA Finals are over, on his way to Golden State.

Here’s what Jackson said about what announcers are inclined to do:

“We fall in love with paying attention to the shot, but we lose sight of the traveling violation that constantly occurs.”

WOW! Beyond the millions he will make as a coach and getting back to the thrill of NBA competition, maybe this is one small reason why Jackson has decided to leave broadcasting and accepted the Golden State Warriors head coaching job on Tuesday — perhaps he’s uncomfortable that as an announcer who has to get viewers excited about the game, it wouldn’t make for good television or make the league look good to mention missed travels every time they occur, and instead talk about the athleticism or the dunk that’s demonstrated during or after the travel.

If Jackson has truly lost sight over time that travels occur, that concerns me that a new head coach in the league can lose sight of something that’s such a prevalent part of the game that gives players (his future opponents) an unfair advantage. For Jackson’s sake, I hope it’s not an indicator of his attention to detail when he’s coaching the Warriors next season.

On to other details about the video above…We had originally calculated 9 missed travels, but after looking at the video closer, we determined that Dirk Nowitzki has really perfected his dribbling such that we had to take out 3 of the plays where we thought he originally traveled.

What Nowitzki is able to do better than what we’ve seen with other players is cut down on the little baby step they take after completing their dribble. He does that by making sure that his hand touches the ball at about the same time the first little step is taken, not before.

As a result, you can’t say he has completed his dribble before his foot touches the floor. But it does take a little bit off of his ability to get past his defender, which is fair since that’s what may have been the intent of the people who originally wrote the rule — so defenders weren’t hung out to dry unfairly.

That means out of the 6 travels, only three were by Nowitzki, two from Jason Kidd, and one by Jose Barea. These six travels still resulted in 7 points being scored in the possessions where they weren’t called.

Here is the order of the Dallas players who had missed traveling violations in the video.

  1. Jason Kidd
  2. Jose Barea
  3. Dirk Nowitzki
  4. Dirk Nowitzki
  5. Jason Kidd
  6. Dirk Nowitzki

Video of missed traveling violations for Heat – Game 3

June 7th, 2011 3 comments

Below is a video of 14 clips of missed traveling violations on the Heat that the refs didn’t catch in Game 3, which resulted in 12 points being scored by Miami on those possessions where they missed the travels.

Next we’ll be publishing a video of the travels the refs missed on the Mavericks.

One of the important themes we point out in the video is when players are able to sneak in a baby step before their first two legal steps. It’s not as much of the step itself that gets them the advantage, but the fact it allows them to lean forward to get past their defender on the first step is huge.

Here’s the overall breakdown of the missed travels in the video. Some of these are very minor, but are violations according to the NBA rulebook based on this analysis.

LeBron James – 7
Chris Bosh – 5
Dwyane Wade – 1
Joel Anthony – 1

Below the video is the sequence of the missed travels by each particular Heat player:

  1. Dwyane Wade
  2. Chris Bosh
  3. LeBron James
  4. Chris Bosh
  5. LeBron James
  6. Joel Anthony
  7. LeBron James
  8. LeBron James
  9. LeBron James
  10. LeBron James
  11. LeBron James
  12. Chris Bosh
  13. Chris Bosh

Heat-Mavericks Game 3 videos: wrong calls & no-calls (missed travels video later)

June 7th, 2011 18 comments

Below are the first two videos that feature the wrong and missed calls from Game 3 of the NBA Finals. These videos exclude the missed travels, which we are working on now, as well as a video of those calls we believe the refs got right that some people might have questioned.

Our new way of breaking up one large video into several smaller videos is taking longer than we anticipated, so thanks for your patience. We’ll continue to experiment on getting good content out on a timely basis.

In the first video, we have 4 clips of wrong or missed ref calls that benefitted Miami (in our last post we had stated 5, but have allocated one of those to Dallas since). These four calls resulted in 4 points being scored, approximately, by Miami during these possessions.

It wasn’t a good night for ref Scott Foster, who had 6 questionable foul calls, and Derrick Stafford, who had four. Usually you might get one ref who calls an inordinate amount of ticky-tack calls, but in this game, we had two (Foster and Stafford).

Below each video is a breakdown of all the clips in the video.

In the first video, we really appreciate the commentary that analyst Jeff Van Gundy provides in the last clip regarding players who flop on every play, and how he can’t understand how fellow commentators (Mark Jackson, Reggie Miller, just to name a few) think players SHOULD flop or sell calls. Bravo Van Gundy!

  1. The refs miss an offensive 3-second violation against Miami’s Chris Bosh.
  2. Ref Scott Foster will call a touch foul on Dallas’ Ian Mahinmi as Miami’s Udonis Haslem falls out out of bounds.
  3. The refs don’t call a foul on Miami’s Mario Chalmers when he arguably runs into Dallas’ Tyson Chandler.
  4. Ref Derrick Stafford will call a loose ball foul on Dallas’ Jason Kidd when it appeared Miami’s Dwyane Wade flopped.

In the second video (below) are 13 wrong or missed calls that benefitted Dallas (instead of 12, like we posted earlier today). Thirteen is a pretty wide disparity to the four that were missed to Miami’s advantage. However, it only resulted (roughly calculated) in 5 direct points that helped Dallas.

  1. Ref Scott Foster calls a foul on Miami’s Joel Anthony when it didn’t look like he made contact with Dallas’ Jason Terry.
  2. Ref Dan Crawford calls a questionable foul on Miami’s Mario Chalmers involving Dallas’ Jose Barea.
  3. Ref Derrick Stafford calls a foul on Miami’s LeBron James after Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson flopped.
  4. Ref Dan Crawford calls a foul on Miami’s Mike Miller when it didn’t appear he hit Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
  5. Ref Derrick Stafford calls a foul on Miami’s Mike Miller as he defends Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
  6. Ref Dan Crawford doesn’t call a foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler when he puts his leg in Miami’s LeBron James‘ path, making him trip.
  7. Ref Derrick Stafford calls a foul on Miami’s Mike Bibby when there wasn’t much contact, if any, with Dallas’ Jose Barea.
  8. Ref Scott Foster calls a foul on Miami’s Mike Bibby when Dallas’ Jose Barea slips and falls.
  9. Ref Scott Foster calls a loose ball foul on Miami’s Udonis Haslem when it didn’t look like he made any contact.
  10. Ref Scott Foster calls a loose ball foul on Miami’s Udonis Haslem when it didn’t look like he made much, if any, contact with Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
  11. The refs miss a foul from Dallas’ Jason Kidd on Miami’s LeBron James when Kidd lightly hits James’ arm, making him lose control of the ball while everyone thought James lost the ball on his own and traveled.
  12. Ref Scott Foster calls a loose ball foul on Miami’s Udonis Haslem (again) when it didn’t look like he made much, if any, contact with Dallas’ Tyson Chandler.
  13. Ref Derrick Stafford makes a no-call when Dallas’ Shawn Marion appears to foul Miami’s LeBron James.

Miami-Dallas (NBA Finals Game 3): Initial review of ref calls gives Miami a 4-point advantage

June 6th, 2011 32 comments

For our review of Game 3 of the Dallas-Miami game, we’re going to do a few things differently from previous posts.

Rather than create one large video that takes tons of hours to put together and upload that’s published almost 24 hours after the game has ended, we’re going to break it up into chunks and spread their release throughout the day (Monday).

Before we describe the order we’ll be posting these videos, we have made some approximate calculations about the wrong and missed calls by the refs from Game 3. So let’s get to that:

Missed travels still are the big ref-oriented theme of this series. We calculated the refs missing approximately 14 travels by the Heat, and 9 by the Mavericks. Twelve points were scored by the Heat in those possessions where their travels were missed, and 7 for the Mavericks. That’s a 5-point deficit for Dallas in a very close 2-point game.

Here’s the breakdown of whose travels were missed (some of these travels were minor in nature that hardly any referee calls, but are technically travels according to the NBA rulebook).

Miami (14):
LeBron James – 7
Chris Bosh – 5
Dwyane Wade – 1
Joel Anthony – 1

Dallas (9):
Dik Nowitzki – 6
Jason Kidd – 2
Jose Barea – 1

Excluding missed travels, we counted the refs missing or getting wrong 12 calls that favored Dallas resulting in 5 points being scored directly because of those calls, and 5 calls/no-calls that favored Miami resulting in 4 points. That’s a 1-point advantage for Dallas.

So taking into account the 5-point advantage the Heat had with the missed travels, and 1-point advantage Dallas had for wrong or missed calls not involving missed travels, you get a 4-point net advantage for the Heat. Please keep in mind this is an approximate figure.

When you see the videos that are released throughout the day on Monday, you’ll be able to see the details of these calls on a call-by-call basis.

What’s the deal with the alleged backcourt violation involving Mario Chalmers?

Before working on our videos, we wanted to address one of the more confusing no-calls that occurred at the end of the 1st quarter right before Miami’s Mario Chalmers hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

You might remember that Chalmers had stepped on the half court line as he was about to receive a pass. The ABC coverage was very confusing because at first they said he had committed a backcourt violation, then later said he didn’t after a closer look at the rules. But then if you read what others are writing after the game, they are saying that he a backcourt violation should have been called, thus wiping out the chance of that 3-pointer ever getting made.

Well, we looked at the rulebook to find out for ourselves since it’s a pretty rare scenario. If you’ve been reading what we’ve been writing on this site over the past few weeks, you probably have picked up on the theme about how the rulebook is detailed in some areas, nebulous in others, and just has huge gaps in other parts.

We believe this scenario involving Chalmers falls into the last category — in a gap. It’s not clearly explained what should be ruled, but if you go through the process of elimination, we have come to the conclusion that it was NOT a backcourt violation. Here’s why:

Chalmers’ foot wasn’t on the halfcourt line when he caught the pass. He actually jumped into the air to catch the ball, then came down in the frontcourt. This is a fatal flaw that ABC and others have been assuming for some reason, when the video clearly shows he wasn’t.

So you have to look in the rulebook for the scenario where a player catches the ball in mid-air when he hasn’t been in the frontcourt yet. Unfortunately, that specific scenario is not specifically spelled out. But there is this provision that provides some clarity:

A ball being held by a player: (1) is in the frontcourt if neither the ball nor the player is touching the backcourt, (2) is in the backcourt if either the ball or player is touching the backcourt.

#1 above would apply since Chalmers and the ball weren’t in the backcourt as he caught the pass.

What ABC and other “experts” might be thinking is that Chalmers still had a backcourt status because he hadn’t established a position in the frontcourt yet, especially since the entire midcourt line is considered to be part of the backcourt.

But the rulebook only specifies a player has not attained frontcourt/backcourt status “until a player with the ball has established a positive position in either half during (1) a jump ball, (2) a steal by a defensive player, (3) a throw-in in the last two minutes of the fourth period and/or any overtime period or (4) any time the ball is loose.”

Since none of these four situations apply to Chalmers, then we have to throw out the whole argument of Chalmers needing to attain a position in the frontcourt before he catches the ball. That’s clearly not written here. As a result, we can only rely on the rule in blockquotes above, which has nothing to do with having frontcourt status first.

As a result, love it or hate it, the refs “no-call” involving Chalmers was the correct one, and his 3-pointer at the buzzer was legitimate. But we suggest the rulebook be amended to account for the Chalmers scenario so it’s more clear. And while they’re at it, we’d love for the NBA to contact us so we can give them some suggestions on how to make other parts of the rulebook more clear.

Our video posting schedule on Monday:

Here’s how we plan to release videos on Monday:

Ref calls and no-calls (non-traveling related) that penalized…
1) Dallas (the calls that went against the losing team will be published first)
2) Miami

Missed traveling calls that wrongly impacted…
3) Dallas
4) Miami
*As a result, if you don’t care about watching missed travels so much, you can skip these videos.

5) Calls the refs got right, were inconclusive, or are in a “catch-all” category

Categories: Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat Tags:

TopFlops update: playoff edition

June 5th, 2011 3 comments

Our sister site has just published a video of some of the best “flops” in the playoffs since May 13th. Below the video is a list of the players who are featured in the video.

  1. 0:04 – Oklahoma City’s Thabo Sefolosha
  2. 0:26 – Dallas’ Jose Barea
  3. 0:52 – Chicago’s Omer Asik
  4. 1:14 – Chicago’s Omer Asik (again)
  5. 1:42 – Dallas’ Jose Barea
  6. 2:14 – Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson
  7. 2:23 – Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson (again)
  8. 3:12 – Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson (again)
  9. 3:51 – Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson (again)
  10. 3:57 – Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson (again)
  11. 4:08 – OKC’s James Harden (with funny commentary from analyst Jeff Van Gundy)
  12. 5:55 – Miami’s Mario Chalmers
  13. 6:13 – Miami’s LeBron James
  14. 6:59 – Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki
  15. 7:26 – Oklahoma City’s Eric Maynor
  16. 7:55 – Miami’s LeBron James (with funny commentary from analyst Reggie Miller)
  17. 9:00 – Miami’s Mario Chalmers
  18. 9:15 – Miami’s Dwyane Wade

Dallas-Miami (NBA Finals Game 2) – Complete ref call analysis: missed travels still the big story

June 4th, 2011 29 comments

We have finally completed our exhaustive review of Game 2 of the NBA Finals between Dallas and Miami played Thursday night. At least 25 ref calls were incorrectly made or missed — Whew! It also took a little longer than normal since we’re using a new video hosting platform which takes more time to upload and process our videos compared to our previous hosting provider – YouTube.

These Finals games deserve the utmost scrutiny since so many people are watching them. But they are killers to review, especially considering all of the missed traveling violations from known offenders playing in these games.

Speaking of travels, we counted up the number of missed travels in the game, and they are the following:

Dwyane Wade – 5
Chris Bosh - 2
LeBron James - 1

Dirk Nowitzki – 3
Jose Barea - 1
Peja Stojakovic - 1

It’s interesting that after Game 1, in which James scored 24 points and at least 5 of his travels were missed, that he only had 1 traveling violation missed in Game 2 while “only” scoring 20 points, probably in deference to his teammate Wade, who was more of the aggressor.

Wade scored 36 points in Game 2, more than the 22 he scored in Game 1. As a result, his number of missed travels went up from 0 to 5. This continues to affirm our past research that the more a player scores in a game (an indicator of aggressiveness on offense), there’s a pretty strong correlation with the number of traveling violations the refs will miss along the way to scoring all those points.

It’s also interesting as Miami’s offense started to shut down in the 4th quarter as they lost their big lead settling for jump shots, their number of missed travels went down to zero for the quarter. It just goes to show that the more aggressive you are as a player, and the more you are able to sneak in an extra “baby step” to help you drive past your defender (which the rulebook doesn’t allow, BTW), the more the refs will reward you by not calling a travel.

It’s sad this is something players can exploit that most fans don’t even notice. But until the refs start calling more travels to clean up the game (and players will adjust to it, in our opinion), fans will continue to be in the dark about it. In the meantime, it will continue to be one of the keys to winning games if you’re inclined to use the refs’ blase attitude about calling travels against them.

In the last clip of the video, you’ll see that Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki traveled a couple of times on his game-winning shot. They weren’t very obvious at real speed, but if you slow it down like we did, the travels were there.

Like we continue to say, though, these travels are difficult to detect as they occur. But it can’t hurt if the refs were given more training to detect these violations. Kind of like police officers getting trained to decide in a split second if they need to fire their weapon in a potentially threatening situation. Just the premise that refs are more inclined to call a travel might make more players change some of their moves to be in compliance with the official rulebook, which could change the game for the better.

For what it’s worth, in between the two missed travels on Nowitzki’s game winner, he did have one of the most unique moves we’ve ever seen a player make while dribbling the basketball. We’ve broken that move down for you in the video.

Would there be much more parity in the NBA if the refs started calling more traveling violations on high-priced players who we know travel alot, like Wade, James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant (just to name a few)? Would there be more value placed on building teams with players who are more well-rounded than being forced to pay huge amounts of money for free agents who have mastered their ball handling skills to score going one-on-one, bending the rules in their favor, like using those little baby steps that help them past their defender more easily. Could the whole concept of needing at least two superstars (and needing to pay out the nose for it) to win a championship become a thing of the past?

But of course, the league could be mighty scared of moving away from the superstar model, although we think the stars would continue to shine in other ways. And there is the argument the pie (a.k.a. “revenue”) gets a lot bigger when you have more parity in a league.

Also in this game, referee Joe Crawford continued his penchant for calling ticky-tack fouls, calling at least 5 “touch” fouls that weren’t warranted, much more than the other refs by far.

Here is a breakdown of the calls in the video above:

1st Quarter:

  1. Ref Joe Crawford misses a travel by Miami’s Dwyane Wade that occurs right in front of him, but no call.
  2. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki
  3. Ref Ken Mauer incorrectly calls a foul on Miami’s Joel Anthony according to the NBA’s official play-by-play data, but it doesn’t appear Anthony fouled Dallas’ Tyson Chandler. Perhaps Miami’s Chris Bosh was worthy of receiving the foul, but there was no way Mauer could have seen Bosh’s contact since he was shielded from Bosh on the play.
  4. The refs will miss a moving screen on Miami’s Mike Bibby, but there is no call.
  5. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Miami’s Dwyane Wade.
  6. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Miami’s Chris Bosh.
  7. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Miami’s Dwyane Wade, which leads to a 3-pointer by Miami’s Mike Bibby.
  8. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Miami’s Dwyane Wade.
  9. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Dallas’ Peja Stojakovic.

2nd Quarter:

  1. Ref Joe Crawford will call a ticky-tack foul on Miami’s Udonis Haslem involving Dallas’ Jason Terry.
  2. The refs will miss a traveling violation (double-dribble) on Dallas’ Jose Barea.
  3. The refs will incorrectly call a technical foul on Miami’s Mike Miller after Miller lightly pushes Dallas’ Jose Barea off of him, who fell on top of him forcefully. If Miller deserved a technical, then Barea did, too, who only received a personal foul. This technical on Miller sent Dallas to the line for a technical foul free throw.
  4. The refs miss two traveling violations by Miami’s Chris Bosh, then a couple of seconds later miss a basket interference violation by Miami’s Dwyane Wade, who grabs the ball above the imaginary cylinder and dunks it.
  5. The refs will miss a traveling violation by Miami’s LeBron James.
  6. Ref Ken Mauer will make a no-call involving Dallas’ Tyson Chandler as Miami’s Dwyane Wade is driving to the basket for a score. A difficult call given the contact from Chandler is very light. Wade doesn’t help himself by not even looking up at the basket when he is putting up his shot, relying on the ref to make a call. If Wade had looked up, he might have received the call. Our opinion is that the ref made the correct no-call since a lot more contact than Chandler’s is rightfully allowed throughout every game, with no call.
  7. Ref Joe Crawford will call a ticky-tack foul on Dallas’ Jason Terry after a flop by Miami’s Mario Chalmers.
  8. Ref Joe Crawford will call a questionable foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler

3rd Quarter:

  1. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Miami’s Dwyane Wade, which helps him pump fake on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler, get him fouled, and send Wade to the line for 2 free throws.
  2. The refs will incorrectly call a technical foul on Dallas coach Rick Carlisle after Dirk Nowitzki incorrectly receives a personal foul violation after Miami’s LeBron James puts an elbow into his chest.
  3. The refs will miss calling a personal foul on Dallas’ Brian Cardinal after he makes contact with the face of Miami’s Mike Bibby, and leaves his hand on Bibby’s face for a prolonged amount of time.
  4. It appears that ref Joe Crawford will incorrectly call a foul on Dallas’ Jason Terry, who appeared to cleanly strip Miami’s Dwyane Wade of the ball, sending Wade to the free throw line.

4th Quarter:

  1. It appears that ref Ken Mauer made the correct call by assigning a traveling violation on Miami’s LeBron James after he gained possession of the ball.
  2. The refs miss a traveling violation on Dallas’ Dirk Nowtizki
  3. Ref Joe Crawford will incorrectly call a foul on Miami’s Udonis Haslem, who doesn’t appear to make any contact with Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
  4. The refs correctly make a no-call after Miami’s LeBron James claim he was hit when he missed a layup.
  5. Ref Ed Malloy will incorrectly call a foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler when it appeared that Miami’s LeBron James might have pushed off with his right forearm.
  6. The refs miss two different traveling violations on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.

Dallas-Miami (NBA Finals Game 1): Both halves reviewed. Not equal for Mavs. Refs miss 5 LeBron travels

June 2nd, 2011 9 comments

As some of you may have seen this morning, YouTube took down our video from yesterday that had many of the ref calls we reviewed from the 2nd half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. There are literally thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of videos on YouTube that have NBA footage in them, but they haven’t been taken down. You’ve got to think with this action the NBA may be noticing how much is revealing of their game, and they may have a problem with it. Oh well. Whatever.

In the meantime, we have finished creating a new video that has most of the ref calls from the 1st half of Tuesday’s game in the video below. We’ve also appended to the video those calls from the 2nd half from the video taken down this morning, and included a couple of new calls we found, and updated them in the text description below the video.

Probably one of the most glaring stats we found is that LeBron James traveled 5 times with no call from the refs. In the video below, they are at the following time markers: 1:28, 1:59, 7:38, 13:33, and 14:23. In comparison, the refs only missed one Dirk Nowitzki traveling violation.

Here’s a summary of the wrong calls that affected both teams throughout the entire game:

Wrong calls/no-calls that penalized Dallas: 14
Wrong calls/no-calls that penalized Miami: 10

However, as we stated yesterday, not all wrong calls/no-calls are created equal. Those that occur late in the game when the game is in the balance that result in a field goal or free throws are more impactful than others. If you’re a Dallas fan, in addition to the 5 missed travels by LeBron James, you can’t be happy about the calls in the 2nd half (#13, 14, and #16 below). If you’re a Miami fan, you won’t like #12 in the 2nd half. That’s a 3-to-1 disparity in crunch time. Not good for Mav fans.

Another thing is clear: Ref Bill Kennedy called more ticky-tack fouls (5) than the other refs officiating this game, with 4 being called against Dallas players. That’s a tendency to remember for future games, if Kennedy is allowed to ref another Finals game this post-season.

Below is a breakdown of the clips in the video. If you don’t see a clip of a call that you had questions about, it’s most likely because we agreed with the refs’ assessment. There’s just too many questionable calls to include in this video every ref call, including those they got right, and get this video out in a timely manner.

1st half

  1. Ref Mike Callahan will incorrectly call a foul on Miami’s Dwyane Wade when it looked like he got “all ball” in stripping Dallas’ Shawn Marion.
  2. Ref Bill Kennedy will fail to call a defensive 3-second violation on Dallas’ Jason Kidd when he stayed in the lane longer than 3 seconds and wasn’t actively guarding anyone.
  3. The refs will miss a moving screen that Miami’s Chris Bosh applies on Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson.
  4. Ref Mike Callahan calls a foul on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki when it looks like the contact with Miami’s LeBron James was negligible and was equally shared between both players. Should have been a no-call.
  5. The refs will miss a traveling violation by Miami’s LeBron James.
  6. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Miami’s LeBron James as well as charging call into Dallas’ Tyson Chandler.
  7. The refs miss a moving screen on Dallas’ Chris Bosh applied on Dallas’ Jason Kidd.
  8. Ref Bill Kennedy will incorrectly call a foul on Miami’s Mike Bibby, but it doesn’t appear he touches Dallas’ Jason Terry. A secondary defender, Miami’s Chris Bosh, doesn’t appear to make contact with Terry either.
  9. The refs will call a foul on Miami’s LeBron James, which may be legitimate, but Dallas’ Jason Terry will also hit James in the face with his off-hand. Probably best to make it a double foul since Terry was culpable, too.
  10. The refs make the correct no-call when Dallas’ Jose Barea tries to sell a call against Miami’s LeBron James.
  11. The refs fail to call a foul on Miami’s Mike Miller for dislodging Dallas’ Dirk Nowtizki by pushing him in the back to dislodge him, along with using a forearm in the back with a bent elbow outside the lower defensive box.
  12. The refs will call a foul on Dallas’ Brendan Haywood when it’s clear that Miami’s Chris Bosh flopped to draw a loose ball foul. Bad call.
  13. The refs will miss Miami’s Mike Miller applying a forearm with a bent elbow outside the lower defensive box on Dallas’ Shawn Marion.

2nd half

  1. Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki lifts his pivot foot before he releases the ball on the dribble. However, his shot is blocked, and looks like a legit block, so Dallas didn’t score on this possession anyway.
  2. Dallas’ Brendan Haywood is correctly called for a blocking foul on Miami’s Dwyane Wade.
  3. The refs will miss a traveling violation on Miami’s LeBron James.
  4. Dallas’ Brendan Haywood lifts his pivot foot before releasing the ball. This was a missed travel. Haywood will get fouled, and will go on to make 1 of 2 free throws.
  5. It looked like Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki travels and goes on to score, but there is no call.
  6. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra comes on to the court during play and walks beyond the hash mark, but the refs don’t warn him. Not a big deal, but kind of funny.
  7. Ref Bill Kennedy, who is the ref farthest away from the play, calls a loose ball foul on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki when it didn’t appear there was any contact, and none of the other refs made the signal.
  8. Ref Steve Javie incorrectly calls a foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler when Miami’s Udonis Haslem had his arm wrapped around Chandler’s body trying to get around him.
  9. Ref Bill Kennedy calls a ticky-tack foul on Dallas’ Deshawn Stevenson when there is incidental contact between himself and Miami’s Udonis Haslem.
  10. Ref Bill Kennedy calls a ticky-tack foul on Miami’s Mike Miller when he doesn’t make any contact on Dallas’ Shawn Marion..
  11. Ref Steve Javie correctly calls a foul on Miami’s LeBron James, who runs into Dallas’ Tyson Chandler.
  12. Ref Mike Callahan misses a forearm with a bent elbow on Dallas’ Shawn Marion from Miami’s Mike Miller outside the lower defensive box, followed by Marion bulling into Miller, but Callahan calling the foul on Miller. Marion’s basket and penalty free throw cuts the Miami lead to 77-73 with 3:53 remaining.
  13. Ref Mike Callahan incorrectly calls a foul on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, who appeared to strip the ball clean from Miami’s Chris Bosh. Bosh would make two free throws to extend Miami’s lead to 79-73 with 3:44 remaining.
  14. The refs miss Miami’s LeBron James travel when he drives to the basket for a dunk, and ref Bill Kennedy calls a questionable foul on Dallas’ Shawn Marion, who appeared to have light and inadvertent contact on James’ head (but it shouldn’t have even reached that point since the travel was missed). The basket and penalty free throw by James extends the lead to 85-75 with 2:47 remaining.
  15. The refs miss Miami’s LeBron James slide his pivot foot, which is a traveling violation, and then will miss Dallas’ Shawn Marion making contact with James’ head, but no foul is called. The refs call a 24-second violation on Miami instead.
  16. Ref Bill Kennedy calls a ticky-tack foul on Dallas’ Jason Terry involving Miami’s Mario Chalmers, who appeared to flop on very little contact. Chalmers would make both free throws to extend Miami’s lead to 87-79 with 1:22 remaining.

Mavericks-Heat (NBA Finals game 1): Wrong calls affect Dallas more than Miami

June 1st, 2011 13 comments

UPDATE: We noticed on Thursday morning that our video has been taken down by YouTube. It makes you wonder if the NBA feels a little threatened by our work since there are thousands of YouTube videos with NBA footage in them that continue to run. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, we’ve posted on our home page a new video — along with stats — that includes all the calls from game, including the 1st half, that we have reviewed in detail. Here’s the link if you’re not reading this on our home page.

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If the NBA was a legendary restaurant, many customers would want improvement

May 31st, 2011 4 comments

Since launching several weeks ago — and analyzing in detail ref calls over the past couple of years — it’s no secret that we and many others are still astonished by the high number of wrong and missed calls that refs make in NBA games.

We still like to give refs some credit when they correctly make some tough calls. You’ll also hear lots of basketball analysts on TV say things like, “There is no harder sport to officiate than an NBA game.” As we head into the marquee event of the season – the NBA Finals — we’ll agree with most of that, but we still believe there is lots of room for improvement.

If you just look at the video below that we put together a few days ago of many of the missed travels during games 3 & 4 of the Miami-Chicago series, you’ll get an understanding of just SOME of the missed calls and bad calls we have featured in a few dozen videos over the past few weeks.

When you think about it, the Navy SEALS (or Army Rangers, Green Berets, and other U.S. Special Ops Forces) have a tough job, too. To become one, you have to overcome some of the toughest mental and physical tests known to man. Their training program and selection process is legendary.

From what we’ve heard, the top annual pay of a SEAL is in the $50k range. On the other hand, we know some of the most senior NBA refs earn over $200k per year. So anyone who says the refs have a tough job is still correct, but when you put it in context, a lot more improvement can be expected based off how much they earn per year in comparison to people with much tougher jobs who make a lot less. For that matter, we all can improve in what we do for a living based on the excellence of the Navy SEALs.

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Heat-Bulls (Game 5): 4th quarter ref call analysis – surprising number of wrong calls

May 28th, 2011 3 comments

As mentioned in our previous post, we are focusing on the 4th quarter of the two Game 5s that were played in both conferences on Wednesday and Thursday night.

As you know by now, both games were won by Dallas and Miami, respectively, through huge comebacks late in the game. But we thought it would be interesting to see if there were any wrong calls or no-calls that could have changed the outcome of both games.

Dallas overcame a 15-point deficit with less than 5 minutes remaining to eliminate Oklahoma City on Wednesday (4th quarter analysis is here), and Miami came back from a 12-point deficit with less than 4 minutes remaining to eliminate Chicago on Thursday.

In the video below, you’ll see some of the major calls from the 4th quarter of the Heat-Bulls game on Thursday night. Some were correct, but many were wrong, including A MISSED LANE VIOLATION while Derrick Rose was shooting his free throw that should have given Chicago another chance to make it (he missed the attempt) that would have tied the game with less than 30 seconds remaining!

No one we have seen or heard has brought up this no-call, but it’s clear it was a violation, and could have completely changed the outcome of the game and the series!

Here’s a breakdown of the ref calls and no-calls featured in the video above, with the time remaining on the clock in the 4th quarter when it happened:

  • 7:44 – A very difficult block-charge call involving Miami’s LeBron James and Chicago’s Kurt Thomas. Thomas was called for a block, but it looked like it should have been a charge on James.
  • 6:42 – Ref Greg Willard called a foul on Chicago’s Ronnie Brewer when it appeared that Miami’s LeBron James flopped to draw a foul after light contact from Brewer.
  • 5:55 – The refs miss a blocking violation on Chicago’s Kurt Thomas. His foot was in the restricted area as Miami’s Chris Bosh drove to the basket.
  • 5:17 – The refs correctly make a no-call when Chicago’s Derrick Rose lightly touches Miami’s Dwyane Wade driving to the basket.
  • 1:48 – The refs miss a travel by Chicago’s Derrick Rose right before he scores a basket that gave Chicago a 7-point lead.
  • 1:31 – Ref Scott Foster correctly calls a foul on Chicago’s Derrick Rose after fouling Miami’s Dwyane Wade shooting a 3-pointer.
  • 0:28 – The refs arguably miss a travel (“carry”) by Chicago’s Derrick Rose as he drives to the basket.
  • 0:27 – The refs miss a lane violation by Miami’s Chris Bosh as Chicago’s Derrick Rose misses a free throw that could have tied the game. Rose should have been given another opportunity to shoot the free throw again.
  • 0:01 – Miami’s LeBron James blocks Chicago’s Derrick Rose on a 3-point attempt. James does make some contact with Rose’s hand on the follow-through, but because he had already blocked the shot, the contact was ruled incidental. After the game, Rose said he thought he was not fouled, confirming the call by the ref was the correct call.