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Archive for the ‘Bad announcing’ Category

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

May 31st, 2011 4 comments

Since launching RefCalls.com 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.

Read more…

Heat-Bulls (Game 1): Some pretty bad calls against both teams, and some sad commentary from Steve Kerr

May 16th, 2011 25 comments

We’ve decided to focus on some of the calls from the Miami-Chicago game yesterday rather than Game 7 of Memphis-Oklahoma City that was played earlier in the day. That’s because OKC was never really threatened after they blew the game open in the 3rd quarter. Plus, it’s just not as interesting to point out ref calls for a series that’s over, unless there was a call that could have changed the outcome of the game, which there wasn’t.

In the video below you’ll see much more interesting calls for the Heat-Bulls series that could go a full seven games.

Here’s a breakdown of the clips in the video:

  • Ref Ken Mauer assigns a shooting foul on Keith Bogans for fouling LeBron James although it didn’t look like James was close to being in a shooting motion.
  • The entire ref crew gives Miami a break by not assigning a technical foul for having six players on the floor at one time.
  • Ref Dan Crawford assigns a ticky-tack foul on Kyle Korver when guarding LeBron James.
  • The refs failed to review if a shot by Carlos Boozer at the buzzer beat the shot clock (which it didn’t).
  • The refs failed to miss a travel by Derrick Rose, but even worse, TNT announcer Steve Kerr, while watching the slo-mo replay, fawns all over Rose’s ball handling abilities — hyping it up — without ever thinking Rose might have traveled. Just goes to show that even former NBA players get caught up in the hype without thinking of the rules.
  • Ref Ken Mauer misses Ronnie Brewer‘s foot on the baseline right before a dunk that gave the Bulls a 14-point lead with 8:59 remaining in the game.

Grizzlies-Spurs (Game 2): Was this a charge or block? Plus, a good no-call on major flop

April 21st, 2011 5 comments

For a game that was relatively close Wednesday night between San Antonio and Memphis, fortunately we didn’t see any terrible calls down the stretch that would have changed the outcome of the game.

However, we did want to feature one foul in the 3rd quarter that we thought was very questionable. Check it out in the video below and see if you agree with referee Leon Wood (#40). We know many of you will say there were many more questionable calls than this, but we have to pick-and-choose one of the best, okay?

In the second clip, we feature an Oscar-winning performance by Memphis forward Shane Battier, which the refs correctly called as a no-call.

While checking these clips out, also listen to the overflowing remarks about Manu Ginobili from Spurs’ broadcasters Bill Land and former player Sean Elliott. It was drooling remarks like these the whole game that prompted ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons to tweet what’s posted below the video player. (We just had to throw it in there).

Bill Simmons’ tweets about the Spurs’ announcers 4/20/11

Pacers-Bulls (Game 2): Controversial play with Hibbert late in game shouldn’t have happened

April 19th, 2011 10 comments

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.

No-call for Bulls seals home court advantage in the Finals

April 15th, 2011 No comments

On Wednesday night, the Bulls and the Nets played their final game of the regular season. If the Bulls win that game, their chances of getting home court advantage in the NBA Finals, if they get that far, go way up.

With 28 seconds remaining in the game, the Bulls were up 92-90, but the Nets had the ball with a chance to tie the game. New Jersey’s Brook Lopez drove to the basket for a dunk, but was fouled by Taj Gibson on the wrist, and no foul was called by any of the refs — Ken Mauer, Courtney Kirkland, and Kane Fitzgerald — all who had a good view of the play.

In this video we freeze-frame Lopez getting fouled by Gibson with no call.

Furthermore, we watch alot of games here at RefCalls.com, and it amazes us how clueless announcers are for most NBA teams. On this play, the Chicago announcers were so enamored with Kurt Thomas‘ block on Lopez, they completely ignored the foul that Gibson committed on Lopez right before Thomas blocked the shot. To top it off, the announcers then have the gall to criticize Lopez for not going strong to the rack. It looked like a very strong move to the hole to us!

Later in the same game there WAS a call the refs did make, but it wronged the Nets, as described by our sister site TopFlops.com

A few minutes earlier, referee Courtney Kirkland (#61) called Lopez for a personal foul with 5:22 remaining when Thomas clearly flopped playing defense on Lopez. Lopez did a slight hook of his arm on Thomas, and once he felt it… “Down goes Frazier!”

This was a huge call in favor of Chicago since they were TRAILING 84-81 at the time, and turned the ball over to the Bulls, who went on to overcome the deficit and win the game, thanks also to the no-call on Taj Gibson.

At least the Chicago announcers acknowledged that it was an Oscar-worthy flop by Thomas.

It turns out Chicago’s win and San Antonio’s loss gave the Bulls the best record in the league, assuring them of home court throughout the playoffs. But if San Antonio had won, forcing a tie and a drawing to see which would team would get home court advantage in the Finals (if they were to play each other), these blown calls would have been a lot more controversial (or should have been).