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Celtics-Heat (Game 5): A couple of tricky travel calls/no-calls you don’t see too often

May 12th, 2011 3 comments

Watching the Boston-Miami game Wednesday night, surprisingly it seemed to be well-officiated in the second half (unless you saw something egregious, which you can do here in the RefCalls.com/forums).

But there was one call and one no-call involving travels you don’t normally see. We typically don’t cover that many travels because there are so many of them that don’t get called, unless the travel had a big impact on determining the outcome of a game, or its just very unusual. Here’s a couple of them that fit more in the latter category.

Heat-Celtics (Game 3): Refs not a problem, except for this one no-call hard to miss

May 8th, 2011 4 comments

We’ve been on a streak of good officiating where there hasn’t been any major blown calls that had a huge impact on the outcome of a game. After all, we’ve now got the “best” referees as graded by the league officiating the four series currently being played. We’ve also had games that haven’t been that close in the 3rd and 4th quarters, so the stakes haven’t been as high for a call or no-call to affect the outcome.

For Saturday’s games between Oklahoma City and Memphis, although it was a close game that went into overtime, there really wasn’t a bad ref call or no-call that could have changed the outcome. Same goes for Miami-Boston. We thought the play where Rajon Rondo fell to the floor with Dwyane Wade and dislocated his elbow was more of an accident where a no-call was the right call to make.

The only other call/no-call that stood out was in the 3rd quarter involving Ray Allen taking a shot, and obviously getting fouled by Wade, but there was no call.

Celtics-Heat (Game 2): Tough calls hard to judge at real speed examined

May 4th, 2011 4 comments

Last night’s Boston-Miami game had more consequential calls and no-calls than Memphis-Oklahoma City, which wasn’t as close until the end, so we’ll focus on some of the calls from that game that were difficult to assess at real speed.

The play that Dwyane Wade had with his “crossover” in front of Kevin Garnett for a bucket looked spectacular and got everyone excited in the crowd and on the bench. It almost looked too good to be true at the time, making you ask, “How did he do that?”

Well, we slowed down the tape, and like several calls we’ve examined, it was a travel based on how the rules are written (check out this piece for a thorough analysis on why we think plays like this are traveling — scroll down to section 1 in bold font). It makes sense since he went all the way from the “elbow” of the lane, faked out Garnett, and got to the rim. Is that really possible to do in just two steps? Our analysis shows that it isn’t if you follow the letter of the rule book.

We’ve also included a couple of other calls that were pretty difficult to assess at real speed.

Celtics-Heat (Game 1): Some of the worst calls we’ve seen in a single game these playoffs

May 2nd, 2011 8 comments

Although there were two playoff games on Sunday (Memphis-Oklahoma City, and Boston-Miami), the latter game was much more eventful from a ref call perspective, so we’ll feature several bad calls and mistakes from Celtics-Heat. There were 2 or 3 calls that just left you wondering, “What were they thinking?”

We’ve left much of the commentary from analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson in the video below unedited so you can hear their analysis of the rules and how they should be enforced in these situations, with which we agree wholeheartedly.

The first call featured involving Delonte West hanging on the rim wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was still a mistake in how the refs interpreted it, we believe. But the other calls/no-calls were astounding. Check it out below…

Celtics-Knicks (Game 4): Mystery technical leaves everyone confused

April 25th, 2011 1 comment

In Sunday’s Celtics-Knicks game, there wasn’t much controversial from the refs, especially since the game was pretty much a runaway win for the Celtics. But there was one technical foul that left everyone confused, including the announcers. The unedited video is in the player below of how it all went down.

Tuesday’s featured calls: Knicks-Celtics (Game 2) – couple of 4Q no-calls help Boston

April 20th, 2011 4 comments

All three of the playoff games Tuesday night had their fair share of bad calls and no-calls. But as we’re sure you can understand, we can’t try to tackle all of the bad calls and good calls in a game. There are just too many.

What we do try to focus on are those close games where there were some pivotal calls in the 4th quarter that could have changed the outcome of the game.

It’s not ideal, but we think over time as we evaluate more cases like these, we’ll have so many of them that it will might bring more attention to the breadth of the problem, and fans will become more educated about them. Then perhaps the powers-that-be will do something to address them.

Among Tuesday’s games, the best game to select was the Knicks-Celtics game because it went down to the wire, whereas the other games were not as close where one bad call would have made a difference in changing the outcome of the game.

After reviewing the Knicks-Celtics’ 4th quarter in detail, there were two calls/no-calls that we thought were wrong that helped Boston. There was one no-call for New York that helped them.

At the 11:07 mark, Glen Davis barreled into Jared Jeffries out-of-bounds, which should have been a technical on Big Baby. Referee Bennett Salvatore (#15) was the closest ref who missed the call, although it was so clear what happened, the other refs (Joe Crawford (#17) and Michael Smith (#38)) could have blown the whistle as well.

How Jeffries restrained himself from retaliating was impressive…or maybe wimpy? You can check it out in the video player below the 6:30 entry.

After that, there were two travels by the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony that weren’t called. He scored on one of them at the 10-minute mark. We won’t even provide a video for it because as we’ve explained in our special report at Refcalls.com/missed-travels, there can be up to 40-50 missed travels per game, and Anthony is a notorious offender who is rarely caught (like most players). However, if a team wins late in a game because of a missed travel, we’ll feature it.

8:48 – There was a questionable blocking foul on Delonte West while guarding Carmelo Anthony. It looked like that Melo might have pushed off, but West got the foul. But since New York lost, it didn’t change the outcome of the game.

6:30 – Rajon Rondo lifts his pivot foot before releasing the ball (and thus travels), spins around his defender, scores, and there’s no call from ref Joe Crawford (#17), the closest ref to the play. Because Boston won this game and it was such a big score as the Celtics were making a comeback to give them an 82-81 lead, we have also featured it in the video below.

2:40 – Paul Pierce bumped Anthony with his body, but there was no call. Fortunately for Anthony, a second later after bouncing off Pierce, he put up a 3-point shot and hit it to give NY a 91-88 lead.

From that point, Boston made plays down the stretch, and New York didn’t. Thankfully after Rondo’s travel and bucket at the 6:30 mark, there was really no other call that had a huge bearing on changing the outcome of the game, which is good since we’ve all seen much worse. But Rondo’s missed travel that helped Boston get the lead has to make Knick fans feel a little sick on Wednesday morning.

Knicks-Celtics (Game 1): Two bad calls at end of game doom Knicks

April 18th, 2011 18 comments

It was not a good ending for the Knicks against Boston in Game 1 of their series Sunday night. It wasn’t a great ending for referee Monty McCutchen (#13), either.

In the video below, you’ll see that McCutchen gets duped by Paul Pierce on one of the most effective flops we have seen in a late-game situation. From the first angle, you’ll see that it looks like Carmelo Anthony pushed off on a very important possession with the Knicks leading by only one point with 22 seconds remaining in the game.

But when you watch the second angle of the play, you’ll see that Anthony’s arm motion wasn’t all that strong, and Pierce sold it extremely well to draw the foul.

Then only a few seconds later in the game on the very next possession, you’ll see Kevin Garnett stick his foot out and basically trip Toney Douglas as he’s chasing after Ray Allen, who then drills a wide open 3-pointer to essentially win the game.

The rulebook calls it “screening,” and this is the part that applies:

A player who sets a screen shall not assume a position so near to a moving opponent that he is not given an opportunity to stop and/or change direction before making illegal contact.

The ref on both of these plays was McCutchen. Again, Pierce’s flop was so good, and McCutchen didn’t have the angle that the TNT cameras had that really showed just how much Pierce flopped.

But Anthony should have been more careful to not extend his arm to give Pierce the opportunity to try a flop. Anthony still shouldn’t have been called for the offensive foul, though.

At least McCutchen didn’t call a ticky-tack foul on Anthony as he was guarding Pierce at the beginning of the next possession as Pierce tried ANOTHER flop to draw a foul on Anthony. But there was no excuse for missing the trip by Garnett on Douglas.

Coming up on Monday will be our analysis of a couple of controversial calls in the Denver-Oklahoma City game last night.