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Bulls vs. Pacers (Game 1): Rose carries the ball on way to big bucket, but no call

April 16th, 2011 6 comments

Late in the fourth quarter of the Indiana-Chicago game, the Pacers blew a big lead — 10 points with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. It was mainly due to the Pacers collapsing, but there was one no-call that played a factor in the comeback that, of course, the announcers didn’t talk about.

The Bulls were down 99-94 during their comeback with about two minutes remaining, and as we see way too much in the NBA, penetrating guards like Derrick Rose don’t get called for carrying the ball. This gives them a huge advantage as they take a big first step to get by their defender. Once a player like Rose gets past his initial defender, they’re almost unstoppable.

The NBA rulebook states:

A player who is dribbling may not put any part of his hand under the ball and (1) carry it from one point to another or (2) bring it to a pause and then continue to dribble again.

We believe Rose did both. You be the judge on this one as he brings the Bulls within 3 points during their comeback (and went on to win).

Missed travels are such a big part of the game, we did an entire video on the topic analyzing it. You can check it out here at Refcalls.com/missed-travels. It happens so much, there’s no way we would be able to keep up with analyzing each time it happens, but if it happens in a crucial late-game situation like this one and impacts the outcome of the game, we’ll bring it up.

The refs who failed to call the carrying violation on Rose were Joe Crawford (#17) and Violet Palmer (#12). But keep in mind the culture among NBA refs is to NOT call these violations, for a variety of reasons as discussed in the “missed travels” video above.

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).