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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

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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:

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

Dallas:
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 RefCalls.com 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.

Thunder-Mavericks (Game 5): Most important ref calls and no-calls: Dallas didn’t benefit during comeback win

May 27th, 2011 15 comments

Because we’ve had such amazing comeback wins (or meltdowns, depending on how you look at it) late in the 4th quarter of both the Western and Eastern Conference finals games the past two nights, we’ve decided to focus on the ref calls and no-calls from the 4th quarters of both Game 5s that closed out both series. The 4th quarter is when most of the important calls occurred, and those calls could have had an impact on the game, so we decided to take a deeper look.

Below is video from Wednesday night’s Oklahoma City-Dallas 4th quarter that closed it out for the Mavericks. We’ve concluded that Dallas’ comeback in the fourth quarter was not a result of the refs calling too many fouls against Oklahoma City since Dallas had more wrong calls/no-calls against them than OKC.

We’ll have video from Thursday’s Miami-Chicago game coming out later today.

In this video, you’ll see the following clips.

  • Ref Monty McCutchen will incorrectly call a foul against OKC’s Russell Westbrook when it appeared he got “all ball” on a block of a shot of Dallas’ Shawn Marion. Marion would go on to make 1-of-2 free throws to cut the OKC lead to 83-77.
  • The refs don’t call a foul on OKC’s James Harden when he appears to push off on Dallas’ Jose Barea, perhaps because Barea has a history of flopping and he tried to sell this one like he has done with others. Harden would go on to score a basket to give OKC an 87-79 lead.
  • The video is inconclusive if the ball went off Dallas’ Jason Kidd or Chicago’s Nick Collison. Ref Monty McCutchen called the ball off of Kidd.
  • The refs miss an arguable travel by OKC’s Kevin Durant driving to the basket, and also miss him pushing off a bit on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler, although the push-off could have been incidental. Durant would go on to score to make the game 92-86.
  • Ref Derrick Stafford will call a blocking foul on OKC’s Eric Maynor when it appeared he was established defensively before Dallas’ Shawn Marion ran into him. Marion would go on to make 2 free throws to cut OKC’s lead down to 92-90.
  • The refs miss some contact that Dallas’ Jason Terry applies on OKC’s Russell Westbrook as he’s putting up a shot, but it didn’t hurt OKC much because Kevin Durant would score on the ensuing possession.
  • Ref Jason Phillips calls a loose ball foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler on OKC’s Russell Westbrook when a foul didn’t appear to be warranted. However, OKC would turn the ball over on the ensuing possession, so it didn’t hurt Dallas.
  • The refs made the correct no-call to not call a foul against Dallas’ Tyson Chandler when he and OKC’s Russell Westbrook were going after a rebound.
  • Ref Derrick Stafford incorrectly calls a foul against Dallas’ Tyson Chandler on OKC’s Russell Westbrook on a drive to the basket.

Mavericks-Thunder (Game 4): The ref calls from an epic comeback (or blown victory) game

May 24th, 2011 17 comments

Here’s select ref calls from last night’s Dallas-Oklahoma City game. Since it was a classic game, it deserved thorough analysis (thus, the reason it took a littler longer than normal to get this out).

Here’s a summary of the calls (described in detail below). We don’t claim these are all of them, but a pretty thorough representation.

Wrong calls/no-calls penalizing Dallas – 5
Wrong calls/no-calls penalizing OKC – 8

Wrong calls/no-calls by refs:

  • Dan Crawford – 6
  • Tony Brothers – 2
  • Ken Mauer – 2
  • Shared among multiple refs – 4

In the video above, you’ll see clips of the following:

  • The refs miss OKC’s Kevin Durant creating space with his left arm on Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson on his way to his spectacular dunk that was key to getting past Stevenson. Should have been an offensive foul on Durant.
  • Ref Dan Crawford calls a foul on OKC’s Nick Collison for light contact on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki that he really sells. The other refs much closer to the play than Crawford didn’t blow their whistle or raise their arm. Should have been a no-call.
  • Ref Ken Mauer correctly calls a foul on Dallas’ Jason Terry, but OKC’s Eric Maynor does a good job of selling/flopping to get the foul called.
  • Ref Tony Brothers will call a foul on OKC’s Russell Westbrook when he looked established defensively before Dallas’ Jose Barea ran into him. But because Westbrook flopped to help sell it, Brothers might have been more compelled to call the foul against Westbrook.
  • Ref Dan Crawford missed a travel by OKC’s Kendrick Perkins right before Perkins scored on a layup.
  • ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy ribs the OKC fans for chanting insults in unison at the refs for a call that was obviously the correct one.
  • Ref Dan Crawford incorrectly calls a foul against Dallas’ Shawn Marion for aggressively trying to deny the ball from OKC’s Kevin Durant.
  • The refs missed a foul from Dallas’ Jason Kidd on OKC’s Kevin Durant that led to a “steal” by the Mavericks.
  • The refs will miss a foul on OKC’s James Harden, who hit Jason Terry‘s wrist on a 3-point shot attempt.
  • A tough call/no-call that could have gone either way between Dallas’ Jason Terry and OKC’s Serge Ibaka where Ibaka might have been moving slightly under Terry on a shot attempt, but Terry was also selling it a bit.
  • Ref Ken Mauer will call a ball out-of-bounds off an OKC player when it looked like it went off Dallas’ Brendan Haywood.
  • Ref Dan Crawford will call a “flagrant 1″ foul on Dallas’ Brendan Haywood when it looked like he didn’t make contact with OKC’s Kevin Durant when he brought his arms down.
  • Ref Ken Mauer will call a foul on OKC”s Nick Collison when it didn’t look like he made meaningful contact with Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
  • Ref Dan Crawford will call a double foul between OKC’s Serge Ibaka and Dallas’ Tyson Chandler when it looked like Chandler was responsible for initiating the contact.
  • Ref Dan Crawford will call an incorrect foul on Dallas’ Jason Terry when OKC’s Russell Westbrook was the one responsible for initiating contact with Terry by cutting in front of him.
  • Ref Tony Brothers will call a foul on OKC’s Nick Collison when it didn’t look like there was any meaningful contact on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
  • Dallas’ Jason Kidd appeared to travel before he hit a 3-pointer in overtime, although most refs won’t call a travel for the slight upward movement like Kidd had with his pivot foot.

Mavericks-Thunder (Game 3): First half pretty clean of bad calls, but second half made up for it

May 22nd, 2011 18 comments

In last night’s Dallas-Oklahoma City game, there weren’t that many bad calls in the first half. Dallas was running away with it, so maybe that had something to do with it.

But in the second half, the bad calls and wrong no-calls increased as the game got tighter as OKC made their comeback. Makes you wonder if a correlation is there. Hmmm….You can decide for yourself in the video below.

Here’s a summary of the calls (described in detail below). We don’t claim these are all of them, but a pretty thorough representation (Don’t get mad, OKC fans. If you see some we missed, you can report them here in the RefCalls forums):

Wrong calls/no-calls penalizing Dallas – 8
Wrong calls/no-calls penalizing OKC – 3

Wrong calls/no-calls by refs:

  • Scott Foster – 5
  • Marc Davis – 4
  • Bob Delaney – 1
  • Shared among multiple refs – 1

In the video above, you’ll see the following:

  • Ref Scott Foster calls a loose ball foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler after OKC’s Kendrick Perkins had his arm wrapped around Chandler’s neck.
  • Ref Marc Davis calls a loose ball foul on Dallas’ Brendan Haywood, but with the help of some good selling by OKC’s Nick Collison.
  • Dallas’ Shawn Marion will drive to the basket and seems to get fouled intentionally by OKC’s Thabo Sefolosha, but there was no call.
  • Ref Marc Davis calls a foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler for fouling OKC’s Russell Westbrook, but it didn’t look like there was much contact, if any.
  • Ref Scott Foster calls a technical on OKC’s Russell Westbrook, which didn’t seem all that major, when it was actually in response to a little shove from Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki. This should have been a no-call.
  • Ref Marc Davis will call a technical foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler for elbowing OKC’s James Harden in the face. Although there was contact worthy of a foul, Harden sold it well by dropping to the floor like a sack of potatoes.
  • The refs made a correct no-call on a ball that OKC’s James Harden lost as he was going up. The OKC fans thought Dirk Nowitzki had fouled him, which wasn’t the case.
  • The refs made a correct no-call for not calling a traveling violation on Dallas’ Shawn Marion when many of the OKC fans thought he traveled.
  • The refs seemed to miss a charging call on OKC’s Kevin Durant when Dallas’ Jason Kidd beat him to the spot.
  • Ref Scott Foster called a foul on Dallas’ Jose Barea when it looked like he didn’t make any contact (or negligible contact) on OKC’s Russell Westbrook.
  • Ref Scott Foster calls a loose ball a foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler when it didn’t look like there was any significant contact.
  • Ref Marc Davis calls a foul on Dallas’ Jose Barea for fouling OKC’s Russell Westbrook, when it didn’t look like there was much contact, if any.
  • Ref Marc Davis calls a foul on Dallas’ Jason Terry for fouling OKC’s James Harden when it didn’t look like there was much contact, if any.
  • Ref Scott Foster will call a foul on OKC’s Nick Collison for fouling Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, when it didn’t look like there was much contact, if any.
  • Ref Bob Delaney didn’t call a foul on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki when he shoved OKC’s Nick Collison, which is inconsistent with the technical foul that Westbrook received for a similar shove earlier in the game.

Thunder @ Mavericks (Game 1): select 2nd half ref calls, and the Joe Crawford Show continues

May 18th, 2011 18 comments

We always knew Joe (a.k.a. “Joey”) Crawford called a lot of ticky-tack fouls and allegedly loves to be part of the “show” (remember when he gave a technical to Tim Duncan for laughing FROM THE BENCH, and Crawford was suspended for having such thin skin?). Well, Crawford is up to his old tricks, calling fouls on every little thing, as seen in some of the clips in this video.

In this video, you’ll see the following clips:

  • Ref Joe Crawford calls a phantom foul on Tyson Chandler involving Kevin Durant
  • Ref Joe Crawford calls a ticky-tack foul on Durant, who appeared to get “all ball” to deflect a pass into Dirk Nowitzki
  • Ref Bill Kennedy calls a ticky-tack foul on Kevin Durant trying to defend Nowitzki in the post
  • Ref Joe Crawford calls a phantom defensive 3-second foul on Kendrick Perkins way before the 3 seconds were up
  • Ref Joe Crawford calls a ticky-tack foul on Thabo Sefolosha trying to defend Nowitzki in the post
  • A missed travel of Kevin Durant that all the refs missed (from the 2nd quarter)

Thunder @ Mavericks (Game 1): Select calls from the 1st half, including whistle-happy Joe Crawford

May 18th, 2011 10 comments

There were so many questionable calls and no-calls from last night’s game between Oklahoma City and Dallas, we’ve decided to break up our analysis into two separate videos. A video from second half action will be coming out later today.

In this video, you’ll get a glimpse why referee Joe Crawford (#55) is considered so “whistle happy,” calling ticky-tack fouls on negligible contact.

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

  • Ref Zach Zarba (#33) calls questionable double technical fouls on Tyson Chandler and Kendrick Perkins for fairly minor extracurricular activity.
  • Ref Joe Crawford arguably misses a travel on Dirk Nowitzki (which we describe in detail happens with other players on this blog post here and here).
  • Ref Zach Zarba misses a shooting foul from Dirk Nowitzki on Russell Westbrook.
  • Ref Bill Kennedy calls a terrible shooting foul on Jason Terry involving Kevin Durant.
  • Ref Bill Kennedy gets wrong an out-of-bounds call involving Jason Terry, but to Kennedy’s credit, he was shielded from the play, and he did check with another ref to see if he had a better angle on it, which he didn’t.
  • Ref Joe Crawford calls a ticky-tack foul on Jason Terry
  • Ref Joe Crawford calls a questionable foul (looks like he was wrong) on Tyson Chandler when another ref who had a better angle on the play didn’t call anything.

Lakers-Mavericks (Game 4): The calls that got two Lakers ejected, plus a good no-call on Bryant

May 9th, 2011 3 comments

Obviously the Lakers-Mavericks game on Sunday will go down as a historic game for obvious reasons (Lakers swept badly, probably Phil Jackson’s last game as a coach, etc.). It was such a blowout win for the Mavericks, the refs didn’t play any part in the outcome.

However, there were two calls that everyone is talking about that were actually pretty easy when Lamar Odom roughed up Dirk Nowitzki, and Andrew Bynum gave a body shot to J.J. Barea. We’ve included those plays in the video below, as well as a flop from Barea that may have been one reason he got under the Lakers’ skin all series long, and they were going to try to “teach him a lesson.” Who knows.

Lakers-Mavericks (Game 3): Round-up of select calls and no-calls

May 7th, 2011 6 comments

Since the Atlanta-Chicago game was never really in question last night, we’re going to focus on the LA-Dallas game.

There were more travels called in the Laker-Mavericks game, more than usual, so you have to give the refs credit for calling it more.

However, there was one travel that wasn’t called that really exemplifies much of what we’ve written recently on how players can gain an unfair advantage by manipulating their dribble to sneak in an extra step and blow by their defender for a layup.

The refs miss it, as do most announcers. It happens so quickly at real speed, it’s very hard to detect. But the refs should get more training on detecting it. Like they say, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”