Archive for the ‘Indiana Pacers’ Category

Bulls-Pacers (Game 3): A huge no-call on a travel helps Bulls win, but can you totally blame the refs?

April 22nd, 2011 58 comments

In picking the top play to analyze from the Bulls-Pacers game, there is none bigger than the game-winning drive and shot made by Derrick Rose with 18 seconds remaining with the game tied 84-84.

It was very similar to Rose’s drive in Game 1 on Saturday when we analyzed a similar drive to the basket that led to a big bucket leading to a Bulls win. Although that drive was arguably a missed travel, there’s no question Rose’s drive on Thursday night was a travel. [Bulls fans, don’t bother to comment that we’re being “biased.” We reiterate that we can’t possibly cover all the wrong calls in a game, or even a fraction, since there’s way too many. So we’re not bashing particular players — we’re holding the REFs accountable for making the right call.]

It’s clear in the video above that what looked like a “jump stop” (not a rulebook term) in regular speed, when slowed down, were two different steps. The rulebook states that both feet have to land “simultaneously” (which IS the word they use in the rulebook). When you slow it down, it was a travel that was missed (although TV announcers still never seem to bring it up as a possibility right after it happens).

But when you think of it, is it even humanly possible for refs and announcers to catch this kind of violation 100% of the time at regular speed when a fast player like Rose does it?

As we explain in our video on missed travels at, we don’t think missed travels should continue to be ignored if the league wants to improve the integrity of the game. And as we’ve seen from the response to since we launched, there is a large number of fans who want something to be done to improve enforcement of the rules because it’s currently a turn-off for many of them.

What would you propose be done to resolve this problem: more training (would that even work?), or instant replay review in the last two minutes like they do with other potential violations? If you have ideas, please provide your comments.

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 Check it out if you have some time.

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 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.