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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.”

Mavericks-Lakers (Game 2): No big wrong calls, but waiting to see what league does about Artest foul

May 5th, 2011 4 comments

Both of Wednesday night’s games (Atlanta-Chicago, Dallas-LA) weren’t really in question in the fourth quarter where a call or no-call would have changed the outcome. The main interesting call for the night happened in LA, which was a correct one called against Ron Artest for slapping Jose Barea in the face in the game’s final seconds during garbage time, earning Artest his second technical and an automatic ejection.

It will be interesting to see if the league will suspend Artest for Game 3. Considering how the Lakers have played in the first two games, a suspension of Artest could hurt LA’s chances even more in Game 3. Will the league have the courage to do it?

Mavericks-Lakers (Game 1): Some tough calls, with one that could have gone either way

May 3rd, 2011 12 comments

Last night’s Dallas-LA Laker game was much more eventful from a ref call perspective in comparison to Atlanta-Chicago, so we’ll focus on a few calls from that game.

Remember that we’re not picking sides, but just featuring some tough calls where some refs are prone to call fouls more than others in the same situation. The first clip is fairly obvious, with the last play possibly going either way.

Hornets-Lakers (Game 5): Physical game results in lots of calls, flops and questions about the officiating

April 27th, 2011 14 comments

Obviously the best game on Tuesday was the Hornets-Lakers game since that series was tied up 2-2 going into it, and the other games (Atlanta-Orlando and Chicago-Indiana) ended up being blowouts without any calls that had a bearing on the outcome.

L.A.-New Orleans was physical that had lots of contact, and thus more questionable calls than we’ve been seeing lately from playoff games. The one foul that struck us was the one that TNT analyst Reggie Miller said “could easily have been a flagrant” was when Kobe Bryant came down hard on Emeka Okafor‘s head, not going for the ball, and seemed to keep his arm wrapped around Okafor’s head excessively as his neck was forced backwards. That play is featured at the end of the video around the 3:30 mark. Bryant only received a regular personal foul.

Surprisingly, it appeared that none of Okafor’s fellow players saw it because you would normally expect a teammate to come to Okafor’s defense and retaliate by giving Bryant a shove or something.

The following video shows fouls and calls (against and for) both teams, giving you the opportunity to make your own decision on if the calls and no-calls were correct or not. Note: we didn’t include the elbow that Marco Bellinelli received in the face because it looked fairly accidental.

Monday’s games free of controversy, but here’s a couple of more questionable calls from Sunday

April 26th, 2011 4 comments

On Monday’s games, there weren’t really any game-changing calls that would have affected the outcome of any game, were controversial, or things we caught that others might have missed. One good thing about the playoffs is that the refs who are still officiating are the best of the lot.

That doesn’t mean there are occasional errors or blown calls/no-calls, though. Since we have some extra time, we thought we’d go back to the Lakers-Hornets game from Sunday night and highlight a couple of calls/no-calls that were significant.

Hornets-Lakers (Game 2): A big carry by Kobe undetected? Plus, 2 fouls on Kobe legit despite the whining

April 21st, 2011 38 comments

In Wednesday night’s Hornets-Lakers game, there weren’t any bad calls or no-calls down the stretch that would have changed the outcome of the game.

However, we were struck by one no-call of traveling against Kobe Bryant that looked like a violation to us, and 3 other rulings against him that were correct by ref Tony Brothers (#25).

We hate to say it, but two of the clips in the video below reveal how much of a complainer Kobe is when it’s obvious he is wrong, and when he knows he’s wrong. It’s nothing new, but always good to see video proof in slow motion.

On Thursday, we’ll be posting some video of calls/no-calls from the Grizzlies-Spurs game that was played Wednesday night. So stay tuned.

Hornets vs. Lakers (Game 1): Good call by ref deserves credit on a tough play during big possession

April 18th, 2011 4 comments

In New Orleans’ 109-100 victory over the Lakers on Sunday, there was really only one controversial call late in the game worth mentioning, and it was the correct call.

When we first saw the play, we thought the ref call was wrong because we were focusing on the contact that Chris Paul was applying on Derek Fisher‘s back, which is the most obvious contact in the play. On the replay from the floor camera angle, you’ll see Fisher has his leg extended in front of Paul while Paul is standing still, which is legal.

Analyst Jeff Van Gundy asks if Fisher was in a “legal guarding position,” which he was. But Van Gundy goes on to say Fisher “didn’t move.” However, if you slow down the replay enough times (which we have done for you in the video), you will see that Fisher moved his left knee upwards, almost into Paul’s groin, along with his left heel rising off the floor, revealing that his thigh is moving slyly upwards. This explains why referee Greg Willard (#53) called a block on Fisher.

Paul was pretty smart on this play because he saw how Fisher was positioned with his leg in his path, and decided to drive through Fisher’s leg. Paul might have been called for a charge if Fisher hadn’t raised his leg upwards, which Willard caught. Paul also sold the contact well by contorting his body and letting go of the ball like he had been jolted harder than he really was.

Analysis: the fouls that got Kobe mad before his homophobic slur

April 14th, 2011 1 comment

We all know Kobe Bryant got into a lot of trouble this week by uttering that infamous homophobic slur. But no one is really talking about the fouls called against him that preceded it.

Well, we take a closer look in the video below.

Kobe was guarded by the Spurs’ James Anderson, battling for position in the post. Anderson was backing into Kobe, and Kobe responded by using his body to get position against Anderson’s moving into him. Both players were making contact with each other, but nothing in our opinion to warrant a foul just against Kobe.

We actually think it should have been a no-call, but if referee Bennie Adams was going to call a foul, he should have called a double-foul on both players because they were equally going after it. Believe us, we’re not Kobe fans nor Laker fans. Just being impartial.

A few seconds later, Kobe got T’d up for a “respect of the game” violation by complaining to Adams demonstrably. Although we think this new rule is silly, Adams’ calling a tech on Kobe isn’t unusual based on what we saw other refs call this season.

We can understand how a self-proclaimed “old schooler” like Kobe could get frustrated by two violations called against him when back in the 90’s when he was a rookie (or a generation before when his father played in the NBA), those fouls would have been unheard of. Not an excuse for yelling what he did, though.

Note: we haven’t included video of Kobe yelling the slur. There’s no sense in doing it, and a quick Google search will reveal what he said that has two words, both starting with “F.”

A defensive 3-second call helps Lakers win the 2nd seed in the West

April 13th, 2011 1 comment

On Wednesday night the Kings could have pulled off one of their greatest comeback victories in their history, and doing it in the game that might have been their last in Sacramento. Down by 20 points against the Lakers in the fourth quarter, the Kings took the lead 97-95 with 1:22 remaining.

If it hadn’t been for a technical foul that the Sacramento announcers really didn’t talk about at the time (probably due to the frenzy of trying to hold on for a huge victory), the Kings could have won this historical game in regulation instead of losing it in overtime.

Instead, Samuel Dalembert was called for a defensive 3-second lane violation since he wasn’t actively guarding his man, Pau Gasol.

At the time it happened, it might have appeared the Kings were doing something wrong by playing some illegal defense on Kobe out on the perimeter since there was alot of jumping around by defenders close to Kobe. But the official play-by-play data says that Dalembert was called for the violation.

For defensive 3-seconds, the rulebook states…

“Any defensive player, who is positioned in the 16-foot lane…must be actively guarding an opponent within three seconds. Actively guarding means being within arms length of an offensive player and in a guarding position.”

Looking at the video, it looks like Dalembert was clearly in the lane for 3 seconds nowhere near Gasol to be considered “actively guarding” him. Good call by Bill Kennedy, with a little help by Gasol who made the defensive 3-second hand signal to help tip-off Kennedy.

You’ll see that another ref, Mark Ayotte, was much closer to the violation along the baseline, and didn’t even glance into the painted area. Instead, he was watching Kobe with the ball, which the other ref Leroy Richardson was already doing. It was Kennedy along the near sideline who caught it. So kudos to him.

As a side note in this video, you have to love the frenzy of the Sacramento crowd after they took a 97-95 lead, and the announcer saying, “You could not write a better ending to what’s happening right now in Sacramento!”

Because of Dalembert’s defensive mistake, Kobe hit a technical free throw that got the Lakers within one point. That point was huge since the L.A was able to tie it up shortly thereafter, push the game into OT, win the game, and most importantly, clinch the second seed in the Western Conference over the Mavericks.