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Heat-Mavericks (Game 4): Unique ref calls (good and bad) from the game

June 9th, 2011 5 comments

Below is a video of select calls from Game 4 that we didn’t include in the missed calls video we published earlier today, which are all pretty interesting in our mind. We agree with most of them, but there are two plays we reviewed that will slightly change some of the calculations we made earlier. Here are the two plays in question:

– At the 1:31 mark is when Dwyane Wade makes a spin move, goes up for a dunk, loses control of the ball in mid-air, then the ball drops through the basket without touching the rim. This appears to be legal since he didn’t “vibrate the rim, net or backboard so as to cause the ball to make an unnatural bounce.” So Wade is lucky that the ball didn’t touch the rim. However, a couple of seconds before Wade grabbed on to the rim, he made a spin move around his defender by lifting his pivot foot before releasing the ball. The refs missed this travel, so in essence, the basket by Wade shouldn’t have counted.

– At the 2:09 mark is the potential clear-path violation that the refs didn’t call on Miami’s Mike Miller when he made contact with Dallas’ Jason Kidd. After close review of the play and the rulebook, we believe the refs missed it since Kidd had control of the ball when he tapped it forward. The rulebook says a dribble can be a “tap” or a “throw” if the player is in “control” when he does it. Kidd appears to be fully in control of his body when he does “tap” it forward.

These two plays would revise our stats to the following for this game…

Non-traveling oriented violations missed or ruled incorrectly:

The refs missed or got wrong 10 calls that benefitted Miami (rather than 9), which resulted in 12 extra points (approximately) advantageous to the Heat (instead of 10). This is in comparison to the two missed or wrong calls that helped Dallas, resulting in 2 extra points (roughly speaking).

Number of missed travels:

Miami had 9 of these (instead of 8). Dwyane Wade had 6 of them, not 5. These 9 travels resulted in 7 points being scored by the Heat, which is one more than what Dallas scored (6) from missed travels.

Heat-Mavericks (Game 4): Less wrong ref calls, but still a disparity

June 9th, 2011 16 comments

After analyzing all the wrong or missed ref calls in Game 4 played Tuesday night, we determined it was one of the better officiated games (Greg Willard, Monty McCutchen and Marc Davis were in the crew) given we counted only 10 calls or no-calls (taking out missed travels) that were wrong or questionable. Even though the Mavericks won, there was still a disparity that favored the Heat.

We counted 2 calls/no-calls that favored Dallas, which roughly helped them score 2 extra points directly in those possessions in question. On the other hand, 8 calls/no-calls helped Miami, resulting in 10 extra points. We know this may be hard to believe for some of the skeptics who think these numbers are rigged, but you can checkout the video below of the plays in question.

If you’ve liked hearing analyst Jeff Van Gundy‘s frank commentary on flopping during the playoffs, you’ll love what he says about flopping starting at the 2:04 mark of the video.

There were several calls as they occurred that were tricky to assess that we ultimately agreed with, or were inconclusive. We plan on publishing a video of those plays separately, so if you don’t see some calls/no-calls from the game in the video below, wait for the next video we publish to understand our assessment on some of those calls.

After that, if you think we left something out, you can submit your calls into the forum like we’ve always encouraged so we can have a complete database of missed calls.

We also counted up the number of missed traveling violations by the refs. There were 16 of them, which is lower than what we’ve seen from other games, partly because Miami’s LeBron James didn’t attack the rim as much as he normally does. According to our calculations, both teams had an equal number of missed travels — eight each — with Dallas scoring 6 points on those possessions where they occurred, and Miami scoring 4 points.

Here’s the individual player breakdown of missed travels:

Miami (8):
Dwyane Wade – 5
LeBron James – 1
Chris Bosh – 1
Mike Miller - 1

*Note: after another review of some key plays after this post was published, we have subsequently changed the missed travels on Miami from 8 to 9, and Dwayne Wade’s individual number from 5 to 6. For more details, see this story.

Dallas (8):
Dirk Nowitzki - 6
Shawn Marion – 1
Jason Terry - 1

Here’s the video of the missed or wrong ref calls for both teams (without the missed travels). Below the video is the list of plays featured:

Wrong or missed ref calls that helped Dallas (resulted in 2 points):

  1. Ref Monty McCutchen will call a ticky-tack foul against Miami’s Udonis Haslem.
  2. Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson will flop to draw a foul against Miami’s LeBron James.

Wrong or missed ref calls that helped Miami (resulted in 10 points):*

  1. The refs miss a push-off by Miami’s Mike Bibby on Dallas’ Jose Barea.
  2. The refs miss a basket interference-goaltending violation by Miami’s LeBron James.
  3. Miami’s LeBron James flops to draw a foul on Dallas’ Brendan Haywood.
  4. The refs miss an offensive 3-second violation on Miami’s Chris Bosh.
  5. The refs miss a shooting foul on Miami’s Joel Anthony involving Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
  6. Ref Marc Davis will call a shooting foul on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki when it’s clear he cleanly stripped Miami’s Chris Bosh.
  7. Ref Monty McCutchen calls a ticky-tack foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler involving Miami’s Chris Bosh.
  8. The refs don’t call a foul on Miami’s Udonis Haslem for contact applied to Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.

*Note: after another review of some key plays after this post was published, we have subsequently changed the wrong or missed calls that helped Miami from 8 to 9, and the number of points resulting from them has been revised from 10 to 12. For more details, see this story.

Heat-Bulls (Game 2): Plenty of calls to review from the 2nd half

May 19th, 2011 14 comments

There are plenty of calls to review from last night’s Miami-Chicago playoff game. There were so many, we just focused on select calls from the second half.

In the video above are the following clips:

  • Ref Monty McCutchen calls a phantom foul on Carlos Boozer involving LeBron James, when McCutchen had a worse angle on the play than the ref who was right next to the play and didn’t call anything!
  • Ref Monty McCutchen makes the correct out-of-bounds call off Derrick Rose while idiot fans viciously taunt him telling him he’s wrong.
  • Omar Asik does a nice sell/flop job to get a foul called against Mike Bibby
  • Omar Asik flops again to get a ticky-tack foul call from ref Monty McCutchen against Mike Miller
  • Ref Derrick Stafford incorrectly calls the ball off Dwyane Wade when it clearly went off Omar Asik
  • All three refs miss Taj Gibson holding on to the rim while the ball was in the cylinder. Should have been goaltending/basket interference
  • Ref Derrick Stafford correctly calls a travel on LeBron James, which is rare since many refs will miss this call

Grizzlies-Spurs (Game 5): Incredible finish, but lots of ticky-tack fouls & potential missed goaltending

April 28th, 2011 2 comments

Last night the Spurs-Grizzlies game was a classic because of the Spurs’ Gary Neal‘s clock-beating 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime, among many reasons.

However, the game seemed to have a higher number of ticky-tack foul calls than normal, and had a potential goaltending call in overtime that could have affected the outcome. Check out the video below for evidence…

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.

Nuggets-Thunder (Game 1): Refs miss goaltending violation that gives OKC late lead

April 18th, 2011 1 comment

Last night during the Denver-Oklahoma City game, there was a controversial no-call that announcer Mike Fratello was jumping on the refs for not calling, and Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley were ridiculing the refs on the post-game show that it was a violation that should have been called.

Well, all of them were half right.

Our analysis of the play (video below) where OKC’s Kendrick Perkins tips in a basket that could have been a goaltending violation — based off reading the official NBA rulebook — reveals that it was NOT a violation if you’re just looking at the aspect of the player touching the net while tipping in a ball.

HOWEVER, we do think it was goaltending simply because the ball was still above the imaginary cylinder when it was touched, regardless of the net being touched while doing so. As a result, the refs missed the call, which was huge since it gave the Thunder a 102-101 lead with 1:06 remaining. OKC went on to win the game.

The refs who were working the game were Steve Javie (#29), Zach Zarba (#55), and Bill Kennedy (#58).

I can understand that it’s tough for the refs to see real-time if a ball is above the cylinder or not when it’s touched. With the luxury of the video replay (the angle from above the basket), it clearly shows that it was in the cylinder.

You would think in the last two minutes of a game, the refs could review the instant replay, but believe it or not, this is not a reviewable play. We believe it should be – the refs need help in crucial situations like this! What do you think?

It’s a very rare play to see a player so brazen to go through the net to try to tip-in a ball since the chances of getting called for goaltending are very high, so your first instinct is to think touching the net like this is a violation.
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