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Archive for the ‘Good calls’ Category

Nuggets-Thunder (Game 2): No ref controversy, but examples of one bad call and a good one

April 21st, 2011 6 comments

In Wednesday’s first playoff game, Oklahoma City easily handled Denver 106-89. So there weren’t that many important calls that were blown that could have changed the outcome of the game. However, we did want to feature a couple of intriguing calls in the video below.

The first one has Denver’s J.R. Smith driving the lane, getting hacked on the arm, but no call being made by the closest ref to the action, Rodney Mott (#71). Through our watching lots of video of ref calls, for some reason most ref crews subconsciously put the responsibility of making a call like this on the ref closet to the play along the baseline, although any ref can call it. It just goes to show there’s some human psychology involved when other refs are reluctant to call a foul and “show up” another ref that is closer to the action, in our opinion.

The second play in the video shows Russell Westbrook pushing off in mid-air. We’ve seen this kind of call get missed alot (it is a difficult one to make at times), but Monty McCutchen (#13) got it right, and he’s farther away from the play than Mott is. Analyst Mike Fratello states that two officials got it right, but we slowed the video down and it was McCutchen who blew his whistle first. Perhaps after the first play that Mott missed, McCutchen took it upon himself to make the call on this play regardless of where he was situated.

From our observations, we see countless times where one ref will signal a violation in reaction to a fellow ref who has already done it order to provide support. We don’t have a problem with that, but Fratello’s claim that both refs got it right is a difficult one to prove, and is therefore irrelevant.

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.