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Final numbers (and video) of missed and wrong calls from Game 6 (Heat-Mavericks)

June 14th, 2011 8 comments

We have done another review of the missed and wrong ref calls from Game 6 and placed clips of them in the video below. We ended up revising our preliminary numbers slightly.

We calculated there were 6 wrong or missed calls in the game, an anomaly of a game since we’ve had many more in the other games of this NBA Finals series.

The Mavericks were the beneficiary of one of these wrong calls, resulting in +2 points for them, whereas Miami benefitted from 5 wrong or missed calls, resulting in +7 points. The numbers changed from our previous rough estimate since we moved some of them to our “missed travels” stat.

Again, our caveats still apply: these numbers are approximate to just give an idea on how much of an impact wrong or missed ref calls can have on a game. These estimates don’t take into account a myriad of factors that could increase the point differentials between the teams because of wrong or missed ref calls, like teams getting into the bonus quicker and getting more free throws because of it, players who get into foul trouble quicker and play less minutes as a result, etc.

Our new numbers for missed travels are now 11 (instead of 8): 4 for Dallas, 7 for Miami. On those 4 travels committed by Dallas players, 6 points were scored on those possessions. Miami scored 2 points on the possessions for their 7 travels.

As we stated in our preliminary results the day after the game, we believe the impact of LeBron James‘ hesitancy to drive to the basket (which increases the chances of traveling), good Dallas defense, or both, had a big impact on reducing the number of travels as we saw earlier in the series.

Another reason may be because as playoff games got more intense and the stakes became higher, like in an elimination game as this one was, the game slows down into a half-court game more often.

The refs for this game were Steve Javie, Derrick Stafford, and Scott Foster. It’s clear in the clips below that Foster made more questionable calls than the other refs in his crew.

Wrong calls that benefitted the Mavericks:

  1. The refs get wrong a 24-second violation where they should have stopped play, as the rulebook dictates, rather than have the players continue to play on, which caught Miami off guard. Dallas scored an easy basket as a result.

Wrong calls that benefitted the Heat:

  1. Ref Derrick Stafford calls a blocking foul on Dallas’ Ian Manhinmi when it doesn’t appear he made any contact with Miami’s Dwyane Wade
  2. Ref Scott Foster doesn’t call a foul on Miami’s Mario Chalmers when it’s clear he pushed off on Dallas’ Jose Barea.
  3. The refs won’t call a foul on Miami’s Joel Anthony when it appeared he made body contact with Dallas’ Tyson Chandler.
  4. Ref Scott Foster calls a foul on Dallas’ Jose Barea when it appeared Miami’s Mario Chalmers initiated contact by lowering his shoulder and pushing off with his arm.
  5. Ref Scott Foster calls a foul on Dallas’ Tyson Chandler when it appeared he didn’t make any contact with Miami’s Chris Bosh.

Now that the NBA season is over, we will occasionally post some information or new video we create that you might find interesting. You can just “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get alerted when we have posted new stuff for you to checkout.

Heat-Mavericks (Game 5): Missed & wrong calls were just about even (but missed travels weren’t)

June 12th, 2011 10 comments

Below are videos of the missed calls from Thursday’s Game 5. Here’s the breakdown of the missed calls per team:

We counted 6 questionable ref calls that helped Dallas gain an extra 5 points, and 7 ref calls that helped Miami gain 5 points. So it was just about even. (Slightly revised from an earlier count)

But the pattern we continue to see with ref Joe Crawford (known to be “whistle happy”) continued: 7 of these calls solely involved Joe Crawford, with 5 of them being “ticky-tack” fouls, one of them a missed charging violation, and another obvious foul that occurred right in front of him that he failed to catch..

We reiterate that these numbers are approximate, and don’t take into account the myriad of variables that wrong or missed calls can have on a team’s point production or points they give up, like players getting in foul trouble earlier, teams put into the “bonus” faster, etc. Since there could be many other variables, if you’re inclined to do it, feel free to come up with your own calculations based on the work we’ve done showing the questionable calls and no-calls.

These videos don’t include missed travels, but we hope that we’ll have enough time to create a separate video of those travels before Game 6 on Sunday night.

But we can tell you the numbers for missed travels were much different than what we’ve seen from previous games — Dallas had more than Miami, and scored more points on those possessions. Part of the reason is because of LeBron James‘ much publicized reluctance to drive to the basket, but also because of Dirk Nowitzki putting the ball on the floor more.

There were approximately 28 missed travels in this game (so you can understand why it takes awhile to break down a game and clip out these plays), and Dallas had a large advantage in points because of them, which was also rare in this series. Preliminarily, the points we counted were 22-13, but we’ll want to confirm those with an additional review of the plays.

Since we’ll probably be short on time, we’ll try to create a video with just the most important missed travels where points were scored on those possessions, if we can even get that out, and confirm the raw number of travels and point differential after a second review of these plays. If we can’t do it before Game 6, then we’ll just move on and focus on our analysis for Game 6.

Here’s the video of missed/wrong calls that helped the Mavericks (down the page is the video of missed/wrong calls that helped the Heat):

1st quarter

  1. Ref Joe Crawford will call a ticky-tack foul on Miami’s Joel Anthony involving Dirk Nowitzki.

2nd quarter

  1. Ref Joe Crawford will call a ticky-tack foul on Miami’s Dwyane Wade involving Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki

3rd quarter

  1. Ref Mike Callahan will call a foul on Miami’s Juwan Howard after Dallas’ Ian Mahinmi sells contact very well.
  2. Ref Joe Crawford doesn’t call a foul on Dallas’ Jason Kidd after hitting Miami’s LeBron James on the wrist.

4th quarter

  1. Ref Joe Crawford will call a foul on Miami’s Mario Chalmers involving Dallas’ Jose Barea that doesn’t appear justified.
  2. The refs don’t call a foul on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki involving Miami’s Dwyane Wade.

Here’s the video of missed/wrong calls that helped the Heat:

1st quarter

  1. Ref Joe Crawford will incorrectly call a blocking violation on Dallas’ Brian Cardinal involving Miami’s Dwyane Wade.

2nd quarter

  1. Ref Joe Crawford will call a foul on Dallas’ Jose Barea after negligible contact with Miami’s Mario Chalmers. He should have just let it go.

3rd quarter

  1. No violation will be called on Miami’s Joel Anthony for having a forearm with a bent elbow in the back of Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki outside the lower defensive box
  2. No violation will be called on Miami’s Mario Chalmers for an apparent loose ball foul on Dallas’ Jason Terry.
  3. Ref Joe Crawford will call a ticky-tack foul on Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki involving Miami’s Joel Anthony.

4th quarter

  1. The refs arguably should have called a flagrant foul on Miami’s Juwan Howard after fouling Dallas’ DeShawn Stevenson.
  2. The refs missed a shooting foul from Miami’s LeBron James on Dallas’ Shawn Marion .

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.

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.

Heat-Bulls (Game 5): 4th quarter ref call analysis – surprising number of wrong calls

May 28th, 2011 3 comments

As mentioned in our previous post, we are focusing on the 4th quarter of the two Game 5s that were played in both conferences on Wednesday and Thursday night.

As you know by now, both games were won by Dallas and Miami, respectively, through huge comebacks late in the game. But we thought it would be interesting to see if there were any wrong calls or no-calls that could have changed the outcome of both games.

Dallas overcame a 15-point deficit with less than 5 minutes remaining to eliminate Oklahoma City on Wednesday (4th quarter analysis is here), and Miami came back from a 12-point deficit with less than 4 minutes remaining to eliminate Chicago on Thursday.

In the video below, you’ll see some of the major calls from the 4th quarter of the Heat-Bulls game on Thursday night. Some were correct, but many were wrong, including A MISSED LANE VIOLATION while Derrick Rose was shooting his free throw that should have given Chicago another chance to make it (he missed the attempt) that would have tied the game with less than 30 seconds remaining!

No one we have seen or heard has brought up this no-call, but it’s clear it was a violation, and could have completely changed the outcome of the game and the series!

Here’s a breakdown of the ref calls and no-calls featured in the video above, with the time remaining on the clock in the 4th quarter when it happened:

  • 7:44 – A very difficult block-charge call involving Miami’s LeBron James and Chicago’s Kurt Thomas. Thomas was called for a block, but it looked like it should have been a charge on James.
  • 6:42 – Ref Greg Willard called a foul on Chicago’s Ronnie Brewer when it appeared that Miami’s LeBron James flopped to draw a foul after light contact from Brewer.
  • 5:55 – The refs miss a blocking violation on Chicago’s Kurt Thomas. His foot was in the restricted area as Miami’s Chris Bosh drove to the basket.
  • 5:17 – The refs correctly make a no-call when Chicago’s Derrick Rose lightly touches Miami’s Dwyane Wade driving to the basket.
  • 1:48 – The refs miss a travel by Chicago’s Derrick Rose right before he scores a basket that gave Chicago a 7-point lead.
  • 1:31 – Ref Scott Foster correctly calls a foul on Chicago’s Derrick Rose after fouling Miami’s Dwyane Wade shooting a 3-pointer.
  • 0:28 – The refs arguably miss a travel (“carry”) by Chicago’s Derrick Rose as he drives to the basket.
  • 0:27 – The refs miss a lane violation by Miami’s Chris Bosh as Chicago’s Derrick Rose misses a free throw that could have tied the game. Rose should have been given another opportunity to shoot the free throw again.
  • 0:01 – Miami’s LeBron James blocks Chicago’s Derrick Rose on a 3-point attempt. James does make some contact with Rose’s hand on the follow-through, but because he had already blocked the shot, the contact was ruled incidental. After the game, Rose said he thought he was not fouled, confirming the call by the ref was the correct call.

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.

Bulls-Heat (Game 4): Select ref calls & no-calls, sans all the missed travels (coming later)

May 25th, 2011 9 comments

Below are select ref calls and no-calls from last night’s game between Chicago and Miami. We’ve also included a couple of calls that were really tough that the refs correctly made, to their credit.

We are planning on releasing a video before Game 5 (hopefully) of all the more obvious travels (20+) that have been missed by the refs in Games 3 & 4 of this series. When you have players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Rose playing in the same game, it adds a significant amount of time to create these videos if you want to cover all of the travels fairly (and show how bad the league and refs are in enforcing them).

So we’ve decided to try to tackle that feat through a separate project coming up soon. However, the final clip in THIS video DOES include one of the most important missed travels of the game — the shot made by LeBron James that put the game away for Miami.

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

  • Ref Joe Crawford will call a foul on Miami’s Joel Anthony when it didn’t look like he made contact with Chicago’s Derrick Rose.
  • Ref Ed Malloy will incorrectly call a charging foul on Chicago’s Luol Deng while Miami’s Chris Bosh was still moving laterally.
  • Ref Bennett Salvatore will incorrectly rule the ball went off Miami’s Chris Bosh‘s hand before going out of bounds when it really went off Chicago’s Taj Gibson‘s hand.
  • Ref Joe Crawford will correctly call an offensive foul against Chicago’s Luol Deng for leaning into Miami’s LeBron James.
  • Ref Joe Crawford will miss an obvious violation of Kyle Korver fouling an opponent when chasing after a loose ball, but fortunately ref Bennett Salvatore covered for Crawford’s omission and called the violation, probably thinking Crawford was going to call it, but when he didn’t, Salvatore had to blow his whistle late. Better late than never, though.
  • Two refs will call a shooting foul on Miami’s Dwayne Wade when it appears he didn’t make contact with Chicago’s Luol Deng wrist or arm.
  • Ref Ed Malloy made the correct call when Chicago’s Joakim Noah charged into Miami’s Udonis Haslem, and having to do it while ref Joe Crawford was calling an incorrect blocking foul on Haslem, which fortunately Malloy overruled.
  • Ref Bennett Salvatore will correctly call a foul on Miami’s LeBron James for charging into Chicago’s Ronnie Brewer.
  • Ref Joe Crawford will call a foul on Miami’s Dwyane Wade when it appeared he did nothing wrong with Chicago’s Luol Deng when Deng lost control of the ball on his own.
  • The refs will miss an obvious traveling call by Miami’s LeBron James as he hits a jumper that puts the game away and secures a victory.

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.

Bulls-Heat (Game 3): So many calls, and so little time to capture them all

May 23rd, 2011 5 comments

There were so many calls and no-calls to review from last night’s Chicago-Miami game, it took longer than normal to go through them all. For example, we counted at least 10 travels that were missed by the refs (due to frequent violators like Derrick Rose, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade playing in the same game), but because it takes so much time to edit and include them in a video, we might create a separate video later that just focuses on those travels.

In the meantime, here are most of the non-traveling related calls and no-calls we found that were significant, or interesting.

In this video, you’ll see the following:

  • Ref Ron Garretson correctly calls back an inbounds pass from Dwyane Wade since the ball accidentally grazed Garretson’s fingers resulting in a turnover for the Heat. But Garretson should have called a foul on Taj Gibson for extending part of his body over the boundary line, which isn’t allowed according to the rulebook.
  • Ref Ron Garretson calls a ticky-tack foul on Chicago’s Carlos Boozer in defending Miami’s Chris Bosh.
  • Chicago’s Keith Bogans is fouled by Miami’s Dwayne Wade as Bogans goes into his shooting motion (which is the correct call), but Bogans arguably traveled, which was missed.
  • Chicago’s Carlos Boozer uses elbow to clear out space on Miami’s Udonis Haslem, but the refs didn’t call an offensive foul on Boozer.
  • Ref Steve Javie calls a foul on Chicago’s Ronnie Brewer when it looked like Miami’s Mario Chalmers was just jumping into the air to avoid colliding into his teammate, or was flopping. Wrong call by Javie.
  • Chicago’s Carlos Boozer seems to set an illegal screen on Miami’s Mike Miller, but no foul was called.
  • Miami’s Ronnie Brewer will fall hard on Miami’s Mike Miller in the scramble for a loose ball, but no foul is called.
  • Ref Mike Callahan will wrongly call an offensive charge against Chicago’s Carlos Boozer when he drives to the basket and contact is made with Miami’s Udonis Haslem, even though one of Haslem’s feet was in the restricted area.
  • Ref Ron Garretson calls a foul on Chicago’s Kyle Korver when it looks like Korver got “all ball” on a block of Miami’s LeBron James.
  • The refs will miss a shooting foul from Miami’s Mike Bibby on Chicago’s Joakim Noah.
  • Ref Steve Javie will correctly call an offensive foul on Chicago’s Luol Deng, but with the help of a sell/flop from Miami’s LeBron James.
  • Ref Ron Garretson will incorrectly call a moving screen on Chicago’s Joakim Noah when it appeared he was established before Miami’s Mike Bibby ran into him.
  • Ref Ron Garretson will call a ticky-tack foul on Miami’s Chris Bosh involving Chicago’s Carlos Boozer.