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Knicks-Celtics (Game 1): Two bad calls at end of game doom Knicks

April 18th, 2011 18 comments

It was not a good ending for the Knicks against Boston in Game 1 of their series Sunday night. It wasn’t a great ending for referee Monty McCutchen (#13), either.

In the video below, you’ll see that McCutchen gets duped by Paul Pierce on one of the most effective flops we have seen in a late-game situation. From the first angle, you’ll see that it looks like Carmelo Anthony pushed off on a very important possession with the Knicks leading by only one point with 22 seconds remaining in the game.

But when you watch the second angle of the play, you’ll see that Anthony’s arm motion wasn’t all that strong, and Pierce sold it extremely well to draw the foul.

Then only a few seconds later in the game on the very next possession, you’ll see Kevin Garnett stick his foot out and basically trip Toney Douglas as he’s chasing after Ray Allen, who then drills a wide open 3-pointer to essentially win the game.

The rulebook calls it “screening,” and this is the part that applies:

A player who sets a screen shall not assume a position so near to a moving opponent that he is not given an opportunity to stop and/or change direction before making illegal contact.

The ref on both of these plays was McCutchen. Again, Pierce’s flop was so good, and McCutchen didn’t have the angle that the TNT cameras had that really showed just how much Pierce flopped.

But Anthony should have been more careful to not extend his arm to give Pierce the opportunity to try a flop. Anthony still shouldn’t have been called for the offensive foul, though.

At least McCutchen didn’t call a ticky-tack foul on Anthony as he was guarding Pierce at the beginning of the next possession as Pierce tried ANOTHER flop to draw a foul on Anthony. But there was no excuse for missing the trip by Garnett on Douglas.

Coming up on Monday will be our analysis of a couple of controversial calls in the Denver-Oklahoma City game last night.