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Posts Tagged ‘NBA ref Monty McCutchen (13)’

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.

Close backcourt violation near end of Game 4 – almost a huge blunder for Dallas

June 8th, 2011 8 comments

We’ll be doing our analysis of many of the missed ref calls in Tuesday’s Game 4 Finals game over the next two days before Thursday’s Game 5, so please be patient if you’re looking for those.

Before we feature all of the missed or wrong calls, though, we wanted to feature one play that the refs got right (in our opinion). It was a big one.

With 9 seconds remaining in the game and the Mavericks leading 84-83, it was the inbounds throw-in play by Dallas’ Jason Kidd to teammate Jason Terry into the backcourt.

Kidd threw the ball toward Terry with the intention of the ball landing in the backcourt — to use the extra space the backcourt provides — so Terry could pick it up and gain possession.

But what happened is that Terry was just a few inches away from being called for a backcourt violation, and he might not have known it because it came within a split second of happening.

If Terry had not stepped on the backcourt line and had stepped just an inch before it, he probably would have been ruled to have still been in the frontcourt when he touched the ball. Then when he started to dribble it in the backcourt, he could have been ruled to have committed a backcourt violation.

We checked the rulebook, and this apparently would have been the ruling since the concept of the ball “breaking the plane” of the midcourt line applies to the ball going into the FRONTCOURT, not the backcourt. So that provision wouldn’t apply.

We picked through the rulebook and believe that since Terry had established a positive position in the backcourt by stepping on the line, he was “legal.”

But if someone else has a different interpretation of the rulebook’s somewhat complex language regarding backcourt violations in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, we’re open to hearing it. Some scenarios aren’t explicitly spelled out in the rulebook, so you have to go through the process of elimination to decide what the ruling should be.

Considering the fraction of the second that elapsed between Terry stepping on the midcourt line and touching the ball, and the premise that if you’re going to make sure you’re in the backcourt you won’t step on the line but over it, it’s probably safe to say that Terry was very lucky from being involved in one of the most infamous turnovers in recent NBA Finals history.

So give the refs credit, specifically Monty McCutchen, for not calling a backcourt violation. But it wouldn’t surprise us McCutchen or the other refs got a little lucky considering how quickly it all happened, and the fact that backcourt/frontcourt rulings are a little complex. Most of the backcourt violation rules are detailed about going FROM the backcourt TO the frontcourt (naturally) in comparison to throw-ins in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime when throwing the ball into the backcourt is allowed.

And surprisingly, backcourt violations are not reviewable by replay, which they should be in our opinion. The rules are so intricate and detailed compared to other rules, and backcourt violations don’t occur all that often (especially in the last two minutes of game). So giving the refs the ability to review plays that can be a matter of inches, or even breaking the plane of the midcourt line similar to how the NFL reviews goal line plays, seems to make a lot of sense.

Until that happens, it wouldn’t surprise us if refs have an “omission bias” toward calling backcourt violations because the consequences of making the wrong call could be huge. That’s why we think McCutchen may have been lucky — if he was experiencing omission bias — since not calling anything was the right call. But that may not be the case the next time.

If you haven’t checked out the video yet as you’re reading this, you’ll also see a dramatic clip where Kidd probably realizes how close of a play it will be as it happens, hoping and praying that Terry won’t touch the ball until he’s in the backcourt.

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.

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-Thunder (Game 5): A bad night for Memphis, and for ref Monty McCutchen

May 12th, 2011 No comments

Last night’s Memphis-Oklahoma City game wasn’t that great since it was a blowout, but there is plenty to talk about from a ref call perspective. For the first time since launching this site, we can pin all the bad calls & no-calls we are compelled to review on one ref — Monty McCutchen (#13).

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.

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.