Monday, June 19, 2006

Tainted Game 5

I can't recall a game in recent memory that seems to be as tainted as last night's Game 5 (which is a shame, because it somehow has eclipsed Dwyane Wade turning into...well, something really, really good.) You have Stack's questionable suspension heading into the game, then tack on the alleged phantom foul on Dirk allowing Wade to sink the game winning free throws, plus Josh Howard calling the worst time out since Chris Webber. And what about Cubes shooting David Stern death stares? Or Nowitzki's mini-tantrum heading back to the locker room.

That's alotta freakin' stuff. There's been tainted games before, but this is like a handful of reasons. All we needed was a Russian judge awarding the Mavs a second chance at the game winner. So let's get to the bottom of it.

First of all, Dirk's "foul." Clearly, after the replay, there wasn't a foul there. But in the ref's defense, the first time you see that play, it really looks like a foul. Dirk swings his arm down at Wade, plus he was driving wildly through basically the entire team...all signs point to a foul. When refs are taught how to calls fouls, they are taught to look for the arm swinging down. That gets called all the time. If you wanna get called for a foul, swing your arm down like that. Unless you come away cleanly with the ball, you're getting rung up. That's just the way it works.

The most egregious part of the whole thing is ESPN's analysts after the game. Every single one of them was dead wrong. They went right down the line - Legler, Anthony and Pippen, all three of them - and said Wade "earned" that call by going to the basket hard all game. How stupid is that? I'll tell you how stupid: they made Stu Scott look like the smartest guy at the table.

You don't "earn" a call by previous actions. Its impossible, and that logic is infuriating. Either it was a foul or not. The refs didn't "get into a rhythm" of calling fouls. Previous outside circumstances are irrelevant.

Number 3 got that call for two reasons, and two reasons only. Dirk swung his arm down and it says "WADE" above that 3 on the back of his jersey. If Antione Walker had been relentlessly attacking the basket all night, he wouldn't have gotten that call. There's a short list of players who get that call, and Wade is either at or near the top of it. Case closed.

So the Mavs didn't get screwed there...but they did get screwed when the refs awarded them tht timeout. Clearly, the Mavs didn't want it. That was obvious from the get-go. Here's what the refs said after the game, via a "statement:"

"Josh Howard goes to Joe DeRosa and not only once but twice asks for a timeout. Forced to call it. Simple as that."
Um...that never happened. Howard never talked to anyone, espcailly not a ref. All he did was make the time out sign towards his coach. The refs blew it, and they lied to cover it up. Classy.

And say he did ask for it. Why could't he just change his mind? How about when a guy dives out-of-bounds to save a ball, calls a timeout, but the ref says he was out before he called it. That guy is never forced to then take that timeout. And that happens like once a game. So maybe in the biggest game of the entire flippin' series, the refs could have used a little common sense. Apparently the ESPN crew wasn't using theirs, they probably could have borrowed it.

As for Cuban...that was a little much, no? Don't get me wrong, I like Cuban...but he seems to be kind of a dork to me. He just doesn't quite get it. Tough to put into words...I dunno. That was just a little lame. Like a little kid who didn't get his way, so he pouted. Go write a blog. Go buy another team. But really Mark...don't stare at someone. Man, that was sad (but not as sad as Dirk's tantrum...I mean, Germans can get angrier than that right?)

Regardless, due to the NBA's inane 2-3-2 Finals format, the Heat are up 3-2 in a series where the only thing that matters is home court. The series ends in Dallas.

2 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

Take A Wild Guess said...

nowitzki didnt foul him but mr. threesome devin harris sure as hell did...its a moot pt. now....

anyway...can i get a column about the demise of the mansion park league....

i was talking with two bright young men after my game tonight and we were discussing what has become of this league....all while skip was blabbering something about a zero tolerance policy during a Southern Conference game (ps. i can barely even type that without pissing myself) competes in division 1...i mean the North and the other in the south....well we gave the league 5 years before it is no more...we attributed it to a lot of things....poorer officiating every year....which coincides with the very inconsistent nature that every game is called with...something is a foul one minute and not the next (cough Clark cough)

let me present an example....
tonight during our game with drayer...court two at mansion....our refs were the aforementioned clark griswald (hollllllllllliday roooooooooooaaaaadddddd) and some newby and i mean he was fresh meat....kinda looked liked this

anyway...we'll call him screech didnt blow his whistle until about 10 minutes left in the first, i dont know if it was the blinding sun in his eyes or his just general lack of knowledge of the sport we like to call i made a few comments directed to no one in particiular about how hes new and leave him alone blah blah goes on and he just keeps making awful calls...tenative whistle blows...soft spoken voice....tripping over his own two feet...kinda like a freshman reffing a game between tussey and huntingdon at a juniata team camp....oh boy....well both teams were all over him all night...of course we were all over him alot with about 2 minutes left AC was gettin hacked as he was getting pressured and this guy called a walk and said he moved his pivot foot when there was obviously contact...our bench errupts...i just start laughing...he then spaz's and says something along the lines of you guys need to zip it up to our bench....cmon thats something i say to the kids at day care...not 30 year old men in the Northern Conference (hehe)....i guess this story doesnt have a point except for the fact that they need to screen these jackasses before they hire them...and hten this guy is going to be intimidated by alot of people in this league....

the best quote of the evening belongs to the southern conference player and i quote "there is a big pink elephant right in the middle of all of this and no one wants to talk about it" referring to the demise of this league...that topic cant be discussed here but will hopefully discussed over a few beers somenight this summer...

i would just love to have your feelings because i saw your game the screwjob you guys got the other night...

i like witness too.

i might be missing something piven oh my...white chocolate or powdered milk....does leopold keep getting more slanted...boom goes the dynomite...way to hit driver mr. man boobs, good for ya....

thats all for now

forward4 said...

The Mavs got screwed by what cuold have been one of the worst officiatiing crews since Juniata/Elizabethtown 05'. I am not saying wade didn't deserve a ton of calls, but like you said, every situation is it's own and to just call a foul out because of previous plays is just right out of JV high school basketball. I agree with you about the arm swinging down for high school ball and maybe even some games at the wonderful memorial gym, but when it comes to the NBA, the refs need to be able to see a foul (or in game 5 and game 6) what isn't a foul. It was difficult watching the last two games knowing that every time that wayne dwyane flailed his body into a defender that he was going to shoot foul shots. This shouldn't happen in any situation and where the 'stars get fouls because they're stars' thing can go so far, it has been eclipsed in this series, I'm sure that you can agree. If the Heat don't get totally favored by the refs then I find it very difficult to see the Heat winning because of how they rely on their scoring. They did receive treatment and they did win so I guess we are all just pissing in the wind.


p.s. it would be lovely to sit down over a couple edward 40 hands and discuss this series.