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Upon Further Review...

OK, I should have changed the palette, and replace the logo, and in general made a little more effort for my little April Fool's joke.  I didn't think of it until the last minute, so the post was all I could muster at 2 in the morning.  Still, I thought the post was pretty funny.  IHeartKobe.  Funny...

Upon further review of last night's Mavericks game, and not that it matters at all, but the referee's clearly knew who was supposed to win.  There were individual calls that were bad; when Mobley was fouled not once but twice on a breakaway with no whistle; when Dampier shoved Fazekas into Thornton's path on a fast break.  Both of those resulted in Clipper technical fouls, accounting all by themselves for 2 points and 2 possessions in a 7 point game.  And surprisingly both of those non-calls were the handiwork of Mark Lindsay and not as you might expect Violet Palmer.  (You can actually hear MDsr on the telecast screaming at Lindsay "So my guy fouled my guy?  My guy fouled my guy?" in his Brooklyn accent - pretty funny.)

I noted in my game recap that on the whole, the Mavericks were whistled for 28 fouls and the Clippers for 23.  But when the game was on the line, it was a very different story.

Basketball is a very physical game.  There's contact on every play, and arguably you could justify a foul on every play.  It's also very fast, and refs can't possibly be right all the time.

From the moment the Clippers got within 3 points at 78-75, over the next 4 minutes or so the refs called two fouls on the Clippers and zero on the Mavericks.  To my biased eye, neither call against the Clippers (a 50-50 charge-block call with Dickau defending Kidd and a reach on Quinton Ross defending Josh Howard with 3 seconds on the shot clock) was an obvious foul by any means.  Importantly, both calls were needed bail-outs for the Mavs - Kidd lost the ball out of bounds after running over Dickau and Howard was facing 24 second violation.  

More interesting were the whistles that didn't blow on the other end.  Each and every stop that Dallas got could easily have been called a foul.

  • Fazekas gets stripped by Kidd.
  • Maggette gets stripped by Howard.
  • Thornton gets knocked to the ground by Kidd as he his shooting.
  • Maggette gets stripped going to the basket.
  • Fazekas gets stripped by Kidd.
Is it possible that the Mavs managed to get all ball while reaching in on 5 crucial late game possessions?  Sure.  And none of these were obvious fouls (except for the three of them that were).  But, at best, there were seven 50-50 calls in those 4 minutes of basketball, and all seven went to the Mavs.  By the end of that stretch, the Mavs were back ahead by 11.  

It's also no coincidence that a couple of all stars (Kidd and Howard) got the benefit each time, often times facing off against a rookie (Fazekas, Thornton) or a minimum salary player (Dickau, Ross).