Bulls got robbed

I watched this game, but didn't notice the waist-tap.

In Analyzing Donaghy, Tap on the Waist Could Be Filled With Meaning - New York Times:
The Bulls-Warriors game of Feb. 9, played at Golden State and broadcast on ESPN, was tied, 112-112, with 23 seconds remaining. While a Bulls guard dribbled between midcourt and the 3-point shot line — clearly working the clock down for an attempt at a final shot — Warriors center Andris Biedrens stood in the lane without guarding anyone for about seven seconds, which is grounds for a defensive three-seconds violation.

Donaghy, stationed behind Biedrens on the baseline, clearly stepped forward and tapped Biedrens on the waist with 16 seconds left. Biedrens, by then at the edge of the lane, then immediately moved clear of the paint, and play continued.

The penalty for defensive three seconds is the assessment of a technical foul and retention of the ball. Golden State could have faced a 3- or 4-point deficit before getting the ball back.

Instead, the Bulls had a shot blocked with six seconds left, and Golden State missed a half-court heave to leave the score tied as regulation time ran out. The Warriors won in overtime, 123-121. According to several gambling Web sites, the odds opened with the Warriors favored by a point and a half.

Wow, all sorts of repercussions from this: Bulls ended up in the more difficult seeding on the last day of the season, if they had won this game, would have played two sub-500 teams (like Cleveland ended up doing). Golden State meanwhile squeaked into the playoffs on the last day of the season (and ended up humiliating the Mavericks for which I will be forever grateful). Is there a chance that if this foul would have been called, the same end result would have occurred? Sure, but....

and Ronnie Nunn must be screaming at his copy of the newspaper when he read this quote:

A veteran official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because speaking with the news media violates the referees’ collective-bargaining agreement with the N.B.A., said that in such a situation he would not have blown the whistle because the violation was too trivial in a crucial moment. “I would let the players determine the game,” he said.

The official added that touching a player or providing any sort of a warning that a whistle is imminent — from either that referee or another on the floor — is forbidden.

“I would never touch him — it would show up on tape,” the official said. “We used to be able to say something like ‘Get out! Get out!’ But they said that was cheating. We considered it game management.”

Ronnie Nunn, the NBA Director of Officials, has a fascinating television show called “Making The Call with Ronnie Nunn” which analyses several questionable or confusing fouls. One of his constantly reiterated points is that a foul is a foul, no matter who the call is on, or what time of the game it happened.

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on July 24, 2007 10:05 AM.

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