Denver Nuggets 106, Dallas Mavericks 105

Posted by Rob Mahoney on May 9, 2009 under Recaps | 45 Comments to Read

Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images.

Box ScorePlay-By-PlayShot Chart — GameFlow

When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear.
-Mark Twain

There are losses that make you want to yell and scream.  There are losses that make you want to roll over and die.  And then, there are losses that leave you staring in disbelief, mouth agape, as if the life has been sucked right out of you.

Or, if you’re like me, it’s a rotation of the three until I successfully recover from my postgame stupor.

In general, I try to avoid the thing that nobody wants to talk about but everybody wants to talk about: officiating.  There’s a certain give and take to the ref game, and I respect that.  But tonight is different.  Although a  blown call in the fourth quarter technically carries the same weight as one in the first, the critical mistake of the officiating crew in the final seconds of Game 3 was the biggest dagger I’ve seen in these playoffs.  In one missed call, Dallas fell from a hopeful 1-2 to a funereal 0-3, a death knell in NBA basketball.  It’s up for debate whether or not the Mavs had a real chance at winning this series, but one suddenly silent whistle made any debate irrelevant.

No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit, and though winning some games would dress up the series in its Sunday’s finest, the Mavs don’t appear to be a team that can buck that trend.  Every piece of evidence imaginable would point to the Mavs losing this series, and can’t even convince myself, much less you, otherwise.

What makes last night’s loss so painful is that the Mavs did what they needed to to win.  Nene (5 points, 2-10 FG), a dominant force in Games 1 and 2, was neutralized by a more effective frontline and a defense aware of his presence.  Josh Howard was revived from ankle hell to score 14 points, grab 7 rebounds, and play some commendable defense on a white-hot Carmelo Anthony.  Dirk (33 points, 16 rebounds) was absolutely wonderful, and managed to actually build upon his prior brilliance by adding an impressive 15 free throw attempts to his series resume.  Jason Kidd and Jason Terry each broke out of their respective slumps, with Kidd running the break with mastery and Terry hitting the (original) biggest shot of the game to put the Mavs up 4.  But all of that was wiped away when Antoine Wright tried to use the Mavs’ foul to give with two seconds remaining and was denied by official Mark Wunderlich, who saw no reason to stop the play and allowed Carmelo a free look at a game-winner.  This isn’t a complaint about a questionable call — NBA president of league and basketball ops Joel Litvin confirmed the boo-boo — but rather voicing the frustration of a clear error that denied the Mavs a chance at this series.

The thought that history will likely remember this day as a Nuggets’ triumph rather than an officiating failure pains me, but credit to Denver for clawing their way through this game.  It wasn’t always pretty and, to be frank, wasn’t always effective, but they managed to perservere despite a lot of things going wrong.  Foul trouble and poor execution be damned, the Nuggets weren’t going to see themselves embarrassed, and that mentality just so happened to get them face-to-face with a winning jumper.  Luckily for the Nuggs and their fans, Melo didn’t blink.

Brandon Bass (16 points, 5 rebounds, 12-14 FT) was awesome.  He alone dominated Chris Andersen (plagued by foul trouble) and J.R. Smith (plagued by poor shot selection being J.R. Smith), and played tough interior defense while Erick Dampier was resting.  Early in the game, it looked as though Ryan Hollins may have supplanted Bass as the back-up center, but Bass played with exactly the kind of energy and discipline that he needs to be effective on a regular basis.  The free throw attempts are clear evidence of his assertiveness around the basket, but that kind of quantification hardly tells how important he was to the Mavs’ offense.  In the first half, Dirk sitting on the bench meant a scoring drought.  But once Bass started hitting his stride, he afforded Nowitzki some much-needed rest and the team a much-needed weapon.

Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups…were Carmelo Anthony (31 points, 8 rebounds) and Chauncey Billups (32 points).  They had the kind of big games that you expect from players of their paygrade, and there was no chance that Denver even sniffs a win if those two don’t contribute huge baskets and meaningful plays at both ends.

Aside from that, the only other Maverick-killer was their inability to secure defensive rebounds.  The Nuggets grabbed 13 offensive boards, many of which were converted into impressive tip-ins and dunks.  That’s a disheartening way to end a play, especially when Dallas’ half-court defense seemed much improved from the first two games.  They were putting the Nuggets in tough spots, but Birdman or Kenyon Martin would swoop in for an easy jam as the ball bounced off the rim.  We’ve asked the Mavs to improve their defense and they responded, which makes those easy put-backs that much more harrowing.

Closing thoughts:

  • Well, Gerald Green played a full 9 minutes, and it wasn’t pretty.  Josh Howard and Antoine Wright’s foul trouble left Carlisle digging into his bench, and Green rewarded his generosity with 0-4 shooting, 0 assists, 0 rebounds, 0 steals, 0 blocks, and 3 fouls.  Ai yai yai.
  • In case you missed it, you can actualy re-watch the game in its entirety here.
  • Say what you will about Antoine Wright “giving up” on that final play, but I don’t see many faults with his play.  If he challenges the shot, there’s actually a decent chance that Anthony catches him jumping from out of position, draws a foul, and gets three free throws (or maybe even more if the foul was flagrant).  If he even challenges the shot, there’s still a chance that a whistle negates his efforts.  And all of this is taking place in about a second flat, fleeting moments in which Wright is expecting play to be stopped by a tweet.
  • Josh Howard was called for an offensive foul on a play where he drove into the lane and warded off a defender by kicking out his foot…which you may remember was almost the exact play that won a regular season game for Chauncey Billups and the Nuggets against the Mavs back in January (check the clip here at the 1:50 mark, although it’s pretty bad quality).
  • Damn.

GOLD STAR OF THE NIGHT: The Gold Star of the Night goes to Brandon Bass.  Dirk has been playing well all series long and deserves his props, but Bass provided something both unexpected and delightful tonight.  Shooting 14 free throws off the bench in just 25 minutes is quite a feat, and Bass is quite a player.

  • DRich

    I’ve feel for you Mavs fans, but the analysis of Wright’s defense doesn’t make sense. I can’t remember an NBA in which a defender was called for a flagrant fould on last second 3 point shot. The game really wasn’t decided by a non-call. It was decided by a great shot and poor defense. Antoine Wright should not have given up on the play. You’ve got to challenge the shot regardless of what the refs do.

    • Rob Mahoney

      @DRich: The issue isn’t so much the flagrant, but fouling a jumpshooter on a game-deciding bucket. I’m not saying Wright shouldn’t have challenged, but with the way fouls were being called, you can rationalize it.

      Not that any of these thoughts flashed through Wright’s head in the one second it took for the play to happen.

  • Cynthia


  • Cynthia

    Sweep. Sweep.

  • Cynthia

    Sweep. Sweep. Sweep.

  • DRich


    agreed, fouling the jumpshooter was the biggest risk, but Wright’s actually had a full-timeout to think about his strategy because the coach assigned Wright to Melo.

    Here’s some food for thought. Consider the same scenario, a non-call followed by an errant Melo shot. Ironically, Nuggets fans would be screaming that Melo put up an errant shot because he was distracted by the non-call. Instead, Melo followed through focused on shot and made it. Wright should have done his part and focused on defending, albeit less aggresively to avoid contact. This is how bball was meant to be played. it’s not meant to be chess match with guys trying like Wright trying to get a ticky-tack fouled called in the last few seconds in order to draw down the clock another second.

  • Thugget42

    Its hard to be the antagonizing a-hole here especially when the Nuggets had no business even being in close game at the end.

    -Much props to Dirk for playing like a champ considering the week.
    -I had been wondering who this Brandon Bass guy you Mavs fans rave about. Why not start him over Dampier? (I know who Bass is just didnt think he was that good)
    -KMart get off the court and let Howard do his own thing.

  • Cynthia

    Excuse me, but when you got a foul to give and the other team has 6+ seconds on the clock to either tie the game or win it, that foul is NOT ticky tack. That’s STRATEGY that EVERY team uses in this league. You sir, need to watch more ball. And just for the record, the damn “sweep” comment up above is NOT mine. And whoever is commenting in my name ought to MAN up about it. A-hole. And for the record. ESPN’s recap of the game states the fans were not into the game. That it was so blah the announcer had to get the crowd going at halftime. I was at the game and NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. The crowd was yelling and screaming and were into the game even better than the last game against the Spurs at the AAC and the last game against Houston both of which I attended. Billy Hayes always tried to revive up the crowd sometimes even when they don’t need the help which was the case tonight. Sometimes (make that most of the time) I wonder where or how these writers make up this PURE CRAP that they actually put in print.
    And one more thing….I cringed tonight when they announced the officials and unfortunately I had every reason too. THIS SUCKS BIG TIME.

  • Fred Johnson

    There has to be challange/instant replay added to the NBA. No team should have to go through an entire season only to loose because an official’s mistake. This is the second time in the last four seasons that Dallas has been eliminated by the officials. I do not care how much they hate Dallas, they are destroying the game.

  • Brian D

    @ DRich: A solid point on what might’ve played out on the Nuggets end had the shot been missed, but the fact remains that while fouling might not be the most exciting play, it is very much a basketball play, and has always been a part of how it was meant to be played. The league admitting wrongdoing definitely illustrates that.

    @ Thugget42: We do love us some Bass down here, but he’s entirely too small to start at center. He’s listed at 6’8, and having stood next to the guy, he’s a shade over 6’6 at best. Either that or I’m 6’2.

  • Kevin

    Devastating, horrible call and a couple other missed calls. First the non-flagrant on Dahntay Jones when he pushed Bass on the dunk and made no attempt at the ball. Also, Howard got called for a technical for doing kind of a volleyball hit on the ball but later in the game Billups punched the ball fairly hard with no reaction, both should have been no calls. Dirk ran out of gas down the stretch though, had to make one of those shots. One series was all i was asking for this year anyway. Any more would have been greedy.

  • DRich


    You want to see strategy, I want to see athleticsm. I’m commenting as a bball and player. When I play pickup games, us players don’t like it when the game comes down to ticky-tack stuff, we just want to see a player win the game on great shot that is contested. It just too bad that Melo held up his end of that scenario and Wright failed to follow through.

    I enjoy strategy as well, but not as much for game like basketball.

    The strategy in basketball is done preparing for the game, but once the game is played instincts take over and Wright’s instincts let him down.

  • pc

    the ref’s blew it.. not just the one two feet away.. they all have whistles…that this ref missed a call last year also against fisher in the playoffs should signal the end of his ref career….61 fouls is to many for any game…i miss the old 1980s nba…why has the game changed so much?

  • http://@yahoo pc

    sick of nba sorry ass refs….also shouldnt draft sucks worse every year

  • Dude


    The difference between a pick up game and an NBA game… is that there are things like FREE THROWS, A SHOT CLOCK, and OFFICIALS. Because of those things you can’t compare a pick up game foul to an NBA foul. I play pick up games too, and I get your point that calling a foul at the end of games can ruin the game for everyone. But in the NBA? Where things like “intentional foul” and “foul to give” have been created for moments like this?!

    There is no argument around this mistake by the refs. In a year where the NBA had to have the least attention paid to refs… nearly every series is plagued by questionable calls and fouls… SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING

  • nk

    First things first, horrible non call. But in reality, the call helped the Mavs. Making that 3 after being fouled and having to collect the ball in a rush, is a much lower percentage shot than a ball out of bounds play with 3.5 seconds to go. The play was perfectly in line with the rest of the game, refs call helps Mavs. It just turned out unluckily.

  • Scott

    Im a Nuggets fan and just wanted to say that was a rough call. Dirk put up an amazing fight in all the games but that 3rd game in particular. After fiveish years of playoff eliminations us Nuggets fans certainly empathize with the heartbreak.

    At least it saves you the humiliating butt-whooping I fear that we’re about to get from the Lakers.


  • CJ

    The fact of the matter is …the Mavericks had their chances to win the game with plays of their own. Missed free throws… Nowitzki going 0 for 5 down the stretch … those fadeaway jumpers just are not playoff shots and are a sign of fatigue.

    Secondly, Anthony played until the final buzzer …the Mavericks didn’t. And then he hit a shot to win a series. Giant man parts.

  • Dustin

    Carlisle said it beast, “What do you tell your fans?”

    I am more sick today reading all about how the Mavs had a chance to seal the game but allowed the officials to take it from them.

    Isn’t this the same thing they said after the 06 Finals?

    How many times are you supposed to blame yourself after someone punches you in the throat because you ‘allowed’ them to get to close to you?

    This is total BS BS BS BSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

    61 foul calls in the game, half of which came when either team simply breathed on the other and they can’t get that one right?

    Amazing, and if I see one freaking NBA amazing commercial showing Anthony hitting that illegitimate shot I am done with the NBA for at least the playoffs. At least.

  • wacc_attack

    how noble of the leage to come out and “acknowledge” their mistake. GFY.

    i’ve always hated how the refs’ mindset changes during plays like that – i.e. when they know an intentional foul is coming. you see crazy grabs and bumps all the time without a whistle. it’s like the defender has to “earn” that foul call a little more than during regular play. it’s some of the biggest bs in sports.

    agreed with Dustin. this will, of course, go down as yet another Mavs choke, yet another reason for why we are soft. Somehow this will be translated into Dirk being unable to lead his team because he is a “soft european player.” Just like no one remembers Dirk had 29&15 in game 6 of the finals, no one will remember he played absolute lights out in this series. I feel bada for him more than anyone else in the organization. You could see it on his face as he just walked away into the locker room. After game 5 of the finals he was kicking trashcans and the wall, all pissed. This time he just walked away…like the guy just doesn’t even know how to respond anymore.

  • sjp

    Respectfully, there is no guarantee that ‘Melo or Billups or Smith wouldn’t nail a two or three even if the foul had been called and they had been forced to inbound again.

    If you would’ve asked the Mavs before the shot actually went in, if they’d want Carmelo taking a fall-away three from the wing after getting bumped, I bet they would’ve taken that gamble.

    Howard screwed up in two ways: First, he was relying on a chest bump instead of wrapping Carmelo up, and second, he quit on the play.

  • YK

    Dallas did not lose this game because of the officiating. Dallas lost this game in many other ways.

    Like the first quarter when Denver was not shooting well and Dallas could not establish a lead.

    Or allowing the numerous Denver offensive rebounds and putbacks.

    Or letting Melo run down the middle of the lane for a dunk near the end of the fourth qtr.

    Or if Dirk makes his last jump shot.

    It very easy to blame the officiating but if the Mavs take care of their own business they wouldn’t need a ref deciding their fate.

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  • Brandon

    Cry all you want about the officiating but the one play that summed up this series is when the Mavericks, up by 4, conceded a dunk to Anthony which took all of 5 seconds off the clock. When you ALLOW dunks at one end and take 20-foot fadeaway jumpers at the other, you… will… lose. It’s such a simple premise but so seemingly impossible for the Mavs to understand. It’s the single reason that they will never win a championship without major changes in the psychology of this team. In a game of dunks vs. 20-ft. jump shots, dunks will always win… always.

    And one more thing. When is Rick Carlisle going to realize that Gerald Green sucks? Haven’t we seen all we need to see from him?

  • phil

    Quote> “those fadeaway jumpers just are not playoff shots and are a sign of fatigue.”

    poor guy, you really arent familiar with dirks game, are you?

  • william

    Cindy the crowd was practically non existent from what I saw and heard on TV. Very rarely were they seen standing and/or screaming. It wasn’t until I heard the announcer that I heard the fans and after the mavs finally started hitting some shots. But I digress, I could be wrong. Game 1 Sunday in Denver which I attended we chanted EVERY single possession up and down the court. Defense on one end and go nuggets go on the other end. Not saying you’re bad fans though, you all seem very passionate. Tough call, tough loss. Reality is with how poor the Nuggets played, we had no business being down only 3. Blame the refs, but I blame the Mavs for not being able to put us away. 13% shooting and down 5? Really?

  • nate

    Well, happy mothers day from the Mile HIGH city. Lovely day out. Anyways. Ya’ll need to stop blaming those poor ref’s, its not there fault, and i wonder how much Cuban had to paid the NBA to make them say that it was. If you have a foul to give, then give it,,,its a free pass, take it. And what’s with the hands going up in the air as to say what? “i didnt do anything”? but you were supposed to have done something, like foul melo. I bet the mavs would have known that they had just been fouled if the Nuggs had one to give. But Wright just didn’t get it right.
    And now this is all ya’ll can come up with to cry about. Actually you should be happy that you guys didn’t win game three in close fashion. Did you see what happened to the hornets when they won game three in the last series? When melo missed the last shots of the game. Ticked the nuggets off very much so, so at least you may have kept yourselves out of the record books. Who knows how many point the nuggets would have beaten you by in game 4,,,60,70 points? who knows? So, if nothing else you can fill happy that it won’t be that bad of beating in game four, unless we fill like we would like to win the series in front of our home crowd and then it will be game 5. I guess we’ll know monday if we play our second stringers most of the game.

  • Frontrange

    I don’t think the Mavs are soft and despite the fact that Mark is sometimes an a-hole, I think his is a great owner and good for the NBA, but . . .all the complaining about the reffing distracts from the teams focuses, IMO.

    I have watched the Nugs bitch about calls for years and lose focus. Rick Adelman’s teams in Portland and Sacramento suffered from complexes that the calls always went against them. By contrast, Jackson basically, says something to the affect of “the calls are shitty, we have to play through them.”

    Reffing the NBA is hard, watch a game courtside and you will be impressed with how good they are, but they consistentaly miss calls in every game (Josh Howard and Chris Andersen bitched about all of their fouls, but the slow-mo replay was pretty clear on both of them). I thought the Mavs got more than thier fair share of calls in this game and got the short end of the stick in the two games in Denver. Clearly, the refs missed that last call, not going to argue that, but I didn’t think that was close to the worst call of the game, just another missed call.

  • Patrick

    I’m a Nugs fan and that was a bad no call, but I want to bring something up.

    After his attempt to foul Wright threw his hands up in the air. Typically that’s what someone does when they want to claim they didn’t foul.

    Maybe he was doing it to say that it wasn’t a flagrant foul, but it seemed odd to me that Wright would make a gesture implying his innocence when he is trying so hard to foul.

    And why didn’t he just go for the ball, if you’re going to foul, at least have a foul that doesn’t leave the question in the hands of the refs.

    Rough call for the Mavs, but they had plenty of chances and didn’t capitalize on a mediocre game from the Nuggets.

  • 3-0-3 Nuggs

    Okay NBA, this is bush league…apologizing for that “non-call” is the result of Mark Cuban having a conniption with the NBA front office minutes after the final horn went off. This takes away from Melo and it ticks me off. Ask yourself this–would the NBA have given the Nuggets an apology for not making the call if Melo missed the shot? Hell no. It all depended on that brilliant shot that Melo hit. If he would have missed it, there would have been no problems at all with that no call, and Wright made a piss poor attempt on that foul when the entire season was on the line. That was a ticky tack foul that could have been called or could not have been called, which is exactly the reason he deserves a large portion of the blame…FOUL the guy, I mean seriously, wrap him up and don’t give Melo the chance to embarrass you. Don’t blame this loss on the refs, the Mavs could not close the Nuggs out and Denver deserves this. Peace.

  • jomo

    Anyone who says that the Mavs season has been ended again by bad calls is ignoring reality. Even if the ref makes the call, why assume that Melo doesn’t make the shot that he would still have had enough time to take with 3 or 4 seconds left? Even if he misses this one when he didn’t miss the one he did take, the Mavs are down 1-2 to a better team (based on the series so far). The call changed their probability of winning the series from about 3% to near-zero, far from “ending their season”.

  • Mike

    It is very simple. If the ref makes the call that the NBA said was missed, Denver inbounds the ball with about 2 seconds on the clock. Anything can happen, but the likelihood is that the Mavs win. Everything else is a huge guess. If the Mavs had made their free throws or gotten more defensive rebounds the whole game would have been different and that might not have gone in the Mavs favor. You can say all you want about everything up until the last play, but had all that gone differently the game would be just that, different. The one certainty is that if the ref had made the call Denver would have had to make a shot in 2 seconds. Everything else is conjecture and pointless.

  • Pein

    The refs didn’t take that game away from the Mavs. I agree, the refs made some mistake in officiating. But if you think about it, it’s really the players who decide the game. The refs don’t shoot the basketball. The refs didn’t Shoot the game winning shot. Even if the refs keep calling a lot of fouls on the Mavs but if the Mavs can score better than their opponent then the Mavs will win.

    I think what the Mavs fans are angry about is that the Mavs had a lot of opportunity to win this game and they failed to do so. – The Nuggs were shooting at 30% throughout the 1st half but they never trailed by less than 6. – A lot of missed FREEthrows towards the end of 4th quater. – Chris Andersen fouled out of the game – Only Melo and Billups were keeping the Nuggs alive throughout the game. And a lot more.

    At the end of the day the better team won. Give them some credit, everything seems to be aginst their side but they prevailed.

  • Kyle

    Why is everyone saying this call ended the Mavs season? It doesn’t make sense, because the Mavs season will end tonight.

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  • Royce

    I feel bad for you guys. Amazing how quickly that turned. With six seconds left, the Mavs are leading by three with a foul to give and it looks like we’ve got a series on our hands. But then a blown call and a great shot by Melo and it’s all but over. Just. Like. That.


  • Jordan

    Hey, I’d be pissed for that non-call too. But, as I was watching the game unfold in the final minutes, watching Dirk and then Terry and then Howard all miss free throws, I couldn’t help but think…man, these missed free throws are going to come back and haunt them…anyone of the Mavs three BEST players hits those freebies that the Nugs were forced to give them, and the game either goes into overtime, or the Mavs win. Simple as that. Don’t look at the refs. The refs gave them their opportunities (49 free throws). The Mavs had their chances…three of them…from their three best players, and they all choked. Ball game. Series.

  • Jordan

    One other thing…I think those “Amazing” commercials are kinda BS. Especially the Dywane Wade one. If I were a Mavs fan, I’d be even more pissed that this commercial is on television. In it, Wade drives the lane and clearly charges Howard (I think it’s Howard) who was without a doubt there in time…and all of this is caught in slow motion high def. The most amazing part of the commercial is that the NBA has the balls to run with it, when it’s damning evidence to the piss poor officiating (biased perhaps?) that went on in the debacle called the 2006 NBA finals.

  • whalemanpw

    1. If you want a foul called, foul the man. Wrap him up. Don’t try to hold his hand and then pull your hands away and throw them up in the air as if to say “Please, sir, I have committed no foul! Do I so offend thee?”.

    2. The comparison of Josh Howard’s offensive foul call and Chauncey’s move from earlier this season is absolutely asinine. Chauncey kicked his leg out to the side to create contact with a defender (a move usually known as the Kobe or the Dirk). Howard jumped directly into a defender, planted his foot on the man’s hip, and pushed him away. That’s a foul.

    • Rob Mahoney

      @whaleman: I’ll excuse your memory because of the bad video, but Chauncey’s play was almost identical…although if I remember correctly, his foot was planted into Terry’s crotch. And not only did Chauncey not draw an offensive foul, but was rewarded with free throws of his own. Pretty bad call. That’s about all the arguing I’m willing to do about a game that took place months ago.

  • Loki

    Look, y’all need to stop the whining about a no-call.
    1) It isn’t like if the call is made the Mavs automatically win. If they call the first wimpy swipe Wright took at Melo Denver inbounds with 5 seconds or so. If they call the chest bump, Denver gets it with 4 or so (the ball went through the hoop with 1 to go). Either way, plenty of time to get a good shot off. If he’d missed the shot none of you would be crying today, so dry up already.
    2) Wright messed up, too – if you going to foul in that sitch, just wrap the man up. If they’re not going to Flagrant Rondo for clocking Miller in the head, they’re not going to Flagrant a wrap up. Don’t slap the wrist meekly then give a minor chest bump while raising your hands. NEITHER of those would be called fouls in the normal course of a playoff game.

    There were plenty of chances for Dallas to win that game, as Dirk and Kidd both stated. Take a page from their book, perhaps.

  • Frontrange


    I have seen ‘Melo get quite a few of those charges calls (picked up one on the Hornets series), and you are dead right on the Billups / Howard call. Billups got the benefit of the doubt that one, no ?. That one was a lot worse than Game 3, IMO. Denver had two really toss-up calls go for them against Dallas in the regular season at final plays that where more questionable than Wright’s non-intentional, intentional foul. Doesn’t change the fact that this one is more painful bcs of the situation, but at worst this call was only a run-of-the mill missed one.

    Besides, I think the refs are pretty consistent in trying to limit foul calls if the foul doesn’t gives the defense an advantage over the offense. . i.e. On Anothy Carter’s steal, Jason Terry reached out and grabbed him but bcs Carter was wide open for the lay-up, the ref kept quiet. ‘Course, one second later, Andersen was whilsted for a foul for shoving down Bass negating a fast break lay-up. If the ref has blown the whistle on Terry, that’s a break-away foul, two shots and the ball, but instead it’s Dallas ball – really a possible six point swing. I bring this up not bcs I think the game needed another whistle but to illustrate that not calling the foul when the offensive player has the advantage is common. If you happen to fall down (thank you Manu, A.I., Wade) you can force the whistle.

  • Robin

    What I want to say is that yes, Dallas fans’ outrage is legitimate. But at the same time the Nuggets deserve full credit for this win.

    This is a pretty unique situation in that the call was very clearly wrong, and yet it did not have the decisive impact of a shooting-foul situation. If there’s a wrong-call on a shooting foul, that call literally reverses the rightful “winner” of the play (or at least drastically alters the probabilities involved). For instance, if a player earns a shooting foul but none is called, the result of that play changes from something like a 65% chance of 2 points to a stop for the other team. On the other hand, if the refs call a bogus foul, they essentially award the offense for failing.

    In this case, the call did not result in a similar “reversing” of the outcome. Instead, it only marginally changed the Nuggets probability of scoring from low to slightly higher (but still very low). A pressure-packed three-point shot after a bump is not a free throw. Nobody gave Carmelo those points. The Nuggets benefitted from the non-call, but they still had to capitalize on a low-percentage look in very clutch fashion.

  • Jason J

    Play until the whistle. I’m a Mavs man, but the way Wright took that last foul we were lucky Melo didn’t just chuck it up and get the and 1. You’ve got to wrap up the shooter to prevent the attempt, and you’ve GOT to play until you hear that whistle.

    On the ref hating bandwagon though, the official nearest the play needs to move his feet and get an angle on that call. He allowed Anthony’s back to completely screen him off the play.

  • tedd_E

    The playoff’s this year have been brutal so far. Player’s are playing dirty. They are fouling
    left and right. It seems as if they are playing street BBall. The only team that really seems to have any integrity and class is the Cav’s. Eventhough I’m not really a Mav’s fan it was dispicable watching that game end the way it did. I feel so bad for the team and the fans.