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Your Exercise Bike Is Safe Around Dirk Nowitzki

If you had to pick any NBA player to go on a destructive rampage through your house, Dirk Nowitzki is probably your best option. As he left the court in a huff last night, Dirk was kicking, stomping, or shoving anything in sight… but not in any sort of masculine way. This was not like Ron Artest busting up a TV monitor. This was Dirk applying a gentle shove to a stationary bike, and then immediately apologizing to the bike and offering to buy it a wienerschnitzel and an ice cream sundae.

The source of his anger, though, is up for debate this morning. The biggest gripe is the foul on Dwyane Wade with 1.9 seconds left… and a close second is the timeout that Josh Howard called (or didn’t call) after Wade’s first free throw.

The foul on Wade… well, I didn’t see a foul on Wade. Maybe you could call a little bit of thigh contact on Devin Harris, but 1) that would be the first thigh brush in NBA history ever called a foul, and 2) the foul wasn’t called on Devin Harris, it was called on Dirk Nowitzki. And Dirk Nowitzki certainly didn’t foul anyone.

Mark Cuban also contends that Wade committed a backcourt violation upon receiving the inbounds pass, and then fouled Jason Terry before making his move to the basket. I can’t tell about the backcourt call. Wade catches the pass on the Miami side of the line, and then jumps back over to the Dallas side of the line. In non-HD, I can’t tell if his foot was still on the ground on the Miami side when he caught the ball or not. I don’t see this as a largely relevant thing.

As for the foul on Terry, yes, I think it happened. As Wade makes his first move towards the sideline, Jason Terry and Devin Harris are there with the double team, and wade extends his forearm out into Terry, and Terry goes down… but you’re not ever going to get that call in that situation. At that moment, in that situation, whistles are swallowed. But I don’t know why, less than a second later, the whistle is regurgitated and used on such minimal contact, if there was even contact at all from the guy who picked up the foul.

As for the Howard timeout… the only people who know for sure what happened are Josh Howard and Joe DeRosa. The Mavs say that Avery Johnson signaled to Josh Howard that he wanted the timeout after the 2nd free throw… and then Josh Howard made the same signal back to confirm the plans.

Head ref Joey Crawford says Howard went to DeRosa and twice asked for a timeout. I have no idea who, if anyone, was wronged there. Looking at the tape, I don’t ever see Josh Howard “going to” Joe DeRosa. He makes the timeout signal, but I don’t know if he was actually signaling timeout (which, yeah, doesn’t make any sense… Josh Howard’s a smart player, he knows they don’t want timeout there), or just making the motion in the direction of Avery Johnson. Weird situation… I don’t know what happened.

But really… regardless of any of this, if the Mavs want to point fingers, they can feel free to find a mirror. Don’t get me wrong, I think they were wronged with the Stackhouse suspension, and I think they were wronged with the call on Dirk with 1.9 to play… but at the same time, at the ends of both Games Three and Five, they did not execute down the stretch. The offense got stagnant, and they started missing shots. Free throws, too. If they had done what they were supposed to do, and taken care of their own business, and then some bad calls cost them a chance to win, that would be one thing. But that didn’t happen… they played poorly when it mattered most. That’s becoming a trend.

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Matthew J. Darnell

23 Comments

  1. Wade was definitely fouled. All you have to do is go to Espn.com and you will see the angle where Harris grabbed Wade’s arm. Otherwise Wade had a clear layup that he wouldnt blow unlike his Maverick counterparts.

    I totally blame the timeout fiasco on Avery Johnson. He made the timeout signal first to his player Howard. Howard started walking over and repeated the time out signal as you said, but he did so by clearly looking at the ref (as opposed to walking over to him, which didnt happen) and the ref has to give the timeout in that situation. It’s not up to the ref to say “hey, are you sure Josh?, cuz you still need it to advance the ball after the free throw.” Avery should have yelled first “after the 2nd free throw, call timeout.” Instead he did it the other way, costing his team an opportunity to win. You can watch that scene unfold on Sportscenter (now i sound like an espn ad)

    But like you said, it wasn’t the reason Dallas lost. It was poor execution down the stretch. But Dirk, Josh, JT played great, just couldnt close it out. I have a feeling this series will once again look different now that the venue will change.

    I hope to see 2 more thrillers in Dallas.

  2. If Harris fouled him why wasn’t the foul called on him. If I remember, the foul was called on Dirk. Nice fucking officiating ref.

  3. Well, if Mark Cuban says Wade committed a backcourt violation……..

    And enough complaining about foul disparrity. there were 12 more fouls called on Dallas than Miami, but 4 of those were hack a shaq in the fourth quarter/OT and at least 4 Shaq hugs when the big fella was going for a dunk.

  4. I think the refs called it on Dirk, so Devin HArris would not be fouled out. He had five at the time. Clearly the refs are trying to help the Mavs.

    See how stupid all this ref whining is?

  5. I don’t know about all the calls and non-calls at the end, but I do know this. Watch the replays and look at Josh Howard’s face during that last timeout. That is not the face of a man who has been wronged by a ref at the worst possible time. That is the sheepish, eyes-down, hangdog expression of a man who knows he just made a humongous error and cost his team the game. It wasn’t until after the game that he managed to get into a lather and decide it was the ref’s fault. Classless.

  6. You can talk about free throw disparity for teams, but for me its more Dwayne Wayne than anything. I mean Jordan didn’t get this much deference, and neither has Kobe or even Lebron. Dwayne Wade seems like a great guy and all, but the refs have got to allow someone to at least blow on him. Jordan at least had to win a few rings before refs started the implicit “incidental contact foul” with him.

  7. The officiating crew should have said, hey, this game should not end on some officiating goofiness. They don’t want the time out, this is an awesome game, let’s just pretend it never happened, let’s see if they can hit the shot with 1.9 left and make this one of the best finals games ever instead of “that game with the timeout debacle at the end.”

    Also, am wondering if the mavs could have used the paul westphal trick of calling another timeout, getting a technical, but then being able to advance the ball. Didn’t that graphic say the only coach with more wins in his first 100 than avery was paul westphal? Why isn’t this man coaching somewhere?

  8. interesting snapshot there Blackstar, and yes, from taht angle it looks like a foul. The only thing that sticks in my mind is that on the video replay, it literally looked like no one touched him, or at least hard enough to merit a foul. Yes by the book, it is a foul, however, general precedent over the last 2 decades has been to let the players play and only blow the whistle on egregious fouls that can’t possibly be denied. This ‘foul’ was not one of those. The fact that the call was blown by a ref BEHIND the play at midcourt makes it even dumber. Still, bottom line, the Mavs have no balls they choke at clutch time regularly.

  9. NBA basketball is proving itself as one of the worst sports out on the market. I love playing the sport however I would rank sports such as golf, tennis, hockey, and others way above NBA Bball. It is laughable to watch 50 freethrows shot by each team in a game where the goofy giants can only hit half of them. Then you see a love tap and a foul is called. The next play you see a hard foul and no foul is called. Then you see a travel, no travel call. Then another travel, travel called. It is as if the refs flip coins to determine what the hell just happened. Blocking fouls good be as common as breathing if players tried to draw them. And whats this business about Dirk fowling. Pussiest call ive ever witnessed and it lost a game 5 for them?? not to mention stackhouse being out of the game because everyone wants Shaw to win a championship. How can it be fun and a real competive sport when things like this are occuring. As far as i am concerned the NBA as proved itself as unwatchable over the past few years.

  10. I saw that slo-mo and it does appear that Wade was fouled. His arm was grabbed–albeit by Harris and not Nowitski, who the ref evidently fobbed the foul off on to save Harris from fouling out. The timeout? A communications f*ck-up in the classic vein of auction bits in sitcoms where a character finds him orherself at an auction and nakes a gesture not intended for the auctioneer, but is thus inadvertently cited as a bidder/winner. In a confluence of myriad things happening as time grew short, Howard’s obvious flashing a timeout sign near a ref like that is a classsic “D’oh!” moment. As a previous poster alluded, “Was the ref supposed to de-facto grant time by taking time to ask if Howard really wanted time?”. Chaotic moments can bring out the great f*ck-up in us all. This was one of those moments.

    As to Stackhouse’s suspension, I’ve gotta agree with it. A simple collision while going after the ball is one thing. A hard push to impede a shot’s being made is another. And a hard tackle/shot to teh body as enforcement is something else again. But Stackhouse threw an elbow and forearm at a leaping player’s head while attempting a shot–meaning that the shooter (300 lbs or no) was something of a sitting duck. Granted. Shaq is a f*cking behemoth, a man-mountain and a big.Black monolith along the lines of the all-powerful slab from “2001. A Space Odyssey”, but a shot to the head is guess what? A shot to the head. Forearm shivers to the dome were outlawed in the NFL years ago and are pretty much concusssion non grata in the NBA as well. Stackhouse got a little too gully and put the splinters in his cheap, nine-button suit all by his damn self.

    “Tough t*tties” said the kitty.

    Best,
    “Old School”

  11. From the picture posted earlier, and from others accounts… hey, maybe Wade was fouled. I didn’t have every conceivable angle of it available to me, so… maybe I’m wrong on that.

    But I still disagree on Stackhouse… to me, the beginning and the end of it that he was making a play on the ball. His arm reached in the direction of the basketball… now, maybe he knew he’d never get there, and he’d just end up clubbing Shaq. But, as you said in the point about Howard, it’s not the ref’s job to judge intent. He went after the ball… and all through basketball history, guys have taken elbows and forearms to the head, shoulder, chest, neck, wherever… when a guy goes for the ball and ends up making contact with the player, the NBA rule book calls it a foul. My interpretation of the Flagrant Two rule is that it’s called when a guy just blatantly does something dangerous or violent to the guy, without any regard to the ball, or any sort of a basketball player. Stackhouse didn’t do that.

  12. The problem is, the foul was called when Nowitzki was infront of Wade. That picture was taken AFTER the supposed foul.

  13. Does anyone know the actual rule for a backcourt violation?

    My boss and I both agree that Wade jumped from the frontcourt, caught the ball,and landed in the backcourt.

    I don’t think it’s a violation because Wade never established position in the frontcount. My boss thinks it’s a violation because Wade was last in the frontcourt before he touched the ball.

    Who’s right?

  14. Section X-Ball in Backcourt
    a. A player shall not be the first to touch a ball which he or a teammate caused to go from frontcourt to backcourt while his team was in control of the ball. EXCEPTION: Rule 8-Section III-e (EXCEPTION).
    b. During a jump ball, a try for a goal, or a situation in which a player taps the ball away from a congested area, as during rebounding, in an attempt to get the ball out where player control may be secured, the ball is not in control of either team. Hence, the restriction on first touching does not apply.
    c. Following a jump ball, a player who secures a positive position and control of the ball in his frontcourt cannot pass the ball to a teammate or dribble the ball into the backcourt.
    PENALTY: Loss of ball. The ball is awarded to the opposing team at the mid-court line.

    e. Any ball out-of-bounds in a team’s frontcourt or at the midcourt line cannot be passed into the backcourt. On all backcourt and midcourt violations, the ball shall be awarded to the opposing team at the midcourt line, and must be passed into the frontcourt.

    http://www.nba.com/analysis/rules_index.html

  15. Spaceno93, funny, how you left out part of the backcourt rule (the exception to rule (e))…

    e. Any ball out-of-bounds in a team’s frontcourt or at the midcourt line cannot be passed into the backcourt. On all backcourt and midcourt violations, the ball shall be awarded to the opposing team at the midcourt line, and must be passed into the frontcourt.
    EXCEPTION: During the last two minutes of the fourth period and/or any overtime period, the ball may be passed anywhere (frontcourt or backcourt) on the court.

  16. I think the Mavs lost all rights to complain about officiating after their dubious run through the Conference Playoffs. (Ie. Tim Duncan fouling out because Dirk stepped on his foot, the missed shot-clock violation at the end of game 5 against the Suns.) And whoever said that the call going against Dirk on the Wade foul was trying to help the Mavs is absolutely right. Harris fouled him, but they called it on Dirk to keep the personal foul count in check — a common officiating practice.

  17. i’ll start watching miami games again after the refs decide to officiate wade with the same rulebook as everyone else in the league. true that superstars get preferential treatment but in crunch time on the NBA’s biggest stage? The uncalled charge on Howard in OT as he’s out of control on the spin move. The push-off on Terry on that last drive. The constant extra step he’s given on his catches and layups (and the occasional time when he’s not even driving to the rim, he gets the one-and-a-half step). Then the media has to hype up all the “pain and abuse” he’s taken? I haven’t seen anyone hit the deck more often since the days of Derek Fisher in a Laker uniform

    Pivotal game in the Finals, NBA poster boy with the ball in the closing seconds and they hand him two freebies? Taking no credit away from him for making those shots, but if the rest of the superstars have to earn their stripes, what the flying fuck makes him any different?

  18. What about Dirk getting so many calls for touch fouls on the perimeter? At least Wade will go to the rim aggressively with some wreckless abandon and put the onus on the refs to make a call. Dirk didn’t even start trying to do that until the SA series, and he only did it because he HAD TO. For someone with his size, he sure doesn’t earn his calls. He never goes down on the block and bangs with guys his size, instead getting put on the foul line for being barely touched (and often for not even being touched) by smaller players on the perimeter when he pulls up for his uncontestable jumpshot. What has Dirk done to earn that?

  19. This is the best Finals in years. And not even Joe Derosa could mar that. Look for Dallas to win tonight and probably on Thursday as well.

  20. TOTAL MELTDOWN…rather their complaints have merit or not is irrelevant. The MAVS are behaving like whiny ass little bitches and it looks bad. They don’t think a dubious foul should be called that late in a game to decide the outcome??? They would not be here is those calls were not made. Game 3 Spurs…tough call with 8.9 seconds puts Dirk on the line to win (After fouling out Duncan) Game 4 Spurs…phantom call against Bowen puts Dirk on the line to send to OT. Hmmmm…..I don’t remember SA crying like little girls who got their doll stolen? Class is obviously not a Mavericks trademark.

  21. Also, on the last possession at the end of game 7 regulation against the Spurs, there were no calls on both Ginobili’s drive and after Tim Duncan got the offensive board. The Manu no-call is understandable, but not Tim getting mugged after earning his position on the offensive glass and having three guys hack at him.

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