Dallas Mavericks, Referees, or Both: Who Is To Blame?

Sixty Feet, Six Inches Correspondent IMay 10, 2009

DALLAS - MAY 09:  Forward Josh Howard #5 and Darrell Armstrong of the Dallas Mavericks react after a 106-105 loss against the Denver Nuggets in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 9, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

I am sure by now that if you follow the NBA at all, you are familiar with the controversial end of Game Three between the Mavericks and Nuggets.

If not, you can watch it here.

Basically, the Mavs were up two with roughly six seconds to play and a foul to give. Antoine Wright was defending Carmelo Anthony and attempted to take their foul to give with roughly three seconds left to play.

None of the referees chose to make the call for Wright. This lead to Anthony hitting an off-balance three, winning the game for the Nuggets. It also lead to a general fit being thrown by just about everyone associated with the Mavericks, particularly Josh Howard and owner Mark Cuban.

This lead to the obvious question, who is to blame for this missed call? The NBA issued a statement saying the refs should have made the call shortly after the game. This does nothing to help the Mavs who now find themselves in a three to none series hole.

While the refs missed an obvious attempt to foul, the Mavs have no one to blame in the end but themselves. Wright should have gone for a much more convincing foul, than the simple hand check that he used on Anthony. The Mavs should have also made it clear to the refs that they were going to take their final foul and left no room for the error.

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