As Dirk iced game four, I began to see large puffs of smoke emitting from the late Dallas night.
It wasn't smoke from a victory cigar, nor was it a smoked bratwurst that Nowitzki imported from Deutschland.
It was the keyboards of all the Mavericks beat writers pleading for an appeal to the "missed call" by NBA refs.
Can you blame them? Not at all! In a country where we have court systems to try and find the fair decision in all disputes, this NBA playoffs has been marred in controversy.
From Rajon Rondo's WWE tactics to Derek Fisher's people's elbow to Luis Scola, NBA referees have done a very poor job all around thus far.
So the scene is set. Dallas plays their hearts out, and are leading by two with seconds left in the game. With a foul to give, Rick Carlisle tells his team to use the foul after the five-second mark.
James Singleton executes the foul—and with no one else moving on the court aside from Carmelo and Singleton, all three referees completely missed the obvious reach in foul.
Mayhem then ensues, with Carmelo sinking a three pointer and the proverbial hearts of all the Maverick faithful.
Is it just me or does it seem like Tim Donaghy is pulling some strings from whatever hole he currently resides in? How unfair to punish a player for doing exactly what the coach asks—and the right play at that time to boot. To add salt to the wound, the NBA decided to come out and admit that a foul should have been called.
I'm not a Mavericks fan, but I do feel for them. This is not just a meaningless regular-season game. Dallas is trying to prove to the world that they are contenders.
Dirk is trying to prove to the world that he is a true All-Star and is capable of carrying a team. Josh Howard is trying to prove that he is maturing and can be a reliable side kick to an all-star. Jason Kidd is trying to prove that he is still among the NBA elite of point guards and is battling to prove his worth for another contract.
Whether you are a Nuggets fan or a Mavericks fan, at some point human error will impact your favorite team. Am I wrong to plead for the NBA to call in a review and demand the game restart with 3.1 seconds or so and the Nuggets inbounding the ball? Can we not adopt a rule similar to the NFL's final two minutes where the booth is responsible for reviewing a questionable play?
I understand the counterargument, where a review could be called for on every foul. And that if we start reviewing plays, where does it end? And how long does it elongate the game?
This was not a ho-hum loose-ball foul that went by the wayside—this is a missed call that cost an NBA team its series.
In case you missed the 207 replays shown, you could see every other Maverick on the court frozen expecting the whistle to blow. Even at my local YMCA, we negate any score that is a result of questionable call or non-call that leads to everyone stopping.
After Ed Hochuli's terrible missed call on Jay Cutler's fumble which led to a loss for the Chargers, the NFL reacted quickly and created a rule allowing for those plays to be reviewed. One can only hope that the NBA reacts similarly.
Until then, I feel for you Maverick fans.
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