How the No Call Actually Helped the Spurs

Nate SmithCorrespondent IMay 28, 2008

The Lakers won Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals 93-91, but it didn't come without controversy.

As Brent Barry went up for the potential game-winning shot, he was bumped by Lakers starting guard Derek Fisher. The bump appeared to influence the shot and Barry was only able to get off a poor attempt that bounced off the backboard as time expired.

No foul called, Lakers win.

The Spurs didn't lose this game on that possession, however. They were out-hustled, out-rebounded, and out-played for all 48 minutes. The Lakers were the better team, and the better team won. That's how it should be.

The Spurs had their chances and they benefited from some serious home cooking. Kobe Bryant took 29 shots and was rewarded with no free throws. Nada. Zip. Zero.

The referees awarded the Spurs with 26 freebies to the Lakers 19. The referees ignored a Duncan travel. They called Lamar Odom for a foul where he clearly got a hand on the ball for a jump ball early in the game.

Late in the game, Robert Horry was rewarded with a jump ball call against Jordan Farmar on a similar play. Jordan Farmar was called for a push-off foul. Brent Barry did the exact same thing early in the fourth and was rewarded with free throws. 

But these type of discrepancies happen. It is part of the game.

What is really disturbing are the missed calls at the end of the game. Manu Ginobli is credited with three points with 50.5 seconds to play even though his foot was clearly on the line and should have been a two. 

Lamar Odom clearly blocked a Parker layup with 40.5 seconds to go and is called for goaltending. Derek Fisher's shot with 5.6 seconds to play grazed the rim and bounced off of Robert Horry's foot.

The Lakers should have been able to have the shot-clock reset, yet the officials erroneously ruled that the ball did not hit the rim.

Each of these plays were ones that went in the Spurs' favor during crunch time and resulted in chances to win the ball game that never should have happened.

Then the final play. 

If you understand basketball, then you should understand that the "no call" was actually a call in favor of the Spurs. 

If you go by the rule book, Brent Barry's play was a travel. Barry picked up his pivot foot and traveled before Fisher ever bumped him and the ball should have been awarded to the Lakers.

The officials didn't give the Lakers that call at the end of the game and allowed the Spurs to get off a potential game-winning shot.  

So if we're going to talk about the call at the end of the game that was missed let's start with Barry's travel that was not called and work our way back.

The bottom line is: the better team won the game and that's the way it should be.