As these games should, and probably will continue to, Wednesday night’s battle between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers came down to the last few possessions. These are, without question, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference and I don’t see a way that we don’t get at least four more (probably six or seven) of these thrillers in the playoffs.
Well, this game came down to the final shot. Following a comeback by the Heat capped off by two free throws by Ray Allen to give the team a three-point lead, Paul George found himself with an open-enough look to tie the game with second left.
And then we had the no call. LeBron’s hands were all over George, who went up in the air for the jumper. The refs let the game end here, much to George’s chagrin.
So was it the right call? A few notes:
- LeBron had his hands all over George.
- Refs will call ticky-tack fouls all the time for this over the course of the game. Refs want to give shooters in air room to get their shots off–hence rules allowing for shooters to come down cleanly and, well, not being touched while in the air.
- Except James did not extend his arms are touch George above the the elbow.
- But with James’ size and strength, even putting his hands on someone would likely alter the shot.
- But does–rather, should– individual player size and strength come into play when judging if something is a foul or not?
- Either way, it most certainly does.
- In most situations, given these standards, this should and would have been called a foul.
- Except this isn’t most situations. This was a game-tying moment. Did the officials just say “hey, let these guys play. We will stay out of it.”
- “Stay out of it?” I doubt it with Joey Crawford and the Crawford’s calling the game. (Can we nickname Joey Crawford “The Crawdad?” How about J-Craw?) Doubtful, but not impossible.
- Is “let the guys play” a viable excuse to miss a call? When is it acceptable for referees to just let them play and swallow the whistle?
- So, then, it was a missed call?
- Why am I asking so many questions? These are hardly answers. I’m writing myself in a circle! A Ray Allen off-ball circle, I tell you!
This could have gone either way. Refs will usually call this a foul during the course of a game, but the end of the game is different. Different refs will call it differently. Shooting fouls are pretty black-and-white: Don’t touch while he is going up and let him land. But their is a time and place for everything and, whether you agree with time and place foul calls or not, that is the reality.
Personally, I think it was a foul on James and it should have been called.
What do you think, and why do you think it wasn’t called? Let us know in the comments section below!