Before we get to a few more thoughts on game three of the Denver Nuggets/Dallas Mavericks series there are a couple of announcements to make.
First, make sure you swing by here at 1:00 Mountain time to take part in a chat with Rob Mahoney from The Two Man Game. We will be taking your questions and I am sure listening to a lot of complaining heading into game four.
Secondly, the Nugg Doctor is hosting a game four viewing party at the ESPN Zone in downtown Denver. I cannot make it due to the fact my softball teams needs my sterling skills at shortstop tonight (only two errors so far in two games improving on my previous best of 12 errors in two games), but if you like watching games with other rowdy Nuggets fans I encourage you to join the party. Nick the Nugg Doctor is promising trivia and prizes.
More end of game comments
There has been a lot of fallout over the whistle not heard around the world and it deserves more discussion here.
First of all, all the excuses being made for Antoine Wright are ridiculous. It has been said that he could not have wrapped Carmelo up because of the danger of being called for an intentional foul or a flagrant foul? That is just preposterous. The entire episode took place under the guise of referees to not want to unduly impact the end of games. No NBA referee is going to call either an intentional or a flagrant foul in that spot. Rajon Rondo punched Brad Miller in the face and did not get a flagrant foul.
There are two accounts of Nuggets fans watching the game in a bar with the sound down and thus not knowing the Mavs had a foul to give. Jakester recounted it here in a comment here on RMC and Andy from Denver Stiffs was also in that position. Neither observer thought there was a foul that should have been called in that point in the game.
The actions of Mark Cuban following the game were repulsive. I can appreciate his passion for his team, but his conduct was not appropriate for a fan, let alone an owner of an NBA franchise. At one point he pushed a camera man, although not hard, was seen shouting obscenities on the court and he even yelled at Kenyon Martin’s mom calling Kenyon a thug.
I respect players and teams who do not look to blame the officials whenever they lose. Mentally tough teams do not look to blame the referees after any loss. They accept responsibility. There is a belief that teams taken on the personality of their coaches. Well, as active as Cuban is I think Dallas has taken on some of the personality of their owner. The Mavs are not a mentally tough team and I think a big reason is because of the emphasis Cuban has placed on poor officiating. I understand much of what Cuban has done is with the admirable goal of improving officiating in the NBA. However, he should keep that data away from the players, coaches and fans. By making a stink over every call he does not agree with he remove the burden of losses from his players to the officials.
Instead of learning from all the mistakes Dallas made in the final couple of minutes, or wondering why they were not up double digits at halftime when the Nuggets were shooting under 30%, they are completely focused on the officials.
Mavericks fans have been proclaiming that Nuggets fans would be angry too if Denver had tried to foul and failed only to see the game winning shot go through the hoop. I agree, it would be a wide topic of conversation, but on this site I promise we would have focused on the very same issue of what the player could have done better in order to get the foul called.
I will say one thing in Wright’s defense. The game had been called very tight all afternoon and what he did would have been called a foul at any other point during the game.
I will also add that Dirk Nowitzki seemed to have the right attitude about the end of the game. He left the floor quietly and I believe he was contemplating what he could have done better to win the game. Jason Kidd was also quick to accept blame (Update: Dallas Morning News blog post with Kidds’ comments) as he was quoted as saying the play at the end of the game was not what cost Dallas the win.
It was interesting to see that Josh Howard who shot 5-15 and was in foul trouble was the most animated in his displeasure. Maybe Josh should have shared Dirk’s attitude. He was called for a technical in the third quarter that gave Denver an extra point, he only shot 33% and his defense was not overly impressive. He can blame the officials all he wants and I realize he is playing in pain, but he should be looking at himself.
It is unfortunate that the game had to end with that kind of controversy, but do not let it get you down Nuggets fans. Dallas can say whatever they want and the NBA can put out statements until the end of time, the fact is Melo made the shot and Denver earned that win. Enjoy it.
The NBA is reportedly reviewing the events on the court following game three and I will let you know as soon as I know if there are any suspensions as a result of what went down.
There is no news in the Denver Post that I have found confirming that, but as I wrote in my game three recap. Kleiza was clearly not interested in shooting, which I have never seen before, and if he is not scoring, he does not belong on the court.