It is game day for the first do or die contest of the 2009 playoffs for the Denver Nuggets so why not throw out some links to get everyone in the mood?
There has been a lot of talk about officiating following game five. Bill Simmons lambasted the NBA in this article for making a potentially great product merely good. John Hollinger added his two cents. Lakers Blog also has a good post on the topic complete with a link to this article by Charlie Rosen on FoxSports.com.
A video from Bryan Roy discussing game six with OC Register columnist Jeff Miller. Both like the Nuggets’ chances.
Andrew at Denver Stiffs has some news from Chris Tomasson that Karl envisions J.R. Smith as the starter at shooting guard next season. Is it true or just a negotiating tactic to drive the price of Dahntay Jones’ next contract down?
At least one man thinks Anthony Carter was the thirtieth best player in Miami Heat History ahead of such talents as Billy Owens, Gary Payton, Harold “Baby Jordan” Miner and Alan Ogg (hat tip to TrueHoop for the link). No word on if that is because his agent’s inability to trigger his player option on the final year of his contract ultimately led to an NBA championship (the mishap gave them enough money to sign Lamar Odom who was part of the package traded for Shaq).
Apparently actor/singer Tyrese Gibson altered the words of the National Anthem prior to game five in Los Angeles. Probably the first time the fans in Staples Center have ever booed at the mention of the Lakers (hat tip to Lakers Blog for the link). How dare this guy try to give me a reason not to see Transformers 2!
Nuggets Nugetz is all about the playoff ‘stache.
Look for another live blog tonight featuring Kurt from Forum Blue and Gold and of course one of the top ten Nuggets bloggers in all of creation.
Yes, what Antoine Wright did to Carmelo Anthony was a foul, but you play the game the way the referees call it. In that light I have three recommendations for the Mavericks next time they find themselves in that situation.
1. Tell the officials you want to foul before the shot goes up. It is not against the rules to communicate your strategy to do to the officials. For years players and coaches have informed refs that they want to call a timeout as soon as they grab a rebound. If the officials know what you want to do they will be anticipating that you are going to do it and that makes it much more likely that they will make the call you are looking for. Plus, I have no idea if the on court referees keep track of who has a foul to give or not. In fact, the scorer’s table passes that information on to them specifically so they do not have to keep track of that kind of thing.
2. If you are going to foul, foul. Do not make a weak slap at the ball/arm. Wrap the offensive player up. Grab him, hold him like you are at the prom. Leave the referees no choice, but to call the foul.
3. After the contact do not put your hands up in the air and act like you did not foul. Making the French national gesture with you arms up in surrender communicates that you did not intend to foul and do not want to be called for a foul. Players have been making that gesture hoping to avoid a whistle since God created referees.
If there is something to be said for the officials I think it is clear that the game was officiated the way the Mavericks need it to be officiated in order to have a chance to beat the Nuggets. The Nuggets physical play was penalized all night long, which is fine and I think the officials were pretty consistent all night long. The result was the game turned into a dreadful non-stop parade to the foul line. Now, please note, I did not say the referees screwed the Nuggets nor did I say the Mavericks got all the calls. Denver shot plenty of free throws too. If Dallas wants to complain about the refs, and judging by the reaction of Mark Cuban following the game they do, tonight was not the night to do it.
Update: Official statement from the NBA:
“At the end of the Dallas-Denver game this evening, the officials missed an intentional foul committed by Antoine Wright on Carmelo Anthony, just prior to Anthony’s three-point basket.”