Posts Tagged ‘Ronnie Price’

NBA: Refs Blew Critical Call In Mavs-Blazers Game

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — All Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban asks for when it comes to NBA officiating is transparency. Well, he got it on Wednesday.

The league released a statement admitting that refs blew a crucial call in the final seconds of the Mavs’ 106-104 loss at Portland. Dallas guard O.J. Mayo was called for a charging foul that gave the ball back to the Trail Blazers with 1.5 seconds left. After a timeout, Portland inbounded the ball in the frontcourt and LaMarcus Aldridge made a game-winning, turnaround jumper.

Instead, the league said, Mayo should have been awarded two free throws with the game tied at 104-104.

“After review at the league office, the video replay confirmed the play should have been ruled a blocking foul as Portland’s Ronnie Price did not get his body directly in Mayo’s path prior to him starting his upward shooting motion,” the statement read. “Mayo should have been granted two free throws.”

The play in question started with 4.5 seconds left in the game. Mayo caught the inbounds pass along the baseline and made a quick move to the basket. As he leaped to the basket, Price slid across the lane, just outside the restricted area and the players collided.

“You really can’t [say] too much without getting a big fine,” Mayo told reporters after the team practiced in San Francisco on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday night’s game at Golden State.  “Can we play that 3.3 [seconds] over again?”

It was a critical loss for the Mavs, who started a four-game road trip at Portland as they desperately try to climb the Western Conference standings and get back in playoff contention. Dallas, which dropped to 19-26, led the Blazers by 21 points early in the third quarter before Portland began to chip away.

Dallas committed eight of its 16 turnovers in the fourth quarter and Mayo committed three in the period, including the offensive charge.

The league also acknowledged a blown call in Denver’s close win Sunday against Indiana, saying that video replay showed Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala reached in and fouled the Pacers’ Paul George with 2.2 seconds left in the game and the score tied. However, Iguodala was credited with a steal.

About Last Night: Hornets Stung

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Sorry New Orleans, we know you hate to turn on the lights at a party but that hot start wasn’t going to last forever.

It’s official, no one is going to run the table in the NBA this season.

The Dallas Mavericks made sure of that Monday night when they knocked off the Hornets at home with a late rally.

The Jazz saw their hot streak come to an end, on their home floor of all places, last night as well. But that’s what happens when you invite Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder to dinner after a long road trip. (more…)

The Heat’s Point Problem

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The CSI Miami crew is probably still combing AmericanAirlines Arena for clues that might explain how the Miami Heat had last night’s game against the Utah Jazz ripped away from them in overtime after leading by 22 points.

The most obvious suspect — Jazz big man Paul Millsap — is already gone, his 46-point explosion and the thrilling comeback win packed away safely for the rest of the road trip.

But after running the blue light over the box score of not only last night’s loss but the Heat’s two other defeats, it’s easy to identify the biggest problem. And it’s one we’ve been talking about since Miami’s Big 3 was formed. Who in the world is going to orchestrate things for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh? And who guards the opposing orchestrator?

This notion that either James or Wade can handle those duties and all you need is a warm body to put in the starting lineup at point guard is faulty logic, especially after watching Deron Williams shred the Heat the way he did last night (following the lead of fellow elite point guards Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul in their dismantling of the Heat in the only other losses Erik Spoelstra‘s team has incurred this season).

The math doesn’t match up either:

— In that season-opening loss to the Celtics, Rondo scored just four points and had two steals but controlled the game with his defense and 17 assists while Heat starter Carlos Arroyo managed just three points and didn’t have a single assist (compounded by 14 turnovers from James and Wade).

— When the Hornets ambushed the Heat over the weekend, Paul destroyed them with 13 points, 19 assists and five steals while Arroyo went scoreless and managed just one assist, with Wade and James putting together another double-digit (10) turnover performance.

— Williams abused them for 21 points and 14 assists last night before fouling out late in regulation, with Arroyo fighting back with 10 points and two assists while James (triple-double) and Wade (season-high 39 points) kept their turnovers to a minimum (just four), but the result was the same.

For those math-challenged members of our little club, that’s a healthy 38-13 scoring advantage for the opposing starter at point guard in those losses and a staggering 50-3 assist advantage for the opposing starter.

Williams and Millsap did the major damage against the Heat in the third quarter, combining for 26 of the 30 points the Jazz piled up as they outscored the Heat by four to get back into the game. Yet it was another point guard that made the play that helped clinch the game for the Jazz. Ronnie Price drove the lane in the final seconds and dished off to Francisco Elson, who was fouled by Wade and knocked down the two free throws that provided the winning margin.

It helps, even with a man neck-deep in the “zone” Millsap was in Tuesday night, to have a point guard simply initiate and help execute the offense sometimes.

We’re not pointing fingers at Arroyo specifically, though we’re sure someone will (even though he’s been put in a situation where he can’t win against the league’s very best point guards). We are, however, wagging a giant foam index finger at this notion that James or Wade can simply add those point guard duties to the phone book-thick list of things they have to do for this Heat team.

If you have a starting caliber point guard in this league, you must allow him to do the job, even on a team stacked with superstars like James and Wade. (See Rondo three years ago with the Celtics’ Big 3 for your best example of why it must be done this way.)

Spoelstra said there was a lesson to be learned from the way his team lost to the Jazz and they’ll respond to it. We’ll see Thursday night, when Rondo and the Celtics take their talents to South Beach and face the Heat on TNT.