DALLAS — The NBA’s new flopping rule has captured everyone’s attention, but a rule tweak that could prove to be far more impactful this season — and especially in the playoffs — was successfully implemented in the final minute of Monday’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers.
The replay review of flagrant fouls makes all kinds of good sense.
As the Mavs were polishing off a massive fourth-quarter run to break open a close game and bury the Blazers 114-91, Dallas rookie Jae Crowder drove the lane. Sasha Pavlovic wrapped his arms around him and Crowder went crashing to the floor. At first glance, in the heat of a game gone haywire for Portland, it could have been interpreted as an unnecessary, potentially dangerous, frustration foul worthy of being ruled a flagrant.
Under the new replay rule, the officiating crew of Joey Crawford, Kane Fitzgerald and Marat Kogut went under the hood, so to speak, to take a look. Upon further review, they correctly determined that Pavlovic’s foul was not “unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent,” the requirement for a Flagrant 1, the lesser of the league’s two flagrant foul penalties, so Pavlovic was charged with a routine personal foul.
Crowder was awarded two free throws. A Flagrant 1 would have resulted in two free throws and possession. In a blowout such as this, it was inconsequential from results standpoint. But in a tight game, the replay review can be significant. (more…)