Friday, May 16, 2008

Pau's Put-Back

As a rule, I do not complain about referees. It is a futile endeavor and, even worse, it implies forgiveness of numerous other deficiencies which, unlike refs' whistles, can be controlled by the players.

With that said, even if ignoring refs were not my M.O., I would have nothing to complain about regarding the Pau put-back on Wednesday. I've watched this thing a hundred times and I'm convinced of one thing, and one thing only: Okur flopped.

We can, and likely will, argue for days about whether Gasol pushed off (I think he does, but that happens on every play, just watch Boozer), and whether the Jazz would get that call in Salt Lake (they would), and whether there is a conspiracy to get the Lakers into the finals (no, there are easier ways to fix these things than no-calls). But the sad part of this whole thing is that Okur chose to flop in an attempt to draw a foul instead of nutting up and fighting for that board. He may not have been able to get it - Gasol is deep and the ball bounces perfectly towards him - but he at least can try and get a tip or keep Gasol from just flushing the game. Instead a flails his arms (convincingly) and gives Gasol a dunk to ice it. Exaggerating fouls instead of rebounding is ALWAYS a stupid choice; you just aren't going to get the call enough to make it worthwhile. This is especially so on the road, in the last 30 seconds of a tight playoff game.

I've grown to like Memo. I think he fits well on the Jazz, and I can forgive his lust for outside shooting because he is, in fact, our best shooter. But that was an unforgivable "Euro" move Wednesday night that may have cost us our best chance at winning this series.

Now, judge for yourself.

First, the "HOW-CAN-THEY-NOT-CALL-THAT" angle:

Now, the "oh-maybe-that-was-a-flop" angle.

For what it's worth, truehoop (who's author picked the Jazz to win the series) agrees.


Pasty Gangsta said...

I am always somewhat amazed that NBA players don't box out more than they do in critical situations. When that shot went up, Memo was allowed under the rules to crouch over and back Gasol out of the area. For Gasol to get the board he would have to do it by going over Memo's shoulders. Instead he did what most players do -- a stiff arm to the upper shoulder area. That might work 70% of the time, but in a situation like that I say better safe than sorry.

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