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Isn’t it ironic…don’t you think? The Mav’s, who were victims of one of the most atrociously officiated Finals in history,(the ‘06 Finals where D-Whistle shot an unheard of 16+ free throws per game), were again victims of NBA officiating, but this time it was because a foul WASN’T called against them. During the final moments of game 3, with the Mav’s up two and a foul to give, Antoine Wright appeared to intentionally foul Nuggets SF Carmelo Anthony, only to have Carmelo hit the shot of his life, (albeit with no defenders around), putting the Nuggets up one with 2 seconds left on their way to a 106-105 victory. Anyone who saw the play, including the ABC announcers, thought it was a foul. It was intended to be a foul, but NBA official Mark Wunderlich DIDN’T see it that way, which allowed Carmelo an uncontested three to win the game.
Many feel that Antoine should’ve wrapped Carmelo up, which I agree with. But the contact was most certainly there, especially in a situation where the Mav’s had a foul to give, which any competent official should know. Some also make the claim that Antoine raised his hands after the foul, indicating it wasn’t intentional, which I disagree with. The actual reason his hands went up was because he didn’t want to foul Carmelo in the act of shooting, which would result in three free throws. The hands went up after the initial contact didn’t result in a foul call, allowing Carmelo the free look. After Dirk missed a tough game winner, chaos ensued as Josh Howard and Mav’s Owner Mark Cuban went ballistic at half court. While I don’t believe it was the league’s intention to screw the Mav’s(two hours later league officials would admit that the no-call was a mistake), it doesn’t change the fact that the Mav’s were essentially tossed from the playoffs with a horrible no-call. Too many times in this playoffs and in playoff past the officiating has come into question, especially with the seemingly “double-standard” the league treats it’s superstars. Kobe got away with an elbow to Ron Artest earlier in the week without even a personal foul being called, while Artest has been ejected in back-two-back games, both of which were highly questionable. I guess the only thing NBA fans can ask for is consistency, which unfortunately hasn’t been there in quite some time.