Bulls Get Hosed by Refs During Game 3 (With Video)
I hate fans who complain about the refs. Too often refs are used as an excuse for a team’s losses. It couldn’t possibly be that one team was better than the other. Right? Well, I have watched and re-watched Game 3 of Bulls-Heat and I think the Bulls got screwed. I tried to look at this fairly, even though I’m a Bulls fan, and I can’t ignore what I saw. Trusting the reader to “take my word for it” won’t be good enough on something like this. I have video evidence. What I saw was one team get away with violations that the other did not.
The first set of clips are traveling violations not called. I didn’t include plays where LeBron or another player took three steps barreling to the basket. That would have been a little too easy. The Heat scored 10 (more if you count LeBron’s signature move) off of plays that should have been traveling calls. They won by 10. For those of you who need to brush up on the NBA’s definition of traveling, you can find it here (Section XIII, page 37).
I slowed down the video to show when the violation occurred. I included a Key describing the infractions below.
- The first clip was a legitimate traveling violation on Taj Gibson. It’s always good to see that the refs are paying attention to this detail looking at a crowded lane. Too often players get away with this kind of thing. Unfortunately, the refs weren’t fair to both teams.
- Bosh receives a pass at the top of the key and takes a full step to his right without dribbling. Asik comes out to contest, and Bosh has an open layup. I could argue he traveled twice here, but the first violation is the type of travel I want to bring attention to. The ref was looking right at him!
- Bosh receives a pass outside the 3-point line, and, without dribbling, he takes a full step to get to his spot. Hits the jumper.
- Bosh receives a pass from Wade on the right block, without dribbling, he takes a hop to his right. He still has his dribble and his defender must account for a pump fake. The result of the play is a jumpshot from one of his sweet spots.
- LeBron James picks up his dribble. Stops. Takes two steps forward, and finds Chris Bosh for a layup.
- Udonis Haslem catches the ball from Wade in the lane while landing on his left foot; does not dribble, takes a step and a hop, and scores a layup.
The second set are bad foul calls. I didn’t grab random segments of the game, and decide to draw attention to plays where the Bulls got screwed. It would be dishonest to display video of an errant call out of context. These clips are sequential. The Heat got away with violations that, moments later the Bulls did not. Again, key is below.
- Noah grabs Bosh by the waist. The refs are establishing early what they think is a foul.
- Boozer gets called for, well, I don’t know, but mistakes happen. I guess I’d call it using his forearm to keep the offensive player in front of him. That’s completely legal. Whatever. Refs are human.
- The very next possession LeBron pushes a driving Luol Deng and no foul is called. The official was right there! If Boozer and Noah got whistled for their fouls, then surely this was a foul too. Worse, the play results in a fastbreak dunk for Heat on other end.
- A few minutes later, after the Bulls started to get some momentum, Bosh pushes a driving Rose from behind. No Call.
- Bosh climbs over the back of Boozer and pushes him from behind, Heat get offensive Rebound. This shouldn’t have been a big deal because this type of thing happens all the time. It occurred before the previous play shown, but I moved it to draw attention to what happened two minutes later.
- Noah gets called for his second foul for jumping behind LeBron James. Just after Bosh did the same. He sits for the remainder of the quarter. A fan provokes him, you know the rest. This wasn’t a foul. I have two replays of it. And if it was a foul, then how come Bosh is allowed to do the same thing?
- Later in the game Korver draws a foul for pushing Mario Chalmers on a drive. Good call, but….
- One minute of gametime later, Mike Bibby pushes Derrick Rose in the same manner that Korver pushed Chalmers. No foul is called.
- Near the end of the half Kyle Korver fouls LeBron James by hitting him across the arm during the act of shooting. Good call by the official.
- At the beginning of the 3rd period, 1 minute of gametime elapsed since the Korver foul, Mike Bibby commits the same infraction on Joakim Noah. No foul is called.
- Joakim Noah is called for a moving screen on Mike Bibby. To me, it appears his feet were set. Given Bibby’s reaction, I think he felt the same.
- Several minutes of gametime later, Chris Bosh commits an actual moving screen and is given no foul.
The conclusion I’ve drawn is that the Bulls got screwed by the refs. Chris Bosh looked like Dirk Nowitzki minus the moves. He’s tall and got himself into position to shoot those open jumpers by traveling. I could also argue that some of the goofy calls/non-calls both put Noah in foul trouble, and made the Heat defense look much better than it was. I cannot say for certain that the official’s interpretations of the fouls alone caused the Bulls to lose the game; but, the traveling violations in addition to the fouls are a lot to overcome when playing a team like the Heat. I would even go as far as saying the traveling violations alone swung the game in the Heat’s direction. It was absurd to watch the calls that were being ignored by the refs. Again, I’m not even including the 3 step gallops down the lane that LeBron frequently makes. I’m talking about Heat players shuffling their feet with officials looking right at them. I’m not going to accuse the refs of anything, but, I mean, I think they cost the Bulls the game.
Just relaying what I saw.