Home > NBA, Undercover Bystander > Bulls Get Hosed by Refs During Game 3 (With Video)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. LeBron James picks up his dribble. Stops. Takes two steps forward, and finds Chris Bosh for a layup.
  6. 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.

  1. Noah grabs Bosh by the waist. The refs are establishing early what they think is a foul.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A few minutes later, after the Bulls started to get some momentum, Bosh pushes a driving Rose from behind. No Call.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. Later in the game Korver draws a foul for pushing Mario Chalmers on a drive. Good call, but….
  8. One minute of gametime later, Mike Bibby pushes Derrick Rose in the same manner that Korver pushed Chalmers. No foul is called.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

  1. ulvi çalımbay
    05/25/2011 at 4:31 am

    the man is right, guys

  2. giannis
    05/25/2011 at 7:09 am

    Really cant wait for your videos on Game 4.The Bulls got hosed even worse than in Game 3

  3. 05/25/2011 at 10:14 am

    hey you forgot the shot wade made in the fourth quarter at the top of the key after running off a pic by haslem when he was clearly holding noahs arms with both hands preventing him from defending the shot…

  4. T.C
    05/25/2011 at 4:08 pm

    That’s why they never show the replay’s on TV b/c its so obvious that theres cheating going on in miamis favor.

  5. Slightly Moved
    05/25/2011 at 7:51 pm

    lmfao this is so one sided, it’s ridiculous. I’m going to address each one.

    1st vid

    1. Good call
    2. Human error, because it was hard to tell what foot bosh caught the ball on when he used his pivot foot.
    3. Blatant travel and even Bosh expected the ref to call it. Should have been called.
    4. Same as 4, but I can see why the refs were unsure because of their position.
    5. Should have been called easily. But LeBron along with Amar’e get away with traveling all the time.
    6. Not a travel at all. Haslem caught the ball while he was in the air, landed on both feet and then jumped up for the layup. Idk why this is even in the video.

    Video 2

    1. How is that a tick tacky foul? Noah was holding Bosh in front of the ref as Bosh was trying to get the ball. Doesn’t help the video creators credibility.
    2. Stupid call
    3. It actually looks like LeBron is trying to brace himself and avoid fouling Deng, so I can see why the refs would hold back. Lol at his hypothetical comments.
    4. lmfao, he’s reaching here. Bosh looks like he’s holding onto his back rather than pushing him and Rose shows no indication that he’s being pushed. Bosh’s hand was on his back for literally 2 seconds.
    5. Hardly ever gets called both ways. It’s not even apparent
    6. If he’s trying to make a comparison on both sides, this is a bad clip. In the 5th clip, Bosh was battling for the rebound with Noah and boozer wasn’t a factor, so the eyes were on those two compared this one. Noah was called for over the back and LeBron sold it well. It was a foul on both plays, but look where the attention in. They aren’t comparable.
    7. Good call
    8. Lmfao not even the same. Korver’s arm extends while bibby held out him back with his forearm. Either way, Bibby could and should have been called for the foul. Good clip to show a no call, but horrible comparison.
    9.Good call
    10. Thought it was a foul live and should have been called.
    11. If he was going to take the audio off on one of the clips, it should have been this one, because it was an offensive foul as the announcer said contrary to his comment of it being a moving screen.
    12. Should have been called.

  6. Tom
    05/26/2011 at 12:19 am

    I’ve literally never seen a player get called for taking a step after getting the ball, like all of Bosh’s travels were. Sure, they might literally be travels, but I’ve never ever seen it called. I’m sure if I took the time to check, the Bulls players have done this within the series.

    Regarding the fouls, several of the ones that you matched up weren’t really comparable. I completely agree with the moving screens, Bosh sets moving screens all the time and it’s a miracle he gets away with them, really, and Noah appeared to be set (although I don’t think you can really judge what Bibby was reacting to.) However, the Korver push on Chalmers was clear; it’s unclear that Bibby actually altered Rose’s path by touching him. The Noah play was clearly over the back, he knocked Lebron over, Bosh’s was straight up. And the first foul wasn’t “tick tack,” he hugged someone around their waist.

    However, I agree that, without a doubt, most of the calls in the series have gone the Heat’s way. I don’t think that, in any way, the Refs are “fixing” the outcomes, nor do I believe that the Bulls would win the series in a “perfectly” officiated series. The Bulls are simply shooting poorly, with the exception of game one, and you’re not going to win when you’re shooting 30% and your opponents are shooting 50%. It’s as simple as that.

  7. Blah
    05/26/2011 at 3:00 pm

    hey u 4got! refs dont see n slow mo! 😛

  8. 05/26/2011 at 10:23 pm

    u mad? LOL Bulls.

  9. monk
    05/27/2011 at 5:29 pm

    Great job, most of this series has been bad. if you watch closely to Lebron, he ravel all the time all day long. he flops every game. i really dont belive in fixed games, but when you see the point spread and how they make called its starts to look the role. Great Job on the break down and i hope you post the Game 5 as well. i will be watching the game over again and i cant begin to count the bad calls. The NBA has to do something about this. they have HD cameras and should fine refs for bad calls as such or have a repercussion .the refs are the ones that need to stay with the game well. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

  10. 05/31/2011 at 6:02 pm

    I thought the worst, was the beginning of the 2nd quarter in game 2 and the end of the 3rd and 4th quarters in game 5

    Game 3 it seemed just like an overall we couldn’t get a call, which is to be expected but at least most of the calls weren’t that obvious (except for bosh and james travelling lol). The minute of officiating in game 2, 2nd quarter was some of the biggest BS officiating i’ve ever seen in the NBA and i’ve been watching for 25+ years. Same with the end of the 3rd and 4th quarters in game 5. Just ridiculous!

  11. dr.dirk
    06/13/2011 at 6:48 am

    Go Dirk, i love you and Dalas


  1. 05/25/2011 at 8:36 am
  2. 05/26/2011 at 12:28 am


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