Foul taste: NBA admits refs’ error in Game 3

The NBA admitted the game officials were wrong for not calling an intentional foul on the Dallas Mavericks prior to Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony’s game-winning three-point shot on Saturday evening.

The Mavericks had a two-point lead and a foul to give. The play began with Anthony receiving the inbounds pass with less than eight seconds left in the game. Antoine Wright clearly body checks Anthony twice, but no whistle was blown. Melo kept playing and hits the three-pointer to give the Nuggets a 106-105 victory and a commanding 3-0 series lead.

After reviewing the game tape, NBA president of league and basketball operations, Joel Litvin, issued this statement:

“At the end of the Dallas-Denver game this evening, the officials missed an intentional foul committed by Antoine Wright on Carmelo Anthony, just prior to Anthony’s three-point basket.”

In the aftermath of a gambling scandal involving former referee Tim Donaghy, the NBA has been public to acknowledged officiating mistakes in playoff games. Last year, the league ruled a foul should have been called against Derek Fisher on Brent Barry’s three-point shot at the conclusion of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. The play was at the end of a two-point contest, and a foul could have given the Spurs a chance to win the game and even the series at two games apiece.

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Video of J.R. Smith’s elbow — should he be fined and/or suspended?

You may have heard about Mark Cuban’s decision to confront Denver Nuggets G/F J.R. Smith after Smith threw an elbow at Mavs guard Antoine Wright.

The league has reviewed Smith’s elbow and decided that no action is necessary, but Cuban may still be punished. Here’s the video of the elbow — do you think it warrants a fine and/or suspension?

Keep in mind that the commentator here is a Nuggets fan, so he probably has his Denver goggles on. I don’t think that the elbow was meant as a warning. I think he tried to hit Wright in the face/throat after Wright got a shove in on Smith’s neck. Wright’s shove occurred when Smith tried to get to the glass and the shot was in the air. Smith threw his elbow after the ball went through the hoop.

I think Smith deserves some sort of punishment. Had his elbow connected with Wright’s throat, serious damage should be done.

This doesn’t give Cuban the right to confront an opposing team’s player. He should act like an adult and file a grievance with the league.

On a more humorous note, after the game, Smith apparently sent a signed pair of shoes to the Mavs’ locker room as a present for Cuban. It didn’t go over well with the Bratty Billionaire.

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