The Zen Master Phil Jackson watched the flurried finish to the Rockets-Wizards game on Wednesday night. The game was mired by a one-sided number of free throws for the Rockets (47 vs. the Wizard’s 16), culminating in a call against Trevor Ariza before the ball was inbound with 4 seconds remaining and the Wiz ahead by two. Jackson called out septuagenarian referee, Dick Bavetta, after he whistled Ariza for the infraction.
The called foul on Ariza gave the Rockets a single free throw plus the ball back, since the rules stipulate that’s the consequence of fouling before the ball is in play. As we already know, Harden knocked down the free throw and then eurostepped his way to the win.
Thanks to the Truth About It’s Kyle Weidie, we get a second look at that foul:
Um, yeah, it certainly seems like Harden tangled up Ariza, and it should have probably been an offensive foul on Harden. In which case it would be Wizards ball and they’d most likely get the win. But that’s not what happened.
Following the game, someone asked Ariza about the foul before the inbounds. Weidie, provides Ariza’s glorious exhalation of breathe (i.e. I don’t want to get fined by the NBA for throwing the refs under the bus, but damn they really screwed up that call):
But Weidie and most of the Wizards fans who watched the game have to be happy that Jackson ended up explicitly calling out Bavetta on Twitter:
Dick Bavetta has been around long enuf to know that clasp Harden put on Trevor-offensive foul…okay i’ll SMH
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) February 13, 2014
And as Weidie also mentions, the screen Dwight Howard set on John Wall to free Harden for his game-winning drive, looks an awful lot like Dwight just grabs Wall and holds him long enough to give Harden his opening.
Dick Bavetta was born in Brooklyn 74 years ago, and Jackson astutely points out that he’s old enough to know better.
(via Truth About It)
Did Harden actually foul Ariza?
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