Sunday, March 4, 2012

Video Breakdown and Analysis: Dwyane Wade's Four Fouls in Three Minutes

When the Miami Heat lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 93-83 Sunday afternoon, a number of Heat fans took to Twitter, blaming referees for their team's struggles.

The premise: Officials Monty McCutchen, Bennie Adams and Eli Roe's four foul calls against Heat star Dwyane Wade—that resulted in disqualification after all occurring within the same 3:03 timespan late in the fourth quarter—were bad calls brought on by some ulterior motive the officials had for ensuring Los Angeles beat the Heat.

Strong allegations? Absolutely. Any merit to the claims of "bad calls"? Not a bit. As is the case with officials in most sports who receive the "bad call, ref!" criticism, replays indicate officials got every single fourth quarter foul call against Wade correct.

The following is a Close Call Sports video breakdown of these pivotal foul calls: why they were correct and why they must have been called.
When it comes to video breakdown and analysis of a referee or umpire's call, it is often wise to ignore the play-by-play, as some broadcasters or color commentators have a tendency to broadcast from a home- or away team point of view, as opposed to offering the utmost in impartiality.
Similarly, many broadcasters have very low rules knowledge, though ESPN/ABC's Mike Breen happens to be an exception, as a former high school and small college referee himself.

Still, the following video is decidedly not in English—which is a good thing. You'll be able to hear ambient noise, but won't have to listen to opinionated commentary from those who don't know the rules. Note the time listed next to the foul number for when in the video each foul occurs.

Foul No. 1 (22 Seconds): Offensive Foul. Disposition: CC: Correct Call
- In his drive to the goal, Wade extends his right leg into the midsection of the Lakers' Andrew Bynum, resulting in Bynum's displacement. This is an offensive foul known as a false crash play (as in, Wade fell down, but Bynum did not) and is correctly called.

Foul No. 2 (29 seconds): Offensive Foul. Disposition: CC: Correct Call
- After being legally guarded by Lakers point guard Steve Blake, Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers quickly passes to Wade, who is near the end line at the three point arc. Sensing an impending drive, Blake quickly slides toward the baseline and establishes legal position outside the restricted area prior to Wade beginning his habitual shooting motion. When contact and displacement occurs, it is an offensive foul and is correct called.

Foul No. 3 (37 seconds): Defensive Blocking Foul: CC: Correct Call
- After Metta World Peace blocks a Heat shot attempt, Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant picks up the loose ball and begins a dribble toward half court. As Wade runs in to prevent Bryant's advance, he contacts Bryant with his hip, interrupting Bryant's balance and quickness. As Wade never attained legal guarding position prior to contact and displacement, this is a defensive blocking foul and is correctly called.

Foul No. 4 (46 seconds): Defensive Pushing Foul: CC: Correct Call
- As Bynum attempts to receive teammate Pau Gasol's pass, Wade tries to break up the play by attempting to jump over Bynum and knock the ball away from the Lakers' center. However, Wade's right arm contacts Bynum's shoulder and neck area, resulting in the alteration of Bynum's airborne trajectory and the ball's deflection to a Heat player. This is a classic scenario colloquially known as "over the back," though the foul is correctly called a defensive pushing foul (as there is no such foul as "over the back").

In the end, all four fouls called against Wade in the same 3:03 timespan in the fourth quarter were correctly adjudicated. Though it is generally very rare for a player to be called for four fouls in three minutes, replays conclusively indicate Wade was correctly charged with these fouls.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's an awesome video breakdown. Until reading this article, I had just assumed they were picking on Dwayne, but I guess not. All legit foul calls.

Anonymous said...

Ooh! Can you do this during baseball season, too? That would be AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

Clearly OK all fouls are good! but clearly all the game referee are against D-WADE!!!It's not a surprise for me if the referees chose wade to grab 4 fouls in 50sec (THE BITCH of David Stern)

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