Blog Entry

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

Posted on: May 22, 2011 4:17 pm
Posted by Royce Young

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Look at the box score from Saturday's Thunder-Mavericks Game 3 in Oklahoma City. Notice anything funny? No, not that the Thunder shot just 1-17 from 3. No, not that Dirk Nowitzki had as many turnovers as made baskets (seven).

What's striking is that Dirk only took one -- count it, one -- free throw. And it came via a technical foul no less. This after he took 34 in the first two games, including a historic 24-24 from the stripe in Game 1.

There's no doubt that Nick Collison's defense on Dirk has been almost inspiring. Collison has earned a reputation in the postseason for being one of the best defensive big men stoppers in the game with the way he covered Zach Randolph and now how he's made life tough on Dirk. But one of the strategies Collison employs is being physical with Dirk, both on and off the ball.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle was impressed with Collison's defense saying he's one of the "best post defenders in basketball," but added a caveat to it.

"Now, I don't know in terms of legal limits. I believe the line may have been crossed at times, and if so, I mean, the league will see that."

In other words, "He's fouling my guy! But I'm also trying to choose my words carefully as to not get a fine."

Dirk didn't really complain about it though.

"I obviously didn't get a lot of whistles going to the basket," Nowitzki said. "So I had to go with the one or two dribbles and up."

On the floor though, Dirk did his fair share though. After a hard drive to the basket where he obviously thought there was contact, Dirk turned to official Bob Delaney and informed him that the legal limits were indeed crossed on that particular play.

It's always kind of funny how things change with different officiating crews. In Game 1, Joey Crawford and his group saw almost everything as a foul. It was called fairly on both ends as both teams got the benefit of a touchy whistle. Game 2, a bit more was allowed. Game 3, Dirk got roughed up a bit. Collison for the most part played within the legal limits I'd say, doing a good job of using his body and not his hands to defend Dirk. Twice Collison anticipated Dirk putting the ball on the floor and forced a jump ball. No foul, no line-crossing there. Just great defense.

At the same time, you typically see stars such as Dirk get calls in most of those situations though. I think it's a credit to Game 3's crew for not feeling an obligation to just reward Dirk because he's Dirk.

The fact Dirk went just 7-21 from the floor and turned it over seven times has a lot less to do with the officiating and lot more to do with Collison. But within that, Collison was enabled by being allowed to push some boundaries. Carlisle may be right. The Thunder's approach may have crossed a line. But it's pretty simple: If they don't call it, then it wasn't a foul.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2011 7:03 pm

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

Something has got to be done to weed out any referree alike that of Tim Donaghy. For Dallas players, like in all their series, they played their hearts out on any floor. They are known to be one of many teams in NBA that plays decently. What troubles me most, is when refs starting calling the games against them (like game 3 & 2), it demorolizes them emotionally and this affects them greatly on the floor. They are tough team to play against and for sure, there will always be someone to do dirty plays on the opposing team. Today my adivse to Dallas is to play fundamental basketball with toughness, mentally and leave everything you got on the floor. There will always be some bad calls but show them that you are tougher emotionally and mentally.  

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2011 6:33 pm

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

Who in the NBA decieded to put every OKC-Dallas game on ESFU and why?  Is it because Barkley EJ and Kenny will actually call out your officals compared to the incompetnt halftime crew at ESFU  Magic great player but a pure bread idiot.  Stuart u will never b cool no matter how hard you try.  Only one I respect is dude from PTI.  I would just love a pre-game show on TNT before one of these matchups.  But NBA has covered there a$$ once again.  This is one of the biggest fixes since Black Sox.  Even though Dallas is twice the team than OKC there is no chance of a Dallas victory this series as for the NBA has spoken.  Cant wait for lockout.  NHL playoffs on 2nite on VS.  U can watch PLAYERS actually deciede the game.  Go Tampa Bay

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2011 11:50 am

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

I think the most disturbing thing about this is at some point (prob b4 the game) these three refs had to come up with this game plan.  I mean this just did not happen to turn out this way.  A gameplan was put into place for this whole series.  To have a plan if your the refs is called "fixing" which is pretty obvious to me what took place.  The only people that should have gameplans b4 the game are the coaches from the two teams playing.  R u trying to avoid an 06 repeat of the finals so no one will bring up the officiating that was done in that series.  Basketball is an easy game to officaite.  The rules are in place they own a rule book it should not b that hard.  A player can jump straight up as long as he does not reach but yet this foul is constantly called.  They must get refs that know how to inturpet a rule book.  So what will happen tonight.  I think the league will send J crawford to OKC 2nite and another 15 plus extra free throws for OKC as they win 2nite.  Really though I will feel sorry for the refs that will have to go work the game in Dallas.  Also Okc has only been outshot from free throw line in 3 games out of 15 so far in playoffs.  This includes the 6 games they have lost this post season.  How do you outshoot your oppenent in the games you lose.  You have been trying all playoffs to get OKC to advance.  Why?   Is there any way we can lockout Stern and these officals this summer to prevent them from ever working or commish in the NBA AGAIN.  Killing the game of b-ball for your own purposes is pretty imature.   HEY NBA REFS CALL THE GAME THE WAY IT'S BEING PLAYED, NEVER HAVE AN AGENDA B4 A GAME STARTS.  I WOULD OF THOUGHT WITH THE TIM DONAHUE SCANDAL THAT THIS LEAGUE WOULD TRY TO CLEAN UP IT'S IMAGE.  YOU REFS THAT WORKED THE OKC GAME 2 ARE JUST AS BAD AS HIM.  ONLY DIFFERENCE IS HE GOT CAUGHT.  JUST BEING HONEST THAT WAS THE WORST OFFICATED GAME I EVER WATCHED AT ANY LEVEL INCLUDING YMCA ORGANIZED BALL.

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: May 23, 2011 11:04 am

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

agreed. 06' there should have been an investigation. I watch all sports. Playoff basketball is good entertainment but that whole series I didn't understand what a foul was. I almost don't watch basketball now because it is the easiest sport to fix. And the proof is out there that they already have.

Since: Sep 16, 2009
Posted on: May 23, 2011 9:23 am

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

I have to agree.  There were quite a few fouls on Dirk that didn't get called. 

Since: Sep 9, 2008
Posted on: May 23, 2011 8:13 am

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk


Since: Feb 3, 2008
Posted on: May 22, 2011 11:57 pm

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

Look, I get tired of fans saying how the refs cost them the game when their team loses.  Now in some cases it's justified (Wade getting the calls in '06, Don Denkinger, Hue Hollins on Pippen's 3pt foul vs the Knicks, Patrick Ewing not called for traveling...ever).  There are exceptions when the fans are right.

Mostly though, it's selective memory - only remembering the calls that went against you.

That said, they did beat the crap out of Dirk on Saturday.  Did you see Westbrook pounding him with the elbow before Dirk tricked him into a technical?


Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: May 22, 2011 8:53 pm

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

Carlisle doesn't even believe this BS himself, it's just a message to the refs to put Dirk on the line more in the next game!  It's called "gamesmanship"!!

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: May 22, 2011 8:25 pm

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

So much for writing the Mavericks off... everyone on ESPN Radio yesterday picked the Thunder to sweep both games in Oklahoma and win the series in more than 6. Yes Sir a rare breed of intellectual giants on ESPN Radio on the weekends.

By the way... you know why Texas doesn't fall into the Gulf of Mexico right? Because Oklahoma sucks!  

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: May 22, 2011 8:10 pm

Carlisle questions 'legal limits' of D on Dirk

You guys (Mavericks fans) were already screwed by the Refs in 2006 when the refs blew a whistle everytime Wade dribbled the ball.  There should have been an investigation into that series.  They'll screw you again if you face the Heat this year. 

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