July 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

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The referees’ wrong decision on Luka Doncic gives the Celtics the NBA title

The referees’ wrong decision on Luka Doncic gives the Celtics the NBA title

Stefan Bondi

NBA

DALLAS — It goes without saying that you can’t fault an MVP on a poor call down the stretch of a must-win NBA Finals game.

You can’t take away the drama of the final series because of a mistake that required minutes of deliberation to back up after the challenge.

But that’s what the referees did Wednesday night with Luka Doncic, who blew a whistle for fouling Jaylen Brown for his sixth foul. Doncic then watched the final four minutes from the locker room, as Dallas’ Game 3 comeback on Wednesday fell short 106-99 to give Boston a 3-0 series advantage.

Luka Doncic (right) was called for a blocking foul on Jaylen Brown, his sixth and final foul of the game, during the fourth quarter of the Celtics' 106-99 Game 3 win over the Mavericks.
Luka Doncic (right) was called for a blocking foul on Jaylen Brown, his sixth and final foul of the game, during the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 106-99 Game 3 win over the Mavericks. Kevin Gerage-USA Today Sports

Doncic, who was called for four fouls in the fourth quarter, was playing lazy defense as usual. This part was on it. He does not move his feet. Brown drove toward Doncic and the Mavs forward was halfway between taking over the offense and trying to get out of the way. But Brown also pushed Doncic and it was the right decision not to call.

Especially under those circumstances. Jason Kidd challenged the foul and the Dallas arena groaned when it was deemed unsuccessful. The Mavericks, who turned a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter into one point, prevailed in the final three minutes with a score of 13-7.

game over. The series is over.

“We couldn’t play physical. I don’t know. I don’t want to say anything,” Doncic said. “You know, six fouls in the NBA Finals, I’m basically like this (movements with palms up). come on man.”

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Mavs coach Jason Kidd took the high road.

“They called it a foul. I was stuck. I had to challenge it, so… I had to challenge because it was a close decision.” But the referee called it a foul. We have to move forward, move forward.”

Somewhere from his seat inside the American Airlines Center, Adam Silver was probably grumbling. His league benefits from a competitive streak. It’s good for business. The more games, the more TV viewership, and the more tickets sold, the more revenue.

Luka Doncic reacts after being taken out of the game in the fourth quarter of the Mavericks' Game 3 loss.
Luka Doncic reacts after being taken out of the game in the fourth quarter of the Mavericks’ Game 3 loss. Kevin Gerage-USA Today Sports

But now the drama is practically over.

As New Yorkers, we can only say: “Not Boston again.”

A city full of signs and the ridiculous Lucky The Leprechaun is about to add another to their collection. And, you know, no NBA team has ever recovered from that deficit. The Mavericks will be the 157th team to try, after the previous 156 failed.

So, with a little help from the referees, the odds are pretty high that he gives the Celtics their 18th title, breaking a tie with the Lakers for the NBA record. Boston will also capture its sixth NBA, MLB, and NFL title since 2013. In the same period, New York City — which has twice as many teams as Boston — has not. – For any tournament.

Clearly we are doing something wrong.

And the mistake starts with the Brooklyn Nets.

Back in 2013, Billy King traded quite a few picks to the Celtics. Two of them became Jayson Tatum and Brown, the duo that combined for 61 points on Wednesday. Agewise, they are only in their mid-20s and hold the Celtics’ playoff record this year at 15-2.

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However, the biggest problem they face in recent years is folding in times of crisis. And it almost happened again on Wednesday, when the Celtics managed just two points through nearly five minutes of the fourth quarter and saw their insurmountable lead slip away.

And it probably would have completely dissolved if Doncic had been in the game. Maybe it won’t happen. We’ll never know, and that’s the shame of the call.




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