As he did for us last year, Tim Donaghy, a contributing writer for The Sports Connection and a former NBA referee who spent 11 months in prison for relaying inside information to gamblers, will review the performance of his former colleagues during the NBA Finals. Here's a quarter-by-quarter break down of Game 1, with accompanying video.
11:22 [MIA 2-0] Quick three-second call on Tyson Chandler. Ball is deflected and loose. Three-second violations, like handchecks, are often made early in a game to set a tone and open up the lane so players can get to the basket.
10:50 [MIA 4-0] Cheap foul on Dwyane Wade. Another call to set the tone for the game and the series. If this type of play were whistled all night, there would be 100 fouls called in the game.
10:23 [MIA 4-2] Jason Kidd is in the lane and never clears. A defender in the paint for more than three seconds must be within arm's length of an opponent unless his man has the ball. Kidd is in the paint for eight seconds.
7:49 [MIA 6-4] Bosh sets an illegal screen on Stevenson. Bosh must give a defender time and space to stop and/or change direction. Missed call.
7:35 [MIA 6-4] Bosh pushes off on this rebound, but Dallas keeps the balls as it goes out of bounds. Had Miami gained control, this foul would've been called.
5:30 [MIA 10-5] Cheap foul on Nowitzki as James runs into him. Similar play occurs in the second quarter with Barea at 6:54 and no call is made.
4:51 [MIA 11-8] James clear lifts his left foot, his pivot foot, allowing him to get off a pass. Travel missed.
3:47 [MIA 13-11] James lowers his shoulder into Chandler on a drive to the basket. This is a missed offensive foul — too much contact to ignore.
:37.3 [MIA 16-15] Clear foul by James on Terry's drive to the basket. Jeff Van Gundy makes a boneheaded comment about how this should be an offensive foul.
:19.1 [DAL 17-16] James pushes off on Barea. He extends his right arm to clear space and get his shot off. James makes enough contact and gets enough of an advantage that this should be called. It's ignored because it would be his third foul.
9:54 [MIA 21-20] Jeff Van Gundy makes another boneheaded comment. Chalmers can't dribble the ball, then step out of bounds, and then be the first guy to touch the ball. Van Gundy has been an NBA coach and commentator for two decades, and he still doesn't know the rules.
6:54 [TIE 24-24] Foul missed on Barea drive to the basket. The same play put James on the line in the first quarter.
2:41 [MIA 35-34] Good no-call on this drive to the basket by Wade. Chandler is straight up and Wade causes the contact.
2:00 [DAL 36-35] Haslem pushes off on this rebound. The officials let this go because Dallas retains possession. This foul should be called anyway.
11:34 [DAL 44-43] Nowitzki drives to the basket and gets fouled. The lead official is blocked by multiple defenders, and Wade comes over and hits Nowitzki across the forearm. Call is missed.
4:36 [DAL 57-53] Good call on Haywood as he fouls Wade on a drive to the basket.
2:58 [DAL 57-55] Good call on this traveling violation — Haslem moves his pivot foot prior to the dribble — but he clearly isn't getting the same extra step as James.
2:02 [DAL 59-57] Foul missed on this dunk by Chandler. Miller is trying to stop the dunk and is fouling him to prevent it.
11:40 [MIA 65-61] Travel missed on James. His right foot is his pivot foot. He moves it as he gathers himself prior to a jump shot.
10:41 [MIA 68-63] Travel missed as Haywood shuffles his feet prior to the shot.
8:43 [MIA 70-66] This is not a foul on Nowitzki, Haslem makes no attempt to box him out, and Nowitzki reaches over him.
6:36 [MIA 72-69] Cheap foul on Nowitzki. Miller almost takes off Chandler's head at 2:02 of the third with no call, and yet this cheapie is called against Dallas.
5:43 [MIA 75-69] Terry is fouled by James on this three-point attempt. James makes contact before Terry returns to the floor. Missed call.
4:35 [MIA 75-69] Not a foul on Miller. Strange call — not sure what the official was looking at.
4:34 [MIA 75-69] James runs into the screener; Chandler is set. Correct call.
1:41 [MIA 85-77] James is fouled on this jump shot; Marion hits him on the head. Foul missed.
1:36 [MIA 85-77] This is not a foul on Haslem. The officials start to referee the time and score and give Nowitzki a gift to make the box score look better. That's something officials will do, though they won't readily admit it: As a game in hand starts to wind down, they'll give the team that's losing the benefit of the calls. That gives the losing team the impression that they got a fair shake from the refs.
Tim Donaghy is a contributing writer for The Sports Connection (www.DannyB.info), a handicapping website featuring gaming consultant Danny Berrelli. Additionally, Tim can be heard weekly on The Sports Connection Radio Show.
Video editing by Emma Carmichael.