Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Tim Donaghy On Game 6: What Happened To Home-Court Advantage?

As he has done for us in years past, Tim Donaghy, the owner and operator of RefPicks.comand 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 breakdown of Game 6, with accompanying video.

First Quarter

9:31: Poor call. There is very little contact on this drive to the basket, and it should have been let go.


7:42: Offensive foul on Wade—correct call. Wade goes into and through the set defender.

5:56: Offensive foul missed as Leonard hits Miller with his off arm in the mouth. Sometimes referees get blinded by highlight-reel play and fail to call an obvious foul. That's what happened in this instance, and the Spurs were given two points even though Leonard blatantly cleared miller out with his arm.

5:00: Travel missed as Neal shuffles his pivot foot before the dribble.

2:43: Bad no-call. James reaches in and smacks Duncan on the arm as he goes up for the shot. The only official who can see this is Crawford, who doesn't make the call from the trail position.


1:15: Out-of-bounds called missed. Ginobili hits the ball off Chalmers’s knee and the ball is given back to Miami. This should have been San Antonio’s ball.

Second Quarter

8:00: Wade out of control on this shot. The officials are correct in not bailing him out with a foul, but it’s rather surprising to see a star player like Wade not get the call on a play like this when he's at home.


5:12: Leonard hand checks James with two hands, but no foul is called. This is a foul that is called most of the time, as it is very difficult for the offensive player to beat a defender if they are allowed to check the offensive player and stop his progress.

4:34: Bad no-call. This should be an offensive foul as James leads with his elbow.


3:32: Incorrect call. This is a clean block by the Birdman. He gets all ball up top, and his hand being on Duncan’s waist doesn’t really interfere with Duncan’s shot at all.

Third Quarter

8:33: Correct call—Leonard tries to draw a charge, but he doesn’t give Bosh space to land after the shot.


6:28: This should be a goaltend. Bosh goes up and through the rim to block this shot, causing contact with the net and rim. If a defender touches the net or the rim while the ball is in the cylinder, it should be an automatic goaltend. If Bosh hadn’t shaken the rim, this shot might have fallen.

3:58: Battier pushes Duncan in the post without a foul being called. This is way too much contact to ignore.


1:49: James drives to the basket and is fouled by Diaw. This foul needs to be called and is ignored. It’s shocking that James didn’t get the call on this play. There was a lot of contact, and James is a superstar playing at home in a crucial playoff game. Very puzzling.

0:39: Allen steps out of bounds on this play, but no call is made.

Fourth Quarter

8:58: Chalmers is fouled on this drive to the basket by Ginobili, but no foul is called.


8:25: James is fouled by Duncan on this drive to the basket, but no foul is called. Again, it’s very strange that James wasn’t given free throws. These are the kinds of calls that he has grown accustomed to getting at home. I have no idea why the officials seemed so bent on letting guys get away with fouls on LeBron last night. Maybe they are still upset about those flopping comments, as they seemed to be in Game 2. Remember, that was also a Joey Crawford-officiated game.


5:51: Duncan travels before the dribble. His left foot is his pivot foot, and he picks it up and puts it down before dribbling the ball. Duncan is then fouled on his shot, but that isn’t called either. That gives us two blown calls on one play.

3:18: Correct call in the paint. James pushes Parker in order to get position on the low block.


0:05: (Not in video) A big mistake is made here by the officials. They go to conduct a replay review to confirm that Allen’s shot was a three-pointer, and when play resumes the Spurs are allowed to reinsert Tim Duncan into the game. Teams are not allowed to make substitutions during replay stoppages, and since the Spurs didn’t have any timeouts left, they would not have been able to get Duncan back into the game if it had not been for this mistake.

0:02: Parker drives to the basket with James all over him, but no foul is committed. James just plays great defense here, and the officials were right not to blow the whistle.



3:17: Duncan travels again. His left foot is his pivot foot and he moves it before the dribble.


2:02: James is knocked to the floor by Leonard without a foul being called. Once again, James is not getting any of the home cooking you'd expect him to get in a game like this.

o:40: Correct no-call. James begs for a foul, but the officials don’t give it to him. Insult gets added to injury when a replay review changes the out-of-bounds call and gives the ball to San Antonio.


0:o4: Ginobili is fouled on this drive, but the officials ignore the contact even though Allen was riding Ginobili the whole way to the basket. This was a pivotal missed call that essentially sealed the Spurs‘ fate. You can argue that Ginobili took too many steps on the play, but those kinds of travels are let go 15 times per game.

0:02: Not a foul. Bosh gets all ball, and there is minimal contact with Green’s body. Jeff Van Gundy makes a dumb comment and says this would be a foul in the first 48 minutes of a game, but not in this scenario. Yes, referees are prone to swallowing their whistles late in close games, but there was no foul here to begin with, so that argument doesn’t apply here.


Image by Jim Cooke. Photo via AP.

Tim Donaghy is the owner and operator of

Share This Story