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Tim Donaghy On Game 7: Officiating 101


As he has done for us in years past, Tim Donaghy, the owner and operator of 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 breakdown of Game 7, with accompanying video.

First Quarter

11:17: Incorrect call. The defender knocks the ball off LeBron's chest, sending it out of bounds. The Spurs should have been given possession of the ball here.


10:54: Incorrect call. Bosh does nothing to have a foul called on him in regard to this post play between him and Duncan.

3:11: Missed traveling call. Neal Shuffles his pivot foot prior to the dribble on this drive.

0:21: Birdman should have been whistled for a block here, but for some reason James is credited with the foul. Not sure why this was called, because James did nothing deserving of a whistle.

Second Quarter

11:38: Parker carries the ball on this fast-break play. He clearly puts his hand under the ball and carries it across his body and then dribbles again. Refs are usually hesitant to call a player for carrying, but this one was so egregious that I don't see how the referees could have ignored it.


8:40: This should have been a two-shot foul. Leonard is fouled and never dribbles again as he goes toward the basket, so he should have been given the continuation call and two free-throws.

8:17: Missed traveling call. Parker shuffles his pivot foot prior to the dribble.


5:55: Parker flops on this drive, and the officials are correct in not bailing him out with a foul call.

3:55: Leonard takes two extra steps on this play, and should have been called for a travel.


2:27: Haslem should not have been called for the shooting foul here. He gets all ball on this drive to the basket, and there's not enough body contact to warrant a foul.

1:25: Good blocking call on Haslem. He slides in front of Ginobili but doesn't get set before Ginobili begins his upward shooting motion.


Third Quarter

6:37: Green hangs in the paint for longer than three seconds here, so a defensive three-second violation needs to be called. He enters the lane at 6:37 and doesn't clear it until 6:33, and is not within an arm's length of an offensive player at any time. If a defender can't reach out and touch an opponent from his spot in the paint, he is only allowed to stay in that spot for three seconds before he must exit the paint.


3:12: The lead official calls this play even though the action is going away from him. The play should have been called by the slot official, who was further down the court and had the play coming toward him. The league never wants officials making calls on plays they don't have a clean view of, because those calls have a much higher chance of being wrong. That's Officiating 101.

2:18: Bill Russell excited to be at Game 7 of the NBA finals.

1:50: Correct foul call on Diaw. He throws Battier out of the way while fighting to get the rebound.


Fourth Quarter

9:57: Correct charge call. Birdman gets set before the offensive player begins his upward motion.


6:20: Here's another missed defensive three-seconds violation. Parker is camping in the lane without guarding an offensive player. He enters the lane at 6:20 and doesn't clear the lane until 6:15.

5:20: Missed shooting foul. Bosh reaches in and fouls Duncan as he begins to start his shooting motion.


3:11: There's not enough contact here to warrant a foul call. The referee signals that Bosh pushes Duncan, but the actual contact was minimal. This is the kind of ticky-tack call that should be let go.

Image by Jim Cooke. Photo via AP.

Tim Donaghy is the owner and operator of

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