Celtics vs Heat ECF Redux Discussion Thread

DJnVa

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How Al Horford’s golf outing helped to spark a Celtics comeback for the ages

“We completely skipped film,” Grant Williams told The Athletic. “We kept basketball away and we just focused on each other and getting that camaraderie and team back. We disconnected from the actual pressures and we were able to just enjoy one another. We’ve done movies before, we’ve done dinners. But that was our first time doing something active like that. Then we hit the film the next day.”

The irony was that Horford shanked just about every shot he took. Jaylen Brown called this a crucial moment but told The Athletic he couldn’t hit anything straight either.
 

lars10

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Nice to see that Brown's low key nature doesn't mean that he's willing to be walked over..
Only thing I dislike about it is that Lowry knows that a trade of him for Brown is a net win for the Heat.. He's the kind of player to do something dirty in game seven to help the Heat win.
He's been allowed to hack the crap out of Brown and Tatum all series... fortunately he's become even less playable this year.
 

Euclis20

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Nice to see that Brown's low key nature doesn't mean that he's willing to be walked over..
Only thing I dislike about it is that Lowry knows that a trade of him for Brown is a net win for the Heat.. He's the kind of player to do something dirty in game seven to help the Heat win.
He's been allowed to hack the crap out of Brown and Tatum all series... fortunately he's become even less playable this year.
Quite as he usually is on the court, Brown isn't shy about letting guys know when he thinks they've crossed the line. Here he is going back to a guy quite a bit bigger than Lowry:

View: https://youtu.be/jT4oVjE4D7M
 

kieckeredinthehead

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Rule No 4:
Section II—Dribble
A dribble is movement of the ball, caused by a player in control, who throws or taps the
ball to the floor.

a. The dribble ends when the dribbler:

Touches the ball simultaneously with both hands
Permits the ball to come to rest while he is in control of it
Tries for a field goal
Throws a pass
Touches the ball more than once while dribbling, before it touches the floor
Loses control
Allows the ball to become dead
Otherwise gathers the ball (see Rule IV, Section III (b))

Rule No 10:
Section II—Dribble

A player shall not run with the ball without dribbling it.
A player in control of a dribble who steps on or outside a boundary line, even though not touching the ball while on or outside that boundary line, shall not be allowed to return inbounds and continue his dribble. He may not even be the first player to touch the ball after he has re-established a position inbounds.
A player may not dribble a second time after he has voluntarily ended his first dribble.
A player who is dribbling may not put any part of his hand under the ball and (1) carry it from one point to another or (2) bring it to a pause and then continue to dribble again.
A player may dribble a second time if he lost control of the ball because of:
A field goal attempt at his basket, provided the ball touches the backboard or basket ring
An opponent touching the ball
A pass or fumble which touches his backboard, basket ring or is touched by another player.

PENALTY: Loss of ball. Ball is awarded to the opposing team on the sideline nearest the spot of the violation but no nearer the baseline than the foul line extended.
What am I missing?
 

OurF'ingCity

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You're missing the part that says a player may not dribble a second time after he has "voluntarily" ended his first dribble. If you fumble/bobble it, as Butler did, you can pick it up and dribble again.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I remember seeing a player (I think it was Scottie Pippen?) go up for a dunk but didn't dunk cleanly, so the ball hit the rim, popped up, and dropped through. In the meantime, he hung on the rim, enough so that the rim moved. They counted the basket, if I remember right. Should they have?
I think so long as you don’t touch the rim while the ball is on the rim, don’t retouch the ball in the cylinder, and don’t let go of the rim and make the rim snap back and touch the ball causing it to bounce in, there is no BI. On an original dunk attempt you are allowed to maintain contact with the ball in the cylinder.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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You're missing the part that says a player may not dribble a second time after he has "voluntarily" ended his first dribble. If you fumble/bobble it, as Butler did, you can pick it up and dribble again.
But in both parts of the rule book it explicitly defines the cases where it’s okay the player “involuntarily” ends the first dribble. In rule 10, there are three cases, none of which applied. In rule 4, the dribble is over as soon as the player touches it with two hands and/or fumbles. What am I missing?
 

Cellar-Door

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What am I missing?
They said that he fumbled the ball, recovered it and then shot which is allowed. Basically it comes down to whether you consider the fumble (as I do) to be when the lost the ball, but that he then controlled it into the bounce, step and shot. NBA says... nope it's a fumble through the bounce, then he caught it, and shot.
 

lars10

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Probably worth noting that these are reportedly fake.
It’s being replayed right now on NBAtv and you can read Jaylen’s lips.. he definitely said the part where ‘he was trying to break my f’in arm’. And ‘review that’. He also definitely said something to Lowry as he was walking to the free throw line.
 

Cellar-Door

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It’s being replayed right now on NBAtv and you can read Jaylen’s lips.. he definitely said the part where ‘he was trying to break my f’in arm’. And ‘review that’. He also definitely said something to Lowry as he was walking to the free throw line.
Could be, just pointing out it's some guy doing a combination of guessing and making stuff up.
 

nighthob

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Otoh, if Smart’s shot went in, there woulda been 1 second left, Spo would have used his last timeout, and is there any doubt Butler hits a fall away 27 footer off the backboard to win it?
You misspelled “Butler throws himself to the ground in three point territory and is gifted three free throws”.
 

luckiestman

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Speaking of Jerebko, President Brad Stevens will never get the respect he deserves. Look at this beautiful ECF roster.

65393
 

kazuneko

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They said that he fumbled the ball, recovered it and then shot which is allowed. Basically it comes down to whether you consider the fumble (as I do) to be when the lost the ball, but that he then controlled it into the bounce, step and shot. NBA says... nope it's a fumble through the bounce, then he caught it, and shot.
That’s a ridiculous interpretation. He was dead in the water when he picked up that ball and would have been lucky to have hit the backboard with the step back three that he was about to take. Instead he took a second dribble and an extra step, which put Horford in an impossible position to defend the play. If they are going to allow that shit players better start working on their “fumbling” skills, as that’s a great way to save yourself in a desperate moment.
 

BaseballJones

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That’s a ridiculous interpretation. He was dead in the water when he picked up that ball and would have been lucky to have hit the backboard with the step back three that he was about to take. Instead he took a second dribble and an extra step, which put Horford in an impossible position to defend the play. If they are going to allow that shit players better start working on their “fumbling” skills, as that’s a great way to save yourself in a desperate moment.
Well, I mean, clearly he did fumble it. There's no way he intentionally lost control of that ball, not knowing if he'd be able to pick it up or if Al would or what would happen. He clearly just lost control of it. Even the most diehard of Celtics fans have to agree with that.

And he didn't take a "second dribble". He fumbled the ball, it hit the floor, then he picked it up and immediately went into his "shooting motion", at which point Al fouled him.

It starts at 2:09 of this clip:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajav33zORAo


The slo-mo replay starts at 2:31.

He's dribbling to the corner. He loses the ball and it bounces away, taking ONE bounce. He picks it up. He tries to shoot. That's the sequence. Objective reality.
 

benhogan

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How is jumping 5" forward into another player a natural shooting motion when taking a 3pt shot?

Nobody shoots 3-pointers like that (You can go back to 2:04 in Q4 to see Jimmy's natural 3pt shot)

Jimmy simply launched himself into Al

With the Announcers openly rooting for the Heat, it's not like the NBA has to defend itself...
 

tbb345

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I think Al does end up fouling him but it’s shitty that in that situation Butler was rewarded with 3 free throws, and possibly the game and a trip to the NBA finals, when he wasn’t really making much of an attempt to actually score. He literally hurls himself into Horford.
thank god for Derrick White because that would have been a really shitty way to lose (but it would have followed the pattern of the entire 4th quarter of Jimmy jumping into Celtics players and getting rewarded for it)
 

kazuneko

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Well, I mean, clearly he did fumble it. There's no way he intentionally lost control of that ball, not knowing if he'd be able to pick it up or if Al would or what would happen. He clearly just lost control of it. Even the most diehard of Celtics fans have to agree with that.
And he didn't take a "second dribble". He fumbled the ball, it hit the floor, then he picked it up and immediately went into his "shooting motion", at which point Al fouled him.
It starts at 2:09 of this clip:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajav33zORAo
It’s impossible to know intentionality but it is clear that the play changed from completely doomed to a three-shot foul because of the extra dribble (bounce, if you prefer) he is allowed. You just can’t allow “a mistake” to be that consequential.
How is Horford supposed to defend that? He leans in because he sees that Jimmy is picking up the ball and then is fucked when Jimmy is allowed another bounce. If this is legal, NBA teams need to start having fumbling drills as its impossible to defend.
Picking up the ball with two hands should end the dribble. Period. if by accident you drop the ball again you should not be allowed to touch it again until it bounces twice or someone else touches it. Anything else allows too much potential benefit to come from a mistake and works to encourage similar “mistakes”. It's just too unfair to the defensive player...
Edit: I also disagree that "there's no way he intentionally lost control of that ball, not knowing if he'd be able to pick it up or if Al would".Do you see how screwed Butler is in the moment before he "fumbles the ball" ? Al is on him like glue and he is leaning back on his right leg, with the only legal option a step-back three that is almost certainly going to be blocked. "Fumbling" the ball directly in front of him could easily have been a savvy move, as it was unlikely to lead a turnover as -whether you think it was a fumble or not- it was essentially an extra dribble (he is following it with his eyes the whole way). As a result he gets space he never would have had without the extra bounce and Horford goes from locked in to lost...
 
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slamminsammya

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It’s impossible to know intentionality but it is clear that the play changed from completely doomed to a three-shot foul because of the extra dribble (bounce, if you prefer) he is allowed. You just can’t allow “a mistake” to be that consequential.
How is Horford supposed to defend that? He leans in because he sees that Jimmy is picking up the ball and then is fucked when Jimmy is allowed another bounce. If this is legal, NBA teams need to start having fumbling drills as its impossible to defend.
If that’s actually the rule, the rule needs to change. Picking up the ball with two hands should end the dribble. Period. if by accident you drop the ball again you should not be allowed to touch it again until it bounces twice or someone else touches it. Anything else allows too much potential benefit to come from a mistake and works to encourage similar “mistakes”. It's just too unfair to the defensive player...
Edit: I also disagree that "there's no way he intentionally lost control of that ball, not knowing if he'd be able to pick it up or if Al would".Do you see how screwed he is in the moment before he "fumbles the ball" ? Al is on him like glue and he is leaning back on his right leg, with the only legal option a step-back three that is almost certainly going to be blocked. "Fumbling" the ball directly in front of him could easily have been a savvy move as it was unlikely to lead a turnover as -whether you think it was a fumble or not- it was essentially an extra dribble (he is following it with his eyes the whole way). The result he gets space he never would have without the extra bounce and Horford goes from locked in to lost...
I find the "horford was fucked! No way to defend that" angle to be hilarious. Like, if horford stops when he fumbled the ball, o no 30 pct career shooter jimmy butler is pulling up for a Callaway corner 3
 

kazuneko

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I find the "horford was fucked! No way to defend that" angle to be hilarious. Like, if horford stops when he fumbled the ball, o no 30 pct career shooter jimmy butler is pulling up for a Callaway corner 3
Yeah, he should have just pulled away and let him shoot. That said, when he does attempt to defend he is in horrible position because he had assumed that once Butler picked up the ball he’d be forced to shoot. Which would typically be a very fair assumption…
 

nighthob

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I also disagree that "there's no way he intentionally lost control of that ball, not knowing if he'd be able to pick it up or if Al would".Do you see how screwed he is in the moment before he "fumbles the ball" ? Al is on him like glue and he is leaning back on his right leg, with the only legal option a step-back three that is almost certainly going to be blocked. "Fumbling" the ball directly in front of him could easily have been a savvy move as it was unlikely to lead a turnover as -whether you think it was a fumble or not- it was essentially an extra dribble (he is following it with his eyes the whole way). As a result he gets space he never would have had without the extra bounce and Horford goes from locked in to lost...
It's not even the first time he's done something like this this series. Who can forget the pass he threw to himself earlier in the series?
 

nighthob

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I find the "horford was fucked! No way to defend that" angle to be hilarious. Like, if horford stops when he fumbled the ball, o no 30 pct career shooter jimmy butler is pulling up for a Callaway corner 3
If Horford stops Butler uses his second dribble to drive the hoop.
 

kazuneko

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It's not even the first time he's done something like this this series. Who can forget the pass he threw to himself earlier in the series?
Totally. I certainly wouldn't put it beyond Butler's abilities to fake a fumble in a desperate moment.

Here is Butler when he first picks up the dribble. Horford is set with Butler's only option an awkward step-back 3 that Horford probably blocks.
ButlerAfterPickingUpDribble.jpeg
Here is Butler after the fumble/extra dribble. Horford is now hopelessly behind the play, setting up Butler to lunge forward for the three and get the foul call.
Butlerbefore3pointshot.jpeg
View attachment 65399View attachment 65398View attachment 65399
 
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lovegtm

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Totally. I certainly wouldn't put it beyond Butler's abilities to fake a fumble in a desperate moment.

Here is Butler when he first picks up the dribble. Horford is set with Butler's only option an awkward step-back 3 that Horford probably blocks.
View attachment 65400
Here is Butler after the fumble/extra dribble. Horford is now hopelessly behind the play, setting up Butler to lunge forward for the three and get the foul call.
View attachment 65401
View attachment 65399View attachment 65398View attachment 65399
Yeah, Butler definitely gained a huge advantage, and Horford was otherwise playing it well to both contest the 3 and cut off the drive.

This is a case where if the rule was called correctly, the rule is wrong. There are plenty of other basketball situations in which committing to an act limits your further options: leaving your feet commits you to shoot or pass, crossing halfcourt commits you to not going back, etc.

In none of these situations do you get a free out by "bobbling" the ball, for obvious reasons. Committing to gathering the ball should be the same.

In any case, I'm sure James Harden is back in the lab mastering the intricacies of this new possibility, and will quickly get the rule changed, while Darryl Morey commissions 100 page legal briefs about why, akshually, the Sixers would 3-peat if bobbles were still allowed.
 

kazuneko

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Yeah, Butler definitely gained a huge advantage, and Horford was otherwise playing it well to both contest the 3 and cut off the drive.

This is a case where if the rule was called correctly, the rule is wrong. There are plenty of other basketball situations in which committing to an act limits your further options: leaving your feet commits you to shoot or pass, crossing halfcourt commits you to not going back, etc.

In none of these situations do you get a free out by "bobbling" the ball, for obvious reasons. Committing to gathering the ball should be the same.

In any case, I'm sure James Harden is back in the lab mastering the intricacies of this new possibility, and will quickly get the rule changed, while Darryl Morey commissions 100 page legal briefs about why, akshually, the Sixers would 3-peat if bobbles were still allowed.
Lol…
The simple solution (assuming that this was called correctly) would be to not allow any player that has lost his dribble to touch the ball after a fumble - at least until the ball has bounced twice or someone else has touched the ball.
I think that’s what most people assumed was the rule anyway. I know if I was playing pickup ball and fumbled the ball after ending a dribble I wouldn’t think to try to touch it again - unless it bounced twice or someone else touched it. Certainly if I did and I was called on it, I wouldn’t feel like I had any right to complain.
 

Nick Kaufman

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This too. But the ones who are really good at it also put their own credibility on the line. Guys like Butler, Lowry, Harden, LeBron flop in a way where, if you don't blow the whistle, you're making them look ridiculous for flailing around like a rag doll. It's hard for a ref to summon the conviction to call these guys out in the moment, esp. against a hostile crowd. It's almost like confrontation aversion.
The home team getting more calls than the away team is the basis of home court advantage. If games were reffed perfectly, each team would have identical W-L records home and away.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Mazzulla's challenge there was decisive as they would have given Butler the third shot anyway and the 0.9 seconds made a difference.
 

SumnerH

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The home team getting more calls than the away team is the basis of home court advantage. If games were reffed perfectly, each team would have identical W-L records home and away.
I doubt this very much. For one thing, there have been several studies showing an impact of time zones on W/L percentage (which will obviously correlate with home/away games).

Things like knowing dead spots in the parquet, sleeping in your own bed, fans giving favorable/unfavorable backdrops for free throws, or Nuggets players being better adjusted to altitude than visitors are likely overstated, but it'd be pretty shocking if the non-ref impact of home court advantage was zero.
 

Nick Kaufman

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I doubt this very much. For one thing, there have been several studies showing an impact of time zones on W/L percentage (which will obviously correlate with home/away games).

Things like knowing dead spots in the parquet, sleeping in your own bed, fans giving favorable/unfavorable backdrops for free throws, or Nuggets players being better adjusted to altitude than visitors are likely overstated, but it'd be pretty shocking if the non-ref impact of home court advantage was zero.
Still not convinced by the psychological explanation for referee bias? Consider a final study, this one performed in 2001. Researchers recorded videos of soccer matches, focusing on tackles during the game, and showed them to two groups of referees. The first group was shown the tackles with the crowd noise audible. The second group was shown the same tackles with the crowd noise muted. Both sets of referees were asked to make calls on the tackles they saw. The referees who watched the tackles with the crowd noise audible were much more likely to call the tackles with the crowd. That is, tackles made against the home team (where the crowd complained loudly) were more likely to be called fouls and tackles made by the home team were less likely to be called fouls. The referees who viewed the tackles in silence showed no bias. You probably guessed correctly which group of referees made calls consistent with the actual calls made on the field. Yes, the ones who could hear the crowd noise. Not only that, but the referees watching with sound also reported more anxiety and uncertainty regarding their calls, consistent with the stress they felt from the crowd. Imagine how much more intense that stress would have been if they had been on the actual field of play.

Wertheim, L. Jon. Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won (pp. 163-164). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.
What they found was amazing. When home teams played without spectators, the normal foul rate, yellow card, and red card advantage afforded home teams disappeared entirely. Looking at the same team with the same crew of officials, the authors found that when spectators were no longer present, the home bias in favorable calls dropped by 23 to 70 percent, depending on the type of calls (a decline of 23 percent for fouls, 26 percent for yellow cards, and 70 percent for red cards). That is, the same referee overseeing the same two teams in the same stadium behaved dramatically differently when spectators were present versus when no one was watching. When the economists also looked at player behavior, they found that, unlike the referees, the players did not seem to play any differently when the crowd was there yelling versus in an empty, silent stadium. Home and away players shot the same percentage of goals on target, passed with the same accuracy, and had the same number of tackles as they normally do. The absence of the crowd did not seem to have any effect on their performance. This is in keeping with what we saw for NBA foul shooters, hockey penalty shots, and MLB batters and pitchers: Crowds don’t appear to have much effect on athletes.

So it is that we assert that referee bias from social influence not only is present but is the leading cause of the home field advantage.
Wertheim, L. Jon. Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won (pp. 164-165). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.
 

SumnerH

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Wertheim, L. Jon. Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won (pp. 164-165). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.
So why is there a measurable difference by time zone?

Methods: Ten seasons comprising of 11,481 games of NBA data from the 2011/2012 to the 2020/2021 regular season were analyzed using multi-level mixed models with one fixed factor (three levels; jet lag direction: eastward vs westward vs no jet lag) and three random factors (team, opponent, game time). Predicted circadian resynchronization rate was accounted for, and home and away games were analysed separately. Mediation analyses were performed to examine potential mechanisms.

Results: Among home teams, eastward (but not westward) jet lag was associated with reduced winning (Δ (i.e., change) = −6.03%, p = 0.051, marginal), points differential (Δ = −1.29 points, p = 0.015), rebound differential (Δ = −1.29 rebounds, p < 0.0001), and effective field goal percentage differential (Δ = −1.2%, p < 0.01). As the magnitude of eastward jet lag increased, home team points differential decreased (2 h Δ = −4.53 points, p < 0.05; 1 h Δ = −0.72 points, p = 0.07). No significant associations were found between jet lag and away team performance.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9245584/

Given the numerous studies showing such an effect, I remain skeptical of one article's contrary findings. At least until it's replicated a few times. And in the NBA, not soccer.