For the second Game in a row, the Dallas Mavericks are talking about a critical missed call possibly changing the eventual outcome of a game. It is quickly becoming the standard operating procedure for the team that just cannot seem to get the calls to go their way.
On Tuesday night the Mavericks blew a huge third quarter lead against the Portland Trailblazers and with less than two seconds left on the clock, the team were shocked when OJ Mayo was called for a charge on a potential game-winning drive. Portland was able to inbound the ball in the half court and LaMarcus Aldridge buried a jumper as time expired, stealing the game away from the Mavericks in dramatic fashion. The league reviewed the play and admitted that the referee blew the call.
Fast forward to Thursday night against the visiting Golden State Warriors and a similar situation plays out. The two teams are battling back and forth as time winds down in the fourth quarter when Shawn Marian delivers a dime to Brandan Wright who goes up for an easy lay-in. The shot never comes close to the rim though, as the Warriors Andrew Bogut makes contact and gets credit for the block. The replays look as though Bogut went straight up with his right hand for the block, but his left hand comes down and grasps at Wright as he is taking his shot. The Warriors make both of their ensuing free throws and win the game by three.
Blown calls are always going to be a part of the game, but when a team losses two hard fought games in a row under suspicious circumstances, the complaints are going to come hard and fast. Coach Rich Carlisle addressed the no calls after the game and the frustration was clearly getting the best of him.
Frustration also got the best of the Mavericks outspoken owner Mark Cuban, who had remained silent after the blown call in Portland, but went to twitter to voice his opinion following Thursday nights game.
Cant wait to see what the NBA says about this no call with 2 secs left. #2gamseinarow
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 1, 2013
Both of the calls in question would have put the Mavericks at the line with a chance to take the lead with just a few ticks left on the clock. It is easy to see why they are upset at this point, especially when dealing with the frustration of not being in the playoff picture, something the Dallas Mavericks have not had to contend with in quite some time.
Dirk Nowitzki, who was unable to play on Thursday due to a thigh injury suffered in Portland, may have summed the Mavericks season up perfectly after Tuesdays loss when he said:
“The difference between a good team and a bad team is just a couple of possessions down the stretch of a close game. For some reason, we haven’t found a way to win those games consistently.”
It has not been pretty in Dallas, and the refs may not be helping, but the game still comes down to a couple of possessions being played at a higher level and the team would find themselves right back into the thick of things, They are too good of a team not to be.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.