Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Suns vs. Spurs Game 3 - 2007

A recent point regarding the Tim Donaghy referee scandal in the NBA has been that he was part of the officiating team for Game 3 in the 2007 Playoff series between the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs. According to the box score the officiating team for Game 3 was:

Officials: #21 Tim Donaghy , #32 Eddie F. Rush , #57 Greg Willard

The Spurs won this game 108-101, and went on to win the series, and eventually the NBA title. There was a technical foul called on Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni made in the fourth quarter. In a game that was decided by under 10 points you have to start to wonder. According to a writer who appeared on ESPN sportscenter tonight, there are also YouTube clips floating around which show a very questionable phantom foul call made in favor of Manu Ginobli of the Spurs. There was also a questionable non-call made when Amare Stoudamire appears to get hacked on a layup with under 3 minutes to go. View a user-submitted YouTube video regarding Donaghy and Game 3. (the game footage is about 1:30 into it).

Looking at the Game 3 box score shows no immediate or glaring advantages to either team. There were no ejections or players fouling out. It indicates Phoenix only received 2 more fouls than San Antonio (24 to 22). Mike D'Antoni was the only technical call made in the game. However, a technical call in the fourth as well as a possible phantom call made in Ginobli's favor can definitely add up to momentum shifts of several points, in San Antonio's favor. The Suns were down about 9 with 3 minutes left and that's when Amare Stoudamire received a non-call on a layup. The game was only a 7 point victory, and we know Phoenix can score points in bunches.

I'm not going to go as far as to call the Spurs' title victory tainted right now. This was 1 playoff game and there were other calls made during the series by other refs. However, the questions continue to build up now until David Stern and the NBA can present more info to the general public. As the investigation is ongoing, information is sensitive in nature at this point. Unfortunately, now people will start to take a harder look at a lot of things that went down this past season and question whether any games were scripted thanks to Donaghy's calls. Game 3 is the most glaring example of what serious effects Tim Donaghy may have had with this scandal.

View the NBA.com box score for Game 3 here.

In a side note, I do find it humorous that YouTube videos are popping up as of a day ago with titles such as "Donaghy screwed Chris Bosh" or "Donaghy gives Wade preferential treatment". Let's wait for the NBA to present us with the truth before we get carried away.

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