Posted by Royce Young
To end the first quarter, Mario Chalmers hit a buzzer-beating 3 on the run to give Miami a 29-22 after the first 12 minutes. A big shot at the time, because any basket in the NBA Finals is important.
And with the game coming down to two points, it was big at the end too. But there's a twist here: It shouldn't have counted.
By rule, Chalmers was back court when he caught the pass from Udonis Haslem. In order to receive that pass, Chalmers has to first establish himself in the front court. Instead here, all he had was half a sneaker in the front court. So again, he was technically back court.
This is a discussion because Miami had three points it shouldn't have had and with the game finishing with a two-point separation, it becomes an issue. You can't deny that the Heat had an extra three points.
But that shot absolutely, by no means, in no way was why Dallas lost this game. There were still 36 minutes to be played and Dallas had a number of chances to win this game. Human error is a part of basketball. Officials miss calls. I can promise you they missed a bunch tonight. For example, Jason Kidd shuffled his feet when he drew a foul at the end of the first half. Dallas ended up with a point it shouldn't have had there. Dwyane Wade flopped and got a call in the first half that resulted in two free throws. You can go on and on.
Yes, that play was pretty obvious. If it had happened in the final three minutes, it would've meant something. But with so much game to go, it didn't have a direct result on the outcome. It was a piece to a giant puzzle. And besides, I don't think anyone would say this game was poorly officiated. Other than a call or two -- which is to be expected -- the crew did a terrific job in this one letting the players decide things. So salute there.
Rick Carlisle mentioned the call in a diplomatic way saying "there may have been a back court violation at the end of the first half," but used it in reference to climbing out of holes. Which they did. They recovered from that seven-point deficit and had a chance to win regardless of that call. Did it matter? Sure it did.
But just like the goaltend in Oklahoma City that hurt the Nuggets or the other hundred missed calls in these playoffs, this call isn't why Miami won Game 3. Not going to stop some from making noise about it. I'm looking in your direction, Mark Cuban.