Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mavs 115, Pacers 113: Pacers Whistled for a Loss

The Pacers needed one more shot to fall to take down the NBA’s top team but couldn’t get it done, eventually falling to the Mavs in OT, 115-113. The Pacers led throughout the game and seemed poised to finish off the Mavs unlike a week ago when they completely folded in the fourth quarter. This time the Pacers waited until the final two minutes before coughing up the lead. Here is the Indy Star version of events. Other items of interest:

  • Mark Cuban won't be filing a complaint about the refs from this game. It was breathe on Dirk and get a foul night at the Fieldhouse. The superstar treatment let Dirk do his thing and don't get me wrong, he was incredible. But the disparity in calls was glaring.
  • The key no call against the Pacers was on a rebound put back attempt by Danny Granger with about five seconds left and a tie score. Granger was hit on each arm by two different Mavs and the refs swallowed their whistle. After all of the touch (and some no touch) fouls offered at the other end it was tough to take.
  • This has been the trend all year. In the officials ridiculous hierarchy of respect based on talent track record, the Pacers get none. JO vented a little post game steam while discussing a supposed foul he had on Dirk.
    An incensed O'Neal screamed, "I'm not a rookie!" at one of the referees after the call. He was still frustrated in the locker room afterward.
    "I didn't touch him; didn't even touch him," O'Neal said. "It just kind of looked like (the referees) wanted them to win. I'd just appreciate it if they'd look at it both ways. We play hard, too. That's the most frustrating thing about it. We don't get any calls.
    "Sometimes we get treated like we're not even a basketball team," he said. "It's absolutely ridiculous. We're basketball players, too."
  • As much as I just complained about the refs I can't pin the loss them. Sure they were a factor, but the game was still there for the Pacers to win despite the refs impact. Tins missed a couple of free throws. Al and Tins both missed decent looks inside five feet in the final few possessions. They weren't easy shots but the kind you need to make to win. Jason Terry made an equally challenging runner off the glass as the Mavs were again impressive making winning plays down the stretch. Dirk and Jason Terry made tough shots and the Pacers couldn't match them, bottom line.
  • The Pacers have a day off before going to New Jersey for a MLK Day matinee with the Nets. JO will need every minute to tend to his ankle. Hopefully he'll be ready to go Monday. He's been playing through some serious pain but his presence on the court alters the game even if he isn't 100%. With no back-to-back games for a couple of weeks maybe he can make some progress with the ankle and keep giving some valuable minutes.

(Photo: Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from