I posted this in the post game thread but I thought it deserved a fan shot. This is written fromt he perspective of being a former high school referee.
All of you guys spouting your rules about planted feet and moving backwards and one thing or another just don’t get it. A player has to obtain legal guarding position before he can draw a charging foul. Look at what I got from the NBA’s own web site:
A block/charge foul occurs when a defender tries to get in front of his man to stop him from going in that direction. If he does not get into a legal defensive position and contact occurs, it is a blocking foul. If he gets to a legal position and the offensive player runs into him it is an offensive foul. In both situations, if the contact is marginal, no foul may be called.
So Ginobili has to flop in order to convince the refs that the contact isn’t marginal.
To get into a legal position defending against the dribble, the defender needs to get his torso directly in the path and beat him to the spot.
It’s obvious from the replay that Ginobili didn’t get his torso directly in the path, nor did he beat him to the spot.
On a drive to the basket, the defender must get to his position before the shooter starts his upward shooting motion.
By this measure, Ginobili wasn’t there soon enough but even if he was, the previous criteria disallowed the charging call.
For off ball players, the defender must get into position and allow enough opportunity for the offensive player to stop and/or change direction.
Absolutely no way in hell Ginobili met this criteria. He was definitely an off ball defender and Melo had absolutely no chance to avoid the contact.
All ties are considered blocks as the defender did not beat him to the spot but arrived at the same time.
At the absolute best, Ginobili got to his illegal guarding position at the same time, definitely not beating Melo to the spot.
So those of you who say it was a charge are wrong.
Those of you who say it should have been a no-call may be correct.
Those of you who say it should have been a foul on Ginobili are probably correct.
The fact of the matter is that NBA officials are some of the worst in the world. I’ve worked with better high school referees.
I’m of the school that says that a foul in the first quarter is a foul with only seconds left in the game. Having said that I’m also of the position that advantage/disadvantage plays a large part of whether or not a call should be made. As illustrated above, the call should have been a score for Melo and a free throw. Many officials would have made that a no-call on the advantage/disadvantage principal.
I remember one game where an offensive player pushed his arms through a defender’s vertical position causing him to miss the shot. I didn’t make a call. The offensive player complained about not getting a call and I told him that the defender was legally vertical and the complainer had caused the contact. if I had to make a call on that one it would have had to be against him so he should be glad I used some discretion on that play. That’s the same sort of thing that comes into play in applying advantage/disadvantage pricipal to the play last night and argues for a no-call. The idea that the referees shouldn’t make a call in the last few seconds or even minutes of a game is a poor one I think. The idea that referees should not be making calls on incidental/marginal contact that determines the outcome of a game is a better idea.
For the last couple of years it seems the NBA officials have been biased toward the charge call. The one that I find blatantly wrong that we’ve seen called against the Nuggets a lot lately is that a Nugget with the ball is dribbling toward the sideline past a defender with his back to the basket and the defender flops toward the basket, perpendicular to the motion of the Nugget. They whistle the Nugget for a charge but there’s no way that is a charge.