Well, that really sucked. Dallas is down 3-0. The 08/09 season will most likely be over in the next week. And as hard as I I try to focus on the other aspects of the game and series that got Dallas to this point, all I can think of is Antoine Wright, Carmelo Anthony, and Mark Wunderlich.
There's no doubt Wright fouled Carmelo. It's an undeniable fact given that the NBA admitted it 3 hours too late, but I do wonder why Wright left any doubt as to what he was doing. When you give morons the opportunity to make a mistake they usually will. Wright explained his foul after the game.
"All night long, the whistle was blowing fast," Wright said. "At the end of the game, when we're blatantly trying to foul, the whistle wasn't blowing. I was positive a whistle was coming, just like everybody else was positive the whistle was coming.
"What do you want me to do? Do you want me to Derek Fisher him, just take him out, and then I get a flagrant foul late in the game? I can't blatantly run through the guy."
And sure, it's easy to make the case that playing at home in a must win game that Dallas should have just put the game out of reach. Free throws were missed. Dirk's final shot was suspect. Dallas shouldn't have let it come down to the wire to begin with. Jason Kidd certainly didn't want to blame the non-call for the loss.
"The game didn't come down to that last play," Kidd said. "We tried to take a foul and didn't get that. You've got to make plays down the stretch and we didn't do that."
And that's true. But even with their mistakes, Dallas had put themselves in a position to win, and they had managed to navigate the fourth quarter and save a foul that is useful in exactly that final situation.
It's also true that if the foul had been called Denver still might have won the game. And yeah, if Carmelo had missed the shot it may have actually worked in the Mavs favor, but then it would just be the Nuggets complaining.
But a wrong call is a wrong call, and that call did matter. It may not have been the only reason Dallas lost the game. And it certainly didn't cost Dallas the series -- they never were the favorite after all. If Dallas had won yesterday odds are they still go on to get knocked out, but they still would have had chance. Now they basically don't, and the NBA has admitted their official played a significant role in that.
How are Mavs fans supposed to feel? How is the team?
Whatever the feeling is, it's all too familiar.