San Antonio Spurs fans, L.A. Lakers haters, and NBA Fan Guy may see a foul in the closing seconds of Game 4 Western Conference Finals last night.
Contact was made, that cannot be denied. Derek Fisher jumped to defend Brent Barry's three-point shot attempt, Barry pump-faked, drew body contact from Fisher, dribbled once to his right, and then heaved a prayer from five feet behind the line that was way off mark. No whistle. Lakers win 93-91 and take a 3-1 advantage back to L.A.
NBA purists will say that's a no-call. Let the players decide the game in the final seconds. Fisher jumped, but was coming down when Barry was leaning forward. Had Barry been driving to the hole or was in the act of shooting, then maybe a foul call would be warranted.
NBA conspiracy theorists will say the league doesn't give calls to bench or role players. If that was Manu Ginobli or Tony Parker, they would gave gotten that call. Referee Joey Crawford has it out for the Spurs and intentionally swallowed his whistle. Even wackier, the NBA has a clandestine agenda to get the Lakers and Boston Celtics into the finals instead of those boring, half-court, grind-it-out offenses and tenacious team defenses of the Spurs and Detroit Pistons.
But the players and coaches from that game will tell you that's not a foul, even with contact made. Even if Crawford blew his whistle, the Spurs didn't deserve to win because they've blown opportunities in this series. They were out-rebounded, out-hustled and out-played on Tuesday night. They got what was coming to them.
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