Video review, in theory, is the elixir to all that is amiss in big-time sports. The all-seeing eye-in-the-sky reveals exactly what happened and, most often, when. In-game injustice, whether purposeful or accidental, is expunged from the sports scene.
So, too, on occasion is compassion.
Take, for example, the third quarter’s closing seconds in yesterday’s Wizards-Raptors Game 4. Upon further review, it was determined that both Bradley Beal’s jump shot and the touch-foul assessed to Toronto’s Gervais Vasquez came prior to the expiration of the shot clock.
The subsequent free throws pushed the Wizards’ game total over 100 and lead over 30 – already ahead 3-0 and playing at home.
I’m reminded of an old Dave Zinkoff story.
Back in the day of a Celtics-Sixers, Russell-Chamberlain annual playoff showdown, the C’s were once forced into a late-game time-out by a lead-usurping run by the homeboys. Zinkoff, the legendary Philadelphia PA announcer, remained silent as the Philly Phaithful kept up their racket. As the TO was ending and crowd settling down, the Zink audibly cleared his throat and, in that booming but deliberate delivery, proclaimed, “As I was trying to say, Boston … calls … tiiiiime!” Naturally, the sound and fury re-erupted.
The Washington fans can be forgiven for relishing their moment yesterday … but it’s unfortunate that proper officiating procedure created accentuated agony for the poor Raptors.
[A competent youth-ball official would have found a way NOT to put a team through such a delay – and would have been correct in so doing.]
Wizard coach Randy Wittman was taking no chances or prisoners. Until garbage time set in for real, Coach had trimmed his rotation to eight players.
John Wall controlled the tempo from the start, ably spelled by Ramon Sessions. The Truth, Beal, even Drew Gooden sniped away from deep. Porter’s youthful energy, Nene’s veteran savvy.
And did you see the Polish Hammer haul in a lead pass, out-maneuver two defenders, and spin in a reverse lay-up pilfered directly from a Paul Silas highlight reel.
At the end of the day, Dwane Casey’s squad appeared to have too many guys willing to make the extra pass, but not enough guys looking to take the big shot.
Quick Takes from Playoff Weekend No. 2
n Who the heck is Nick Calathes? (And just how deep do the Grizzlies go in their backcourt, anyway?)
n The first Celtic-Cavalier match-up next season will be interesting, I should imagine.
n The Nets have posted a higher rate of converting their possessions than have the Hawks in all three games so far. The Wizards ought to be licking their chops in anticipation of a match-up with their division rival.
n Will the real San Antonio Spurs please stand up!