Chicago Bulls fans were complaining that the refs screwed them at the end of Game 4 in Atlanta, and it looks like they are justified. Referee Bennett Salvatore admitted he got a call wrong at the end of the game that helped shift momentum towards the Hawks.
Derrick Rose pump faked a three-point attempt with 2:28 left in the game and was hit by Jamal Crawford who tried to block the shot. Rose should have been awarded three free throws for being fouled on the shot, but Salvatore apparently blew his whistle inadvertently. The result was a jump ball won by Atlanta, and they converted on their next possession to go up by eight points, 92-84. Had Rose been awarded his free throws and made all three, it would have been a one-possession game 90-87.
“I blew my whistle. I was positive it was not a foul,”
Salvatore said after the game. “I blew my whistle by accident, which is an inadvertent whistle. That’s why I disallowed it.
“Having watched the replay, it was a foul. I made a mistake. I was wrong.”
Salvatore may have admitted his mistake, but you can’t make egregious errors like that in such a key situation. And are you telling me there was no other way to handle the situation than by having a jump ball? This is almost as bad as the Kendrick Perkins tip-in by Oklahoma City that killed Denver in Game 1. The refs can apologize all they want, but it doesn’t help the team that got screwed. I suppose the only equalizer in the situation is that there were several incidents when the Bulls got away with hard fouls on guys like Josh Smith. As disappointed and upset as Bulls fans are, I think it all evened out, so keep that in mind.
Thanks to Tom Ziller for the Salvatore link