The Green side

Tessa Jazmines - Part of the Game

LAKERS fans ain’t gonna like this column. It presents the other side of the end game of the latest Celtics-Lakers classic last Sunday that the Celtics won, 125-121, in overtime.

It’s been the talk of the town since the buzzer sounded in regulation. The buzz point: that Jayson Tatum foul on LeBron James that the referees failed to call. What a roar followed in its wake.

To say the Lakers Nation was furious is an understatement. Their collective reaction is similar to the Greek tragedy-style response that King James had to the non-call. One Laker fan I know who was celebrating his birthday that day said he felt so depressed he needed to go into therapy.

But sportswriter/columnist Bert A. Ramirez gives the other side of the picture. Noting correctly that the furor was amplified by the fact that the non-call happened in the last play, he gives proof to a communication concept called the Primacy-Recency Effect.

Roughly it states that the first and last items presented to you will be remembered best. Those in between, say in a list, will most likely be forgotten.

So am letting our good friend and respected colleague Bert take over entirely to show the other side of the picture:

“LeBron James and LA Lakers fans have been complaining…on that foul by Jayson Tatum on James that the referees missed as he attempted a layup at the end of regulation, but the missed call might have just served as poetic justice for the game, which the Boston Celtics eventually won in overtime 125-121.

This is because for all the glaring non-call that the referees committed on that play—which has taken all the attention since it happened at the end of regulation and would have impacted the result of the game—there was also a glaring non-call that went against the Celtics earlier and which led to the Lakers’ having taken the initiative at that point in the first place—and we’re not referring here about James’s own traveling violation that the referees missed right before that layup that drew a foul from Tatum.

“Yes, everyone is talking about that James layup simply because it happened right there in the end. But one thing that practically no one is talking about … is that the NBA [National Basketball Association] also admitted that Anthony Davis should have been called for an offensive foul on the play where Patrick Beverley was able to slam-dunk Davis’s missed three-pointer moments before that.

“That play came with both teams tied at 102-all with 32 seconds left in regulation, and had the refs called the foul, it would have been Boston’s ball with about 20 seconds remaining; instead, it gave LA a 104-102 edge with 18.1 seconds left.

“The Lakers thus also benefited from a no call there that gave them two points that they didn’t deserve. So many Celtics fans keep pointing to the travel LeBron got away with right before the Tatum foul so had the refs called that, there wouldn’t even be a foul to complain about, and that again is a second crucial no-call that went in the Lakers’ favor during the pivotal moments of the contest.

“For those who may not actually be aware of James’ history, many followers of the game have been familiar with the many offensive fouls that James has committed during his 20-year career…as well as the many traveling violations he also has been guilty of but was not called for.

“This one is another of those travels that he has gotten away with as one can see here in this four-second video clip before he went for that layup where Tatum made contact with his lower arm. Look closely, and one can see James taking three steps after gathering the ball.

“In the eyes of many discerning Celtics fans, however, the bigger no call was the one on Davis because that one rewarded the Lakers points that, at the very least, should not have been there and kept the score tied at 102-all at that point, with Davis incurring his fifth foul in the process and the Celtics getting back possession with a chance to go up 104-102. In this sense, the Tatum no-call just served to even things out by taking back, in effect, the two points the Lakers should have never been rewarded, based on the NBA’s own reporting in its Last Two Minute Report.

“Judging from all these dynamics, the Celtics won this game fair and square, and nobody could say that they were given special treatment by the referees to be able to do that.”

Prosecution rests, Bert.


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