Jason Kidd Runs Into Mike Woodson, Refs Call It the Wrong Way
An interesting play took place near the end of regulation on Friday, during the Mavericks' overtime victory in Atlanta over the Hawks. Jason Kidd dribbled past halfcourt with the ball toward the sideline, presumably getting ready to call a timeout. But he noticed that Hawks coach Mike Woodson was a step or two on the court instructing his players, so Kidd made a dash right at Woodson. And despite the coach's best efforts to get out of Kidd's way, the veteran point guard extended his forearm and made contact with the coach, resulting in the referees calling a technical foul against the Hawks.
I have a couple of problems with the way this went down, but let's start with the most obvious: Woodson had both feet out of bounds when Kidd made contact with him, which means it should have been a Mavericks turnover, instead of a tech on the Hawks.
Of course, I wouldn't make such an assertion unless I had the video evidence to back me up.
At about the 30-second mark, you can clearly see that both of Woodson's feet were back behind the line before Kidd makes contact. So there's that; the refs simply got this one wrong.
There's something else, though, that irks me about this particular play, and that's the fact that Kidd is mostly being congratulated for making such a "crafty, veteran" move like this so late in a tight game. It took [guts], I'll grant you that. But here's the problem I have with it: it's not a basketball play.
If you're in favor of Kidd forcing the refs to make a call there, then (whether you know it or not) you're in favor of plays that guys like Anderson Varejao have become famous for: flopping. It's the same thing -- pretending you got fouled in hopes that the official will make a call is just what Kidd did here.
The problem I have is that neither play has anything to do with playing the game of basketball. In both instances, players are not scoring, passing, or doing their best to defend within the rules -- they're simply trying to work the system.
Now, Kidd had an amazing overall game, and finished with not only a triple-double, but a triple-freaking-15 line of 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 17 assists -- ridiculous by any standard.
Almost as ridiculous as the contact he decided to initiate with Mike Woodson.