UPDATE 11:23 am: Or, maybe we have it wrong and the shot should have counted.
According to Refcalls.com, it’s an unclear area of the rulebook, however the way they read it because Chalmers leapt in the air to get the pass then landed in the front court he was neither in the front or back court when he caught the ball then landed in the front court so he is fine.
That is different than say a play on the sidelines where one could not jump from out of bounds, catch the ball in the air and land in bounds. It’s seems a discrepancy at best. We will concede it is up for debate.
Also, Refcalls breaks out some of the missed travels in this series. There have been a lot. Even by NBA standards.
10:33 am: It ended up being huge. At the end of the first quarter Mario Chalmers got a pass back and drained a half-court shot at the buzzer, a three pointer that put the Heat up 29-22.
Those three points mattered a lot in a game decided by two, 88-86.
But that shot never should have counted.
Udonis Haslem had the ball and dribbled it into the front court and passed it back to Chalmers, who was running into the front court. But Chalmers never fully got into the front court — his foot straddled the halfcourt line when he caught the pass. In the NBA the half court line is considered part of the back court, you have to be fully over the line to be considered in the front court. (Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie pointed it out first.)
The officials missed it, the shot should have been waived off. (ABC play-by-play man Mike Breen also got it wrong on the national broadcast.)
That play alone did not cost the Mavericks the game — Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry missed shots down the stretch, Nowitzki got hung up on a Udonis Haslem screen while Chris Bosh it the game winner, the Mavs didn’t close out on Chalmers on his other threes, and frankly in a close game there are 100 different places it could have turned. Dallas dug out of that hole and had the chance to win, Miami was the team that executed better at the end of this game. That is the real difference.
But Chalmers shot should not have counted.