Tuck this one away for a later date, but if John Wall isn't sure how games are being called on the final shot all he has to do is look at what happened this past week.
The Wizards (12-13) are on a three-game winning streak and have had no problems closing out all three on the road. But Wall will find himself in a final possession, end-of-game situation again, he has to remember that the officials are swallowing their whistles for everybody. Not just against him. It's something that coach Randy Wittman has emphasized to his team repeatedly when they lost seven of their first name games to start the season and blaming everyone but themselves for not adjusting.
In other words, no blood or compound fracture, no foul.
Wall pleaded with officials for calls after losses at the Oklahoma City Thunder (Jeremy Lamb hacked him across the forearm on the drive) and vs. the Denver Nuggets (Nate Robinson admitted he grabbed Wall by the arm on the catch to disrupt his rhythm). He's not the only one with a case:
- In an overtime win vs. the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, Evan Turner drove to hit the winning shot at the buzzer for the Philadelphia 76ers. Problem is he plowed through Paul Pierce to do it. Pierce had rotated to help on defense, was established, not moving and outside the restricted circle. The 76ers won 121-120. At any other time in the game, that's a charge.
- In Wednesday's 97-94 win vs. the Indiana Pacers, Paul George had a chance to tie the score with a three-pointer on the final play of regulation. On the curl, he was grabbed by LeBron James. As he rose for the shot, James had both hands on George's lower back as he went off balance. No call.
The logic that superstars get the benefit of the doubt is badly skewed because the fact is, at the end of the game, superstars are more likely to have the ball. So, of course, they'll get more calls. However, who is a bigger name: Turner or Pierce? Lamb or Wall? Robinson or Wall?
There's your answer. Go hard or don't go at all. And defend those plays the same way.