Dallas Mavericks plan protest after Wednesday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors

Mavericks plan to protest Wednesday’s loss to Warriors
from Sean Keane, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

Down by five, Reggie Bullock hit a buzzer-beating three. It didn’t tie the game, but it will trigger a protest.

The Dallas Mavericks plan to file to the NBA a formal protest of their 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors tonight, with focus on alleged referee mistake that led to two free Warriors points late in the third quarter, source tells @TheAthletic @Stadium.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 23, 2023
The controversial play came after a timeout late in the third quarter. The officials awarded a loose ball to the Warriors, then pointed to the Mavericks’ bench to acknowledge their timeout call.

The Mavericks apparently thought they had possession, and lined up in their own end as the Warriors got two easy points.

During the telecast, ESPN announced that Dallas would be filing a protest if the game finished within two points.

But when Golden State stopped Luka Doncic and Kevon Looney made two free throws, they had a five-point lead with 1.1 seconds to go. Enter Bullock.

There were two groups of people excited by the buzzer-beater. One is gamblers who took the Mavericks +3.5 points. The second is Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban’s friends and families, who know the only thing he loves more than bad investments on “Shark Tank” is complaining about NBA officials.

After the game, Cuban tweeted out his complaint, calling the play the “worst officiating non-call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA.”

Perhaps anticipating some pushback to his interpretation of events, Cuban turned off replies to his tweet. You can tell he was worked out because he complained that the Warriors got an “easy basketball” due to the referees’ error.

Here’s the problem. First, the replay clearly shows it was the Warriors’ ball. The ball was also inbounded at the place it went out of bounds — under the Warriors’ basket. Dallas may have believed it was their ball, but how could they have thought a ball that went out of bounds under Golden State’s basket would be inbounded on their offensive half?

Clearly, there was a breakdown in communication between the officials and the Mavericks, but there was just as clearly a breakdown in communication between Jason Kidd and his players.

Adam Silver may receive the protest, but the odds of it being upheld are roughly the same as the chances for a second season of “The Benefactor,” Cuban’s failed foray into reality television from 2004.

NBA protests are never upheld, and Cuban isn’t popular with the NBA anyway — he had to pay $10M after an investigation into the Mavericks’ years of workplace misconduct.

Accuracy, personality, and historical precedent are working against the Mavericks here. For those reasons, we’re out on this protest.