[Flip Saunders at the moment of outrage over a questionable call.]
In some regard a basketball game can come down to a single play or a single call, in most it doesn’t.
A small fraction of the narrative for the Wizards’ 93-85 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats came with less than two minutes left in the game. Yi Jianlian, who had played measured, focused defense all night long — to the tune of six blocks in 32 minutes off the bench (although, only one defensive rebound in that time, more on that issue later) — saw Crash Gerald Wallace approaching the lane that he occupied. Yi planted his feet, outside of the restricted area, and absorbed the contact. One ref seemed to want to whistle a charge, another a blocking foul; the triumvirate conferred on the call.
NBA referee Rodney Mott emerged from the huddled discussion, looked in the direction of the scorer’s table/Wizards bench, gave a prolonged wry smile, hesitated, and then signaled Yi for a blocking violation. Not exactly the tact you’d like to see from a referee making a crucial call — almost making a mockery of a scene and a seemingly wrong call that the Wizards’ bench didn’t find too comical.