The Minnesota Timberwolves found themselves on the losing end of a questionable act of whistle-swallowing Monday night, after Kevin Love caught an inbound pass and squared up for a potential game-tying corner shot (his foot was on the three-point line, so the best he could do was knot the game at 100) — only to be rejected by Dallas’ Shawn Marion. The problem is, Marion’s clutch “defense” consisted of merely slapping Love across the arm, a violation that neither trailing referee David Guthrie likely saw — Marion’s body blocked his view — nor lead referee Ed Malloy bothered to call from his position on the baseline.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any camera angles that truly capture what transpired on the play, but, normally, a player’s arm doesn’t ripple the way Love’s did when he lost the ball — at least without a solid slap across the forearm. If anything, the Phantom Camera angle proves that. The entire sequence also proves that Kevin Love is not a superstar, because, well, superstars get that call. Even in the closing seconds of a game, when refs traditionally swallow their whistles.