Portland Trail Blazers: A whistle-for-whistle look at the “fixed” 2000 Blazers-Lakers Game 7

Scottie Pippen. Arvydas Sabonis, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images)
Scottie Pippen. Arvydas Sabonis, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Damon Stoudamire, Portland Trail Blazers DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Donald Miralle/Allsport. /

Takeaways and whistles from the second quarter of Game Seven:

1. It’s hard to not lament some of the missed opportunities Portland had even before the fourth quarter. Derek Fisher and Robert Horry — two Pantheon-level role players — are shooting with inaccuracy. It was a sunny day in California that day, but both have opened wind with air-balls that tell the story of a disorganized Lakers team to this point.

2. One could make a reverse-LeBron theory with O’Neal in this Game Seven. He’s just 0-of-2 in the first 18 minutes of a do-or-die game, and took just one shot in the fourth quarter of Game Six. How much would he be vilified if they lost this game?

3. How about a shoutout for Rasheed Wallace? There were countless times where he could have argued calls, but he’s calm and composed. Per Kerry Eggers Jail Blazers book, Wallace made it a goal to never get kicked out of the “meaningful games,” the postseason games. He was thrown in Game One, but since found a way to calm himself. No technicals at all to this point.

This second quarter features 15 different calls. Because that’s so many, let’s take a glance into that.

Analysis of the second quarter calls:

  • 11th whistle: an and-one for Rasheed Wallace on the low post. This is a solid call. (20:28). — A good call. 
  • 12th whistle: O’Neal draws a whistle forcing two guys into the air. A great call that shouldn’t be argued. We get to watch Shaq throw two more grenades at the free throw line. (21:55) — A good call. 
  • 13th whistle: A personal foul on Ron Harper while trying to defend Bonzi Wells in the post. (22:46) A good call.
  • 14th whistle: A reach-in in Glen Rice, trying to hold off Detlef Schrempf. (24:25). —  A good call. 
  • 15th whistle: A bulldog-like attack from Bonzi Wells. Creates contact, and makes something happen. And-one. (25:01) — A great call. 
  • 16th whistle: A frustration foul on Bonzi Wells. Kobe throws on the clamps, and he reaches in after the Lakers clear the board. (26:51) — A good call. 
  • 17th whistle: Shaq comes through, tries to bulldoze Sabonis. Picks up an offensive foul. (29:11) — A good call. 
  • 18th whistle: Bonzi finds an opening to the basket, but gets called for a charge. Glen Rice so much as stumbles into him like a drunk man. He has his hands up, but I’d say that’s a bad call. (29:35)
  • 19th whistle: 2000 Arvydas Sabonis attacks the basket, sort of blowing by O’Neal. Along the left baseline, he creates contact with Shaw. But you can tell at this point, not picking up a fourth foul is on O’Neal’s mind. Shaw makes the sacrifice. (34:07). — A good call. 
  • 20th whistle: Steve Smith gets a pick-and-roll and zooms by Shaq for a lay-up. But Steve Javie calls a palming. It’s a bad angle, so we’ll rule this inconclusive. Smith says he got held. (35:21)
  • 21st whistle: Blazers are almost exclusively running post-ups now. Smith gets called with an offensive foul. Took me a few times to “like” this call. Both are physical, but the possession ends with Smith’s elbow on Bryant’s ear. So, cool beans. (37:27).  — A good call. 
  • 22nd whistle: More Bryant vs. Smith post action. This time, Smith gets the call and two shots. It was a point of contention for Bryant by this point. (38:01) — A good call.
  • 23rd whistle: A crucial third on Sabonis. I thought Schrempf got more of O’Neal than Sabonis did, it’s a foul no matter how you slice it. (39:41) — A good call. 
  • 24th whistle: Detlef Schrempf loses the ball, and it goes out of bounds. He gets upset and kicks the ball. Delay of game Blazers. (40:41) — A good one: 
  • 25th whistle: A physical possession here. Ron Harper attacks the glass. Scottie Pippen steps in with an incredible charge. Brilliant play, brilliant call. (41:32)

Calls benefiting the Lakers: 14

Calls benefiting the Blazers: 13

Score: Portland Trail Blazers, 42; Los Angeles Lakers, 39