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
Rasheed Wallace, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by SCOTT NELSON/AFP via Getty Images) /

Takeaways and whistles from the third quarter of Game Seven:

1. What is it about the Portland Trail Blazers and dominating quarters one through three in Western Conference Finals series? Over the last three games, the Blazers have led for 107 of a possible 120 minutes. If that sounds familiar, it should. In 2019, they became the first team in two decades to lose three games with a 15-point lead in the same series. Something in the air, maybe?

2. Some hilarious stuff at 1:02:25. Schrempf and Horry get caught practicing a gangster handshake (or thumb wrestling, whichever is more humiliating. No seriously. And because that’s not allowed in the NBA, they pick up double fouls. Good call. We can’t have that.

3. Is ESPN’s Sport Science still a show? If so, someone needs to analysis this tip-pass from Arvydas Sabonis at 47:07. This is a thing of beauty. And even though he negates it by missing a bunny, it shows the Jokic-esque level of creativity on some of his feeds.

4. Stoudamire is missing point-blank looks, too. It sort of reminds me of a wide receiver trying to catch a pass over the middle, but he knows a hard-hitting safety or linebacker is coming. Footsteps are no joke. Maybe he should’ve learned a post fadeaway? He’s got some size at 6-foot-1.

5. With the Blazers up 63-53 with just two minutes remaining in the third, I thought Dunleavy called an underrated timeout. Is that possible? Like a boxer trying to finish a round off right. They’re absolutely abusing O’Neal’s unwillingness to pick up that extra foul. If you didn’t know any better, you would think we were at a Los Angeles church with how quiet STAPLES Center is.

6. Third quarter stats. Rasheed Wallace: 10 points, 4-of-6 shooting. Shaquille O’Neal: 0 points, 0-of-2 shooting. If I’m ‘Sheed, this goes on a wall somewhere in my house.

Analysis of the third quarter calls:

  • 26th whistle: A.C Green gets over aggressive trying to deny Wallace position. To no avail. Quick foul. (46:23) — A good call. 
  • 27th whistle: Kobe takeover. Takes the ball into a quadruple team. Gets the foul. That’s a good call. (47:50).
  • 28th whistle: The Blazers are late getting back, and Shaq is in the purple. (48:39). — Good call.
  • 29th whistle: Beautiful cut from Green. A foul goes against Scottie Pippen. We can’t see that angle, and no replay is shown by NBC. Call it inconclusive. (51:44)
  • 30th whistle: Incredible between-the-leg cross from Kobe. Gets space, but Stoudamire hits Bryant, or so they say. No extra look here, either. (52:55). Disappointing that some of these close looks can’t get extra replays. 
  • 31st whistle: A weird turn of events on Glen Rice’s layup. First, they call and-one, then they take it back, and then he gets free throws anyways. Good call, great take. As Walton say, you can pick who you want to call this foul on. (54:20).
  • 32nd whistle: More Green vs. Wallace action. Green is too aggressive, gets the foul. (54:55) — A good call. 
  • 33rd whistle: Wallace is unstoppable. Draws another whistle out of the post-up. He catches Bryant on the weak side. (55:41) — A good call.
  • 34th whistle: Kobe Bryant and A.C. Green run a pick-and-roll, and get two switches. Bonzi wells gets called for undercutting Green as he’s moving. (57:24) — No issues here.
  • 35th whistle: In dire need of a bucket from their MVP, the Lakers go to Shaq, who travels. A good call, and the replay proves it. (1:02:05)
  • 36th whistle: See notable No. 2.  — (1:02:25)

Calls benefiting the Lakers: 22

Calls benefiting the Blazers: 18

Score: Portland Trail Blazers, 71; Los Angeles Lakers, 58