On Tuesday night the Memphis Grizzlies overcame an 18-point second half deficit to force overtime in Game 2 of their Western Conference finals series against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs came through in the extra period, winning the game 93-89 and taking a 2-0 series lead.
The climax of the Grizzlies’ late-game comeback was a four-point possession during the final minute of regulation involving a Manu Ginóbili flagrant foul on Memphis guard Tony Allen, a call that may have been influenced by Allen’s over-the-top reaction.
You’ll notice that Allen’s head never actually struck the floor. So his rolling-around-on-the-floor-while-cradling-his-head act probably wasn’t warranted.
Allen’s theatrics aside, the flagrant foul call was correct. How a player lands and whether or not a player is injured has no bearing on whether or not a foul is considered flagrant. Instead of making a play on the ball, Ginóbili grabbed Allen’s arm and pulled him down while he was in the air and vulnerable, unnecessarily compromising Allen’s safety.
At any rate, Allen wasn’t too woozy to step to the line and hit both of his free throws, trimming the Spurs’ lead to 85-83. Because of the flagrant foul call, the Grizzlies retained possession. Memphis guard Mike Conley then hit the game tying shot with 18 seconds remaining.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, their spectacular comeback didn’t result in win, and there’s a good chance that the league will discipline Allen under the NBA’s new no-flopping rule.