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May 28, 2008 4:53 AM

Brent Barry Is The New Biff Loman

Brent Barry had a chance to win the game for the Spurs in the closing seconds of game four vs. the Lakers. But, he couldn't close the deal.


In the postgame show TNT analyst, Kenny Smith said Barry didn't do a good enough job selling the foul. Charles Barkley said if the refs had called it they would have determined the game - a game in which the Lakers outplayed the Spurs. But, these things should be set aside. A player trying to "sell" a foul is the same as a player flopping - an act almost everyone is critical of, and the refs need to call the game regardless of who outplayed who.

But, what I find most interesting is that many think Barry should have been awarded three free throws. He was definitely not in the act of shooting. He got Fisher in the air and probably could have drawn the shooting foul if he had jumped into him, but instead he dribbled to avoid Fisher and then put up the shot. It should have been a foul on the floor which would have been the Lakers fifth team foul, sending Barry to the line for a one-and-one. Brent Barry probably would have made both, given his 82% career free throw percentage, which would have sent the game to overtime.

But, officials make mistakes. It's not as if the Spurs didn't get any breaks from the officials. How many steps did Tim Duncan take on that dunk in the first quarter? Then, on the Lakers last possession, Derek Fisher put up a shot that grazed the rim and then was knocked out of bounds by Robert Horry. The shot was ruled an airball and the shot clock was not reset. This cost the Lakers a trip to the free throw line and a chance to put the game out of reach.

Was Barry fouled? Yes. But, should this become as big a controversy as it might? Definitely not. The better team won and the series now moves back to Los Angeles.

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