The Mavericks won’t have to worry about a déjà vu moment tonight in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The Miami Heat won’t have their occasional sixth man, Bennett Salvatore, with them. As the NBA released its referee assignments this morning, Joe Crawford, Mike Callahan and Bill Kennedy were announced as the
crew for Game 5 tonight at American Airlines Center. Ed Malloy is the backup.
Officiating crews are announced at about 8 a.m. on game days.
In case you have developed amnesia, Salvatore was the referee in Game 5 of the 2006 NBA Finals, when the Mavericks got beat in the final seconds after Salvatore called a foul on Dirk Nowitzki for nudging Dwyane Wade in the back on a drive to the basket. The resulting free throws were the difference.
That call was debated long and loud by Maverick fans and some media members.
It would have been an odd twist of fate if Salvatore once again had been the Game 5 Finals ref for a Mavericks-Heat game that was tied 2-2.
It’s unlikely the crew of Crawford, Callahan and Kennedy will be received much better at American Airlines Center since fans are entitled to vent on any referee who makes a call against their team. But none
of those guys has any serious history with the Mavericks.