Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Tony Allen should earn some kind of an award for perhaps the best acting-job of the season during the final moments of the fourth quarter in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
He should probably expect a fine from the league as well.
Down by as much as 18 points against the San Antonio Spurs, the Grizzlies somehow clawed back into what appeared to be a hopeless game and trimmed the Spurs lead to just four points with less than a minute to go. Allen then had a breakaway layup on a Zach Randolph steal, but Manu Ginobili was there to pull him down by the arm while in midair. Allen managed to break his fall, but realized he had the opportunity to sell a call for a possible flagrant foul, so he did just that:
It was a good gamble by Allen to act on the play because the league doesn’t penalize you during the game for flopping or faking an injury. The Grizzlies got the call for a Flagrant 1, Allen knocked down the free throws, and managed to help send the game to overtime with the extra possession.
What’s surprising is the decision by the referees to leave it as a Flagrant 1 after seeing the replays. It was a hard foul by Ginobili to prevent the layup, but it’s hardly more than just a playoff foul to make Allen earn his points from the line. It seemed to be a very subjective call, and Allen’s flop-job certainly played a role in the referees’ decision to call it a Flagrant 1 in the first place. I guess the lesson here is to do all you can to sell a call when your playoff lives are on the line.