DB.com Classic: Refs? 'Anybody But Crawford

(This story first appeared May 5 2009) -- We've got some disturbing numbers on Mavs-Nuggets Game 1 crew chief Danny Crawford, who is increasingly looking like anything but the Mavs' lucky charm.

First to tonight's trio: It's McCutchen, Callahan and Malloy ("Ah, they're all One of Us!'' as ol' Grandma Murphy would say).

Next, to the water-under-the-bridge of Danny Crawford's Game 1 presence, where Dallas shot 13 free throws and Denver shot 36, where allegedly "soft'' Dallas committed 29 fouls while Denver shot 19.

Is all that, adding up to the Mavs' 109-95 loss supervised by Crawford, all just coincidence.

Sure. Maybe.

But. …

*As we pointed out before Sunday's Game 1, in Mavs playoffs games worked by Crawford from 2001-to-2005, the Mavs record was 0-8. (Those years, Dallas was 41-37 in games NOT worked by Crawford.)

*Now we're updated to this additional info: Since 2001, the Mavs are 53-50 overall in playoffs. Dallas record when Crawford is NOT working the game is 52-35. Dallas' record when Crawford IS working the Mavs game is. … 1-15.

*Want more? The one Mavs win under Crawford's watch was in the 2006 Phoenix series, a Dallas blowout victory. Also in 2006, in the NBA Finals, guess who worked Game 3 against the Heat, when Dwyane Wade was allowed to shoot as many FTs (18) as the entire Mavs team made, all leading to Dallas' two-point loss? That would be Danny Crawford.

And in Game 6, when the Mavs lost by three points?And Wade shot 21 free throws, two fewer than the number shot by the entire Mavs team?

Danny Crawford strikes again.

Seriously, Danny Crawford is the damned Grim Reaper.

*And then there is the statistical likelihood of what it all means (thanks, Ole and Butternut and my man Nick Reed):

Dallas' playoff winning percentage without Danny Crawford is 59.77 percent.
Plug the numbers in. ... Use the following formula:
n = 16: the number of games officiated by Danny
k = 1: the number of wins when officiated by Danny
p = 0.5977: the probability that a win will occur without Danny -- our best inference of p is the games officiated by other crews.

What will you find?
That the probability that the extreme number of losses occurred by random chance is 0.001119 percent.
Thus, one time in every 100,000 occurrences would one expect this situation to present randomly.
My man Ole is not a statistician (nor am I). But he does medical research for a living and he notes, "To be considered non-random, most medical treatments need to show that there is less than a five-percent chance that the results of the studies were random.

The results say Danny Crawford managed a 0.001119-percent chance that he has accurately officiated the Mavs' playoff games. And if you play with another math site it will suggest that the probability that Danny Crawford "influenced'' the results of these games is 99.999 percent.
I'll let you be the judge of what it all means, of whether Chancellor Stern might should do something about this, and whether the Mavs should not concern themselves with such material and just go play.
But I will say this, about Game 2: Thank God for the Irishmen.

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