LOS ANGELES -- There will be a painful reminder of the Mavericks' 2006 Finals flop at the Staples Center tonight.
He'll be wearing a whistle.
Yes, Bennett Salvatore is officiating this game. He's part of a crew with Bill Spooner and Monty McCutcheon.
As Mavs fans remember all too well, Salvatore was part of the officiating crew that sent Dwyane Wade to the line 25 times in Game 5, matching the Mavs' total. From near halfcourt, Salvatore called the controversial foul that allowed Wade to hit the winning free throws in a 101-100 overtime game, sparking a Mark Cuban tantrum that cost the Mavs' owner $250,000.
An optimistic Mavs fan might say this is just another opportunity for them to slay a postseason demon. That's what happened in Game 2 against Portland, when the Mavs won a playoff game worked by Danny Crawford for only the third time in 19 tries.