I’m honestly kinda surprised I’m seeing so many people in my Twitter feed that are shocked by the no-calls at the end of the Heat/Spurs game. I thought whistle swallowing was common knowledge. Not only is it widely talked about, it actually has some science behind it.
Loss aversion is the idea that people hate losing more than they like winning. It comes into play with referees at the end of games in a predictable way. Making a call that could or definitely would change the outcome of a game is an intimidating thing. Primarily because you could make that call and then be wrong. Rather than face the chance of incorrectly making a call that determines the fate of the game, refs swallow the whistles and allow the players to do anything short of murder. This ensures that they didn’t screw up. A sin of omission is always more palatable than one of commission.
You can learn more about this in Tobias Moskowitz’s book Scorecasting.