Unbelievable…


San Antonio beats the Kings 95-92.

If you just saw the box score you would think nothing of it. But ladies and gentlemen there was a slight robbery. For the uniformed, Michael Finley hit the game-winning three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left as the shot-clock expired. Upon first viewing it seemed like he didn’t get it off. I heard the buzzer and expected the referees to wave it off….but they didn’t. I was a little shaken but kind of shook it off because  it just seemed like one of those plays the Spurs have done 1,000 times in the past few years. The Kings protested but sitting on my couch it seemed to me like they had to. Like in a pick-up game when your teammate calls an absurd call…you have to agree with him to an extent. Or if your girlfriend picks a ridiculous fight…you have to have her back.

But then the replay came on. The shot clock read ’00′ and the ball was clearly in Finley’s hand. And it stayed on OO as the slow motion showed Finley continue to rise for his jumper. Then he released it and it went in. Clearly the referees were going to do their silly little “conference”, strut over to the official’s table, review it and overturn it. All would be right in the world.

No review. Reviews are triggered automatically and not at the discretion of the officials or teams. This I know. Off the top of my head the scenarios are last-second shots, fouls and altercations. Apparently the rules state shot clock violations are unreviewable. Or at least that’s what referee Dan Crawford said to the Kings bench. So I can’t belittle the referees right? If  that is honestly the case then the fact that there is no exception for a late game scenario is just beyond me. I mean, referees can review fights, flagrant fouls and altercations to see who was involved…but they can’t review a shot clock violation in a clutch situation? You’re telling me they can stop a game to see whether or not Robin Lopez tried to chokeslam someone and who tried to stop it..but they can’t even look at a close shot clock violation? I mean I could understand if the other team didn’t call a timeout…but while you’re sitting there…you can’t just walk over and double-check?? I mean seriously…Could you imagine the uproar if this were to happen in the playoffs?!?! Crazy right?

Timeout though. A little research tells me that…well….maybe Mr. Dan Crawford was wrong with his “shot clock violations are unreviewable” line. A quick visit to NBA.com and their “NBA Rules History” gives me this information:

2006-2007: Section II-Reviewable Matters
a. If an instant replay review is triggered as described in Section I-a (1) and (2) above,
the officials would review the tape to determine only the following issues

(1) Whether time on the game clock expired before the ball left the shooter’s hand.
(2) If the shot was timely, whether the successful field goal was scored correctly as
a two-point or three-point field goal.
(3) If the shot was timely, whether the shooter committed a boundary line violation.
For purposes of this review, the official would look only at the position of the
shooter’s feet at the moment they last touched the floor immediately prior to (or,
if applicable, during) the release of the shot.
(4) Whether the 24-second clock expired before the ball left the shooter’s hand.
(5) Whether an 8-second backcourt violation occurred before the ball left the shooter’s
hand

And there is more:

The officials will keep both teams on the court at the end of the second period if
instant replay is being used to determine if a foul was called prior to expiration or if there is
any question whether the shooter committed a 24-second violation, 8-second violation or
boundary line violation where time may be added to the game clock.

Now here is where I’m confused. I know my examples weren’t concrete, set in stone. And I don’t know the inner workings of the NBA rulebook so just bear with me. In the first quotation it clearly states that one of the issues that can be determined by a referee during a review is whether or not the player committed a 24-second violation. So if a referee is able to use review to determine that…why wasn’t a review triggered? And if teams can be held on the court to determine whether or not a shooter committed a 24-second violation at the end of the second quarter…common sense tells me they should be able to take a look with 1.3 seconds left in the game. My head is starting to hurt, if anyone has any more knowledge of this please let me know.

And I know the next question….”SJ…why the f do you care so much? It’s the Kings they probably would have lost anyways.” First…you have a point. And second….well, this little mistake could impact the Blazers. And it may cost them dearly. Portland went from #4 in the standings to #5 thanks to San Antonio’s win. Thanks to the Spurs win they are now tied with the Rockets for the division lead. They have the tiebreaker on Houston who has the tiebreaker on us. Not only is that a loss of home-court advantage but also now we are slated to face the Rockets in the first round. The same Rockets who have just beat us down Andre the Giant style.

I’m not too happy.

Tags: 24-second Violation Controversial Dan Crawford Game Winner Instant Replay NBA General Officials Review Sacramento Kings San Antonio Spurs Shot Clock

  • Brian K

    Good Catch! It was incredibly clear cut that the shot should not have counted. Now I’m wondering what the reaction will be from the league office!!!

  • SJ

    I can’t wait to hear what they are about to say about this one. Immediately after the game, Andre Aldridge and Steve Smith were actually trying to defend it although Smitty kind of had that ‘Yeah…but he didn’t get that off’ look the whole time.

  • NBA Stan

    Just so you know, even Pop said the shot shouldn’t have counted, but a win is win ;)

  • Tim

    I miss Steve Smith.

  • Tim

    Oh yeah,

    Section I—Instant Replay Review Triggers
    a. Instant replay would be triggered automatically in the following situations:
    (1) A field goal made with no time remaining on the clock (0:00) at the end of the
    fourth period or any overtime period that, if scored, would affect or potentially
    could affect, the outcome of the game.
    (2) A field goal made with no time remaining on the clock (0:00) at the end of the
    first, second and third periods.

    This is the ‘Section 1′ that ‘Section II’ was referring to. Because the clock did not read 0:00 when Finley made that shot, it does not trigger the automatic review.

  • SJ

    Well, done Tim. Well that’s just a poorly written rule. It bothers me that they can’t review a play that could affect the outcome of the game just because there is not 0:00 on the clock. But they can always go and review how much time is left and add or subtract time if they feel like that’s messed up. You feel me?