The Celtics react to game-clock error in the final seconds of game 6
Isaiah Thomas took one dribble and fired off a last-ditch effort to send the Wizards packing with Markieff Morris drapped over him. The shot clanged off the side of rim as the final 1.7 seconds ticked off the clocked and the series was headed back to Boston for what should be an intense game 7. The conclusion of Friday night's game was a whirlwind of emotions for Celtics fans, from a 5-point lead with under a minute to go followed by a John Wall three to give the Wizard's with 3.5 seconds to go. The C's tried to sneak the ball inside to Kelly Oylynk under the basket to retake the lead but he was fouled on the inbound with what the officials marked off as those aforementioned 1.7 seconds that Thomas had to get the last shot off.
In actuality there was supposed to be 2.7 seconds left on the clock. The replay clearly showed that and the NBA even said so much the following day when they released a statement on it:
The NBA says in the last-2-minute report that the Wizards' late foul on Olynyk occurred with about 2.7 seconds left. Clock stopped at 1.7.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) May 13, 2017
Obviously an extra second may not seem like a big deal, but it certainly could've given the Celtics an opportunity to get a better look than the one they got. The thing that bothers me most is that the NBA said that this play is unreviewable, which is total bullshit whether it is or it isn't. I feel like that play gets reviewed at the end of games all the time, but even if that's not the case it seems ludicrous that the closing seconds of a game are decided by how fast the home game-clock operator can push a button after a foul, but whatever.
Coach Brad Stevens said that the issue didn't cross his mind at the time because he was focused on play ahead. Via Chris Forsberg of ESPN:
"Our understanding, from what we've learned, is that they can't check that," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "Maybe I'm wrong there. That's what I was told [Saturday]. Our bench was asking. I was more focused on what's next because I didn't think it was going to get overturned, necessarily. But maybe, as we look at in the future, maybe that is something that we can review.
"Those things happen. Move on. Get ready for [Monday] night."
Thomas thought that having another second he could have had a better look because he could have at least gotten around Morris.
"I could take another dribble. I could have got past [Markieff] Morris, probably. A little bit, got a little bit more separation," Thomas said after Boston's off-day practice on Sunday. "It is what it is. We can't worry about that. It just sucks that they came out with it and said we should have had another second."
My thinking is that Stevens would have had a better shot a drawing up something creative coming on the inbounds pass with a little more time, but either way it wasn't to be. The other thing that irks me, and clearly Jae Crowder as well, is the NBA admitting mistakes after the fact:
"Everybody knew [extra time came off] in the gym," Jae Crowder said. "There's nothing we can do now. I hate those reports, personally."
I'm not sure what purpose it serves to say the next day "Oh, yeah. Our officials screwed up last night. Sorry about that." I guess it's nice they can admit mistakes? I dunno, it seems like a reason for players and fans to get even more upset when they feel they've been wronged.
Photo Credit - Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
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