Buh bye Tony

Steve Javie, Derrick Stafford, Joe Forte: Sometimes the zebras get it right, sometimes they get it wrong. Very wrong. Such was the case last night in Detroit, when the game clock "froze" long enough for Chauncey Billups to beat the third quarter buzzer with momentum-changing three-pointer.

Here's the official description from the Orlando Sentinal: "The Pistons took the ball out of bounds with 5.1 seconds left, but the clock stopped at 4.8 and again at 4.1 before Billups made the three-point shot. The Magic bench erupted in protest, and officials huddled while TNT replays showed it took 5.22 seconds for the ball to leave Billups' hands, meaning Billups couldn't have gotten the shot off in time. But officials ruled the basket good, and they put .5 of a second back on the clock..."

Thanks to Odenized, we have lots of video evidence of this debacle. Here's the initial brouhaha.

Here are the TNT broadcasters showing the have a greater aptidude than the men who are paid to officiate the game.

And now, the reactions. Surprisingly enough, the Pistons don't seem too broken up about it, but who wants to bet that Rasheed Wallace would have gotten tossed if the same thing had happened to the Pistons?

The league and its stupid rules: Lead official Steve Javie declined comment after the game. But really, what else could he have done? The league's replay rules don't allow the officials to review plays in order to figure out when the shot clock started, should have started, should have stopped, etc. My question is: Why the hell not? If it's permissible to use replay at the end of games to determine whether a shot came before or after the buzzer, why not put in some kind of addendum stating that it can be used in situations like this? We can stuff astronauts into a flying tin can and send it to the moon. We have the technology. Why not, you know, use it?

Here's an interesting question posed by Brazil Thrill's Shot Was Blocked By KG on my NBA Closer column: "So will David Stern force Detroit and Orlando to replay the end of the third quarter and the entire fourth quarter of game two? If he thought a regular season game was important enough to warrant a partial re-match, why not apply the same rule during the playoffs? Or at the very least give Orlando 3 points to start with on game 3." An interesting point, eh? But I doubt Stern will do diddly squat. Because that could possibly get in the way of a Pistons-Celtics or Pistons-LeBron matchup in the Eastern Confernece Finals. Not that I'm conspiracy theorizing or anything...

The Magic's butter fingers: Memo to Stan Van Gundy: Either tell your players not to coat their hands in PAM before the game, or invest in a gross of Stickum. Orlando committed 19 turnovers that were transmogrified into 22 points for the Pistons. Worst of all, 17 of those 19 turnovers were bobbled off the hands of Rashard Lewis (6), Hedo Turkoglu (6) and Dwight Howard (5). A team cannot win if its main men keep gift-wrapping the ball and giving it away like a department store Santa.

The Orlando bench: Here is the sum total of their contribution to last night's game: 4 points on 1-for-7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 8 fouls in almost 46 minutes. Holy wow, that is bad. And I mean 1986-87 Celtics bench bad.

Rip Hamilton: The Phantom once claimed that he knows whether a shot is going in before he even gets the ball. So why does he ever miss? If it's not going to go in, don't take the shot, right? Apparently not, since he was 4-for-18 last night.

Theo Ratliff: This guy inexplicably started talking trash to Rashard Lewis and the rest of the Magic after Game 1, which seems kind of strange coming from someone who barely ever plays. Did he back it up in Game 2? [Insert laugh track here] Uh, no. The line: zero points, 0-for-1 shooting, 1 rebound, zero assists, 1 blocked shot, 1 foul, 9 minutes. My advice? Zip the lip, Theo.

Walter Herrmann: Mr. Man -- who looks like a poor man's Fabio -- had a one trillion last night.

San Antonio Spurs: They looked good last night...for a half. Then the wheels came off in the third quarter, during which they were outscored 36-18. Frankly, they looked old, slow and wholly incapable of staying in front of the runnin' gunnin' Hornets. It's like the Spurs' methodical, slow-it-down-to-a-snail's-pace methodology finally backfired on them, sort of like people thought it might backfire against the Suns. Experience often overcomes youth, until experience's age falls victim to youth's fresh and tireless legs.

Gregg Popovich was so concerned -- and probably pissed off -- that at one point he yanked the starters (and foul-plagued sixth man Manu Ginobili) in favor of Ime Udoka, Brent Barry, Fabricio Oberto, Robert Horry and Jacque Vaughn. And if that's not a slap to the chops, I don't know what is. But you can't blame him. Duncan had (I think) around 11 points at the time (although he would finish with 18). Tony Parker shot 5-for-14. Michael Finley was 2-for-7. Bruce Bowen was 1-for-7. And Manu Ginobili finished 4-for-10 (he also had a game-high 5 turnovers). You could argue that, had it not been for Brent Barry (14 points, 4-for-5 from three-point range), the Spurs would have been beaten by 30.

Damon Stoudemire: As Basketbawful reader Josh pointed out, Mighty Mouse continued his championship piggyback game with a three trillion. Although it's starting to look like he might have been better off signing with the Hornets.

David West: The man's a straight-up baller, but he needs to leave the taunting on the streets where it belongs. First he punked Dirk Nowitzki -- which was pretty classless, even if it was kind of funny -- and now he's taunting...Fabricio Oberto?! That's really not necessary. (Video from Odenized.)

Reggie Miller: Reggie continues his assault on verbiosity, uh, verbalism, er, wordiology...forget it. I've been listening to Reggie too much, apparently. As Deadspin reader Tubesteak Terrorist pointed out: "According to Reggie Miller last night, David West is 'ambidextrious.'"

And there's more, this time from Rob of BigDiction.net: "Ha. No more than 6 minutes into the Spurs Hornets game Monday after a Peja three-pointer: Kevin Harlan says 'And he has been shooting at a 60% clip this postseason!,' to which Reggie Miller replies 'And that's a big plus for him.' No shit, Reggie. No shit."

And here's some retroctive Reggie from last weekend, courtesy of Basketbawful reader Nick: "In Hornets-Spurs Game 1, they had to delay the game because after Hugo the Hornet jumped through a ring of fire they couldn't put out the fire and had to use extinguishers. After they resumed play, the players were falling on the court because of the remains. Reggie Miller had this to say: 'The official is calling for the crew to come out because the players are slippering all over.' That's funny in itself, but then I looked up the word slippering. A slippering is a metonymical term for the act of smacking the buttocks, or the hands, with a slipper as a form of corporal punishment." I...really don't know what to say. Other than: Thanks for the mammaries, Reggie.

SI.com: Basketbawful reader MC Welk thinks the caption writers for the Sports Illustrated Web site are a little confused about who the Lakers are playing right now. "Lakers did a good job of getting past the Suns (right, SI?)."

The ESPN Scoreboard: Basketbawful reader Sky Flakes things that the ESPN scoreboard is almost as confused as Reggie Miller. Note how the Spurs spotted the Hornets an extra 5 points during halftime.


Then they upped it to 8 points, just for kicks.


Then the math started to go a little fuzzy. As Mr. Flakes put it: "I didn't know that 23 + 20 + 0 = 49." Me neither. But then, I failed 3rd grade math. Damn multiplication tables...


The Lakers medical staff: What are these guys doing? Practicing leechcraft? As Basketbawful reader Shrugz put it: "Wasn't Andrew Bynum supposed to be out for 2-4 weeks...in February?" Yup. Now he's out for the rest of the season. Nice. Worst medical staff ever. (Of course, that cranky knee didn't keep Andy from getting jiggy wit' it at a UCLA frat party...)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Apparently they getting a 2nd opinion on the knee


so I guess they're not just holding him back. they just genuinely suck LOL

Anonymous Anonymous said...
A similar thing happened to the Pistons in the Philly series where the shot clock (which was at 5) started a full three seconds before Prince inbounded the ball so when the clock should of been started, it was already at 2 seconds. The officials ignored the incident and slapped Detroit with a shot clock violation. So, call it karma, and a need for a slight rule change.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
yeah, twice in the past couple months the pistons have been screwed by officials starting the clock early. neither time rasheed got a tech.

i don't understand people's problems with what theo said. he wasn't trash talking, not in my opinion. he said he didn't need maxiell's backup when rashard lewis flagrantly fouled him. he was right, he didn't. he said that orlando is a finesse team. how else would you describe them? as a streaky three shooting team with with one b-level superstar?

hedo and keyon dooling should be mentioned for massive failures in the last minutes. hedo put up the dumbest three i've ever seen and keyon obviously fouled rip before an inbounds pass, essentially giving the pistons the point they needed to put the game out of reach.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Let's be fair to the great Theo Ratliff- he DID block a shot in his 9 min of action- and that is what he does for a living. If he averaged a block every 9 min (which he may have done when he lead the league in blocked shots- twice), he would be more than earning his money on any team.

Besides, if these guys didn't trash-talk, jersey-pop, and flop around, you wouldn't have a blog and I might be forced to do some actual, real work at the office! :P

Great post- keep it up!

PS- did you know according to his Wikipedia entry, "Theo is short for "Theophilus"? Parents can be very cruel.


Blogger Unknown said...
wait Kyle... are you referring to Dwight Howard as a B-level superstar? The man was in the MVP talk for a while! If that's not A-level, then i dont know what is.

and how did the Pistons get screwed this time around? they got 3 points out of that play last night.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
One more thing...

I am from Anchorage, Alaska, and we here all feel that Trajan Langdon is the greatest baller of all time, and when his knee injuries forced him out of the 'League, we were crushed.

Well Congratulations, once again, TL, on making the most out of a "busted" career and winning Finals MVP of the Euroleague!

But THAT'S NOT ALL- I also found a GREAT Trajan man-love pic from the NCAA Finals game (that Duke lost) here: http://www2.jsonline.com/sports/ncaa99/image/tlan329.jpg

MMM-mmm. Great stuff!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
yes, i'm saying that dwight howard is a b-level superstar. i honestly don't think this point needs arguing. the pistons are full of b-level superstars at best. they're a jump-shooting team, but to my knowledge if someone called them that, they wouldn't get all pissy like rashard and van gundy did being called a "finesse team."

and i'm not saying the pistons were screwed this time. i'm saying everybody gets screwed sometimes. Orlando didn't lose because of that three point play, they lost because of their own stupidity in the fourth quarter.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i would replace theo and herrmann in the list with lindsey hunter and jarvis hayes. hayes has lost all of his minutes to the rookie arron afflalo. lindsey hunter lost not only his minutes to another rookie, but his spot on the active roster. he wore a suit so that herrmann could wear a uniform. even towards the end of the game when the pressure was really up and the entire bench was on their feet. lindsey was sitting, chewing gum, not paying attention. i have to admit, that really disappointed me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bynum was never supposed to be out 2-4 weeks. They announced a minimum of 8 weeks.

Arenas was out all year with a knee injury...let's just accept they take awhile to heal.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
The LA Times is reporting Bynum may need surgery on his knee. The Lakers' medical staff strikes again!

One thing not being pointed out in that Pistons-Magic clock malfunction is that in the TNT replay from their truck with their own timecode overlaid at the bottom of the screen is that the last digits represent frames and not tenths or hundredths of seconds. The difference is there are only 30 frames per second, not 100 (if you watch the replay, watch how those digits just go from one to two to three and then start over as the time is going). This means that the 5 seconds and 22 frames is actually about a half second longer than the 5 seconds and 22 tenths that the TNT crew was talking about last night. Using my handy calculator, 22 frames is actually 73 tenths of a second, meaning it actually took Billups over 5.7 seconds to get that shot off, not 5.2.

Blogger Justin Tenuto said...
One day, Walter Hermann will sign with a team that gives him run and he'll end up making the MLE. For now, he's notching trillions. I'd like to see him on the Warriors, for example.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is just the latest in a long list of clock-related mishaps this year. I only need to point out the TJ Ford debacle in Atlanta this past year (why do these things always seem to happen in Atlanta...must be a coincidence). Update the rules, so the officials can actually make the right call.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Building on what anonymous said, not only do knee injuries take a while to fully heal but the delay on Bynum's return isn't necessarily the Lakers' medical staff's fault - Andrew has been using his own people and they have differing opinions than those of the Lakers' med staff, which is presumably why he is getting a second opinion.

Blogger Custom Install said...
Glen Davis on Game 1 Of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals: 4 Trillion, or as you would call it, a Mario.

How could someone that Boston would call, 'Essential' get such a number? I'm a Minnesotan and a die hard T'Wolves fan and is rooting for the Celtics, but how can HE get a 4 TRILLION?!?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
do you really think that david stern wants to see detroit in the ec finals rather than superman and the turkey?