The Denver Nuggets are filing a protest over a missed call with 0.7 seconds left in their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Election Night. Why does this peek my interest?
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Apparently there is some kind of bad juju with the Grizzlies when it comes to Mike Malone. I’m sure Sacramento Kings fans recall the 91-90 loss in Memphis on January 14, 2014 (and if you don’t lucky you).
Kings led by one with somewhere around a second, maybe slightly less, remaining when the Grizzlies inbounded the ball from the sideline and won it on a lob at the rim. Ryan Hollins obviously hit the ball on the inbound pass, which should have started the clock, but apparently the replay wasn’t enough for the officials to overturn the call.
I’ve tried to find the footage of that play on the wonderful internet…but by the grace of the online gods, I don’t have to relive that pain again.
But Malone, it would appear, is doomed to perpetual disappointment at the hand of the Grizzlies on the road.
Back to the current protest at hand: 0.7 seconds remaining. Nuggets up 107-106.
The ball appeared to go off a Grizzlies player on the inbounds but the ruling on the court backed up by video review awarded possession to the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol tips it in on yet another lob at the rim winning the game 108-107.
Fast forward to the NBA’s release of the final two-minute officiating report and the acknowledgement it was an incorrect possession call.
The two-minute report allows for transparency, which I think we can all get on board with. Same with the in-game video review thanks to the NBA’s state of the art video replay center.
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In-game video replays are extending the length of games and officials seem to spend far too much time reviewing plays looking at angle after angle when it appears completely obvious within a few different frames. Yet we wait, and wait, and the flow of the game gets killed. And even then, it isn’t a sure fire method for making the right call.
The Nuggets have filed their protest and they should have. But they also shouldn’t hold their breath. A replay of the final 0.7 of that game well after the fact is not unprecedented but it is so rare one would have better luck spending their weekly paycheck on lotto tickets.
December 19, 2007 the Atlanta Hawks beat the Miami Heat 117-111 in overtime in Atlanta. A protest was filed by the Heat after the Atlanta stat crew made the mistake of assessing Shaquille O’Neal with his sixth foul with 51.9 seconds left in overtime.
The final 51.9 seconds were eventually replayed three months later. By that time, Shaq was no longer with the Heat having already been traded to Phoenix. The Hawks won the game 114-111.
That was the first NBA replay since the 1982-83 season.
Again, I reiterate, don’t hold your breath Nuggets fans.
The real question is how good or bad is replay for the game? Officials in ANY sport have a difficult and thankless job. From their angles and perspective it is way more difficult to see every little thing that happens on the playing surface. Even being elevated slightly in the stands offers a better view of the action.
There will be mistakes. They are human. So do we continue to allow technology and video replay to weave it’s way into the game to try and “get it right” or do we consider that the argument can be made it hurts the game as much as it helps the game?
The former player in me would rather take my chances with putting faith in the officials (who I feel compelled to remind you don’t get it wrong as much as fans would like to think they do) at the cost of completely stalling the game and destroying the flow and momentum that has been built.
Last second replays of this sort don’t help prove this argument but they are hardly the only replays that occur during a game. It’s the ones earlier in the game that proves this point for me.MORE NEWS: Bicyclist Killed In Hit-And-Run In Modesto; Suspect's Vehicle Identified
But I will concede the fact replay is not going away. I just pray they figure out a way to incorporate and perfect it so that it enhances the game and doesn’t kill it.