Looking for positive results in the immediate aftermath of his team’s elimination two weeks ago, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra noted the inconvenient implementation of the NBA review that removed a Max Strus three-pointer from his team’s scorebook well over after being in that Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics.
“I’m sure,” Spoelstra said at the time, “they will look into that and we will probably be the case study for it.”
Apparently, that won’t be the case, as Monty McCutchen, NBA senior vice president for referee development and training, explained to ESPN during the NBA Finals.
“If one happens in Game 7, it got more attention,” McCutchen said of the Eastern Conference final at the FTX Arena on May 29, “but there were 15 other incidents this year where points were taken from a board. team – including Miami, ironically – throughout the season Now there were probably hundreds of near-calls to be out of bounds where they would have rated that internally Let’s say Strus would be two or three inches inbound in that case It would still have been revised.”
The Heat’s problem was the result of the assessment that had started to see if Strus was past the three-point line, and found that he stepped into the display in the replay center on the sidelines, only to be announced long after, causing the scoring during a Celtics rally. It was not, Spoelstra emphasized, a reason that the Heat cited for the loss.
“One of the most important things I want our fan base to know is that the process is much faster now,” McCutchen said, compared to previous NBA lawsuits. “In my career, we waited for that mandatory time-out to go and judge for ourselves as umpires on the floor. Now, instead of that mandatory timeout that happened much later, we were able to communicate it back to the table and it was corrected, I think, 8:28 [in game time, after the shot was credited with 11:04 to play in that third period]saving a few minutes on the old policy.”
McCutchen explained that options were limited.
“We can’t announce it in live action,” he said. “As the ball is dribbled up, no one wants an announcement that cuts the flow through disappointment. If you hear that while going up for a layup and you just lost three points, that can really affect the game. Second, if we were to do it in live action and just take points without announcing it, you could imagine the confusion the team would do to look up and think they had three points without understanding why they don’t have three points and then argue about it during live action. So we think the first dead ball is the first appropriate time.
“In Strus’s case, there were two blind spots before it was announced. However, both were quite fast. One was an out-of-bounds in the backcourt where we gave them the ball as soon as they’re done, and the other had an element of minor confusion as there was a defensive three. [seconds] involved, so it was not announced. That was about 30 seconds before it was announced, so we don’t think it made a significant difference to the outcome of the game, those 30 seconds.”
The nose knows
The Heat’s first off-season operation is upon us, one that will allow security guard Duncan Robinson to breathe easier.
Robinson confirmed on his podcast the need for post-season surgery, but not anything stemming from this season or his work with the Heat.
“I have a break in my nose that has resulted in a sort of deviated septum,” he said, pointing to the problems it had caused with nasal breathing over the years. “And they said it was like life changed for their sleep, for their performance, for their conditioning.”
So with the Heat out, he said the time was right.
“I thought it was time now,” he said. “It doesn’t really keep you out that long, 10 days or so.”
And no, he said, not cosmetic surgery.
“Nothing will change visually,” he noted.
Heat guard Kyle Lowry, who helped the Toronto Raptors win the 2019 NBA title, is among those who named a Toronto street after him on Monday.
Kyle Lowry Road will be one of eight new streets in a North York neighborhood. That same neighborhood will now also have Champions Road, which planners say will “serve as a reminder of the rewards of hard work, dedication and passion” for the Raptors’ 2019 Championship.