Blog Entry

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

Posted on: December 30, 2009 11:16 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2009 12:20 am

The Atlanta Hawks plan to file a game protest after the shot clock failed to reset in the final two minutes of their 106-101 loss in Cleveland on Wednesday night.

After Cleveland's Mo Williams shot an air ball with 1:56 left and the Cavs trailing 99-98, the Cleveland scoring crew failed to reset the shot clock to 24 seconds. Mike Bibby dribbled across halfcourt and passed to Josh Smith, who lost the ball in the lane as the abbreviated shot clock was winding down. The Cavs went back the other way and scored on Anderson Varejao's putback of a Williams miss to take a 100-99 lead with 1:31 left. The Cavs eventually won on Varejao's first career 3-pointer, which made it 104-101 with 17.2 seconds left. The shot was reviewed and correctly upheld via replay, which confirmed that Varejao had both feet behind the 3-point line.

UPDATE: Here's the YouTube clip of the shot-clock sequence so you can decide for yourself whether the Hawks have a case.

The Hawks were involved in the rare instance when a game protest was granted by the league office stemming from their 117-111 overtime victory over Miami on Dec. 19, 2007. Commissioner David Stern found that the Hawks' scoring crew had incorrectly disqualified Miami's Shaquille O'Neal for his sixth personal foul, when in fact, it was only his fifth. The teams had to replay the final 51.9 seconds of the game, and the Hawks were fined $50,000 for violating NBA rules.

The teams replayed the end of the protested game on March 8, 2008 -- without O'Neal, who'd been traded to Phoenix by that point. Neither team scored in the replayed 51.9 seconds, and it went in the books as a 114-111 Atlanta victory.

It was the first game protest granted by the NBA since 1982.

Teams protesting regular season games have 48 hours to file the protest with the league office. The other team then has five business days to contest the protest, and the league office has five business days from that point to render a decision, according to NBA procedures. As in the Hawks-Heat scenario, if the protest is granted, the remedy would be to replay the end of the game from the point when the scoring error occurred.

UPDATE: It's difficult to predict how the NBA will handle this protest, but the Hawks clearly have an uphill battle considering how rarely they are granted.

The league came down on the Hawks for the O'Neal situation, in part, because the error was not corrected once the stat crew pointed it out. On one hand, the shot-clock sequence Wednesday night came at a critical juncture in the game -- the very moment when momentum swung to the Cavs' favor. On the other, it seems unrealistic to think that possession could change nearly 200 times in a basketball game without some type of clock error. And in this case, the Hawks would've had a better case if they'd gotten off a quality shot on the trip in question. Smith simply lost the ball in traffic, and it wasn't evident that he was in a hurry or was even aware of the shot clock situation. 

The NBA clearly doesn't want to open the floodgates for protests that would muddle the schedule with do-overs. But with awareness so high about getting every call correct, it's hard to ignore an error that very well might have affected the outcome of a game.


Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2010 3:12 am

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

I don't think they will do anything, even though something should be done about this, they just wanted LeBron to win on his birthday, I don't think the refs ever went this far to help Kobe.

Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2009 10:51 pm

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

its the officials' job to officiate the game. as a fan, I can accept a personal foul here and there, maybe a tech, etc. All that is subjective. But this was just plain wrong. They never reset the game clock. Whether that affected the game, I don't know. You could say the Hawks should have just manned up and kept playing, or that the Cavs got an OBVIOUS call in a close game. Still this should never happen. All those refs on that night should be fired immediately. They blew a very basic aspect of their game.
If I was working at my job, as an attorney, and forgot to file a brief on time, I get canned. Bottom line. This officiating crew blew it and embarrassed the league. They have to go.

Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2009 5:20 pm

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

It definetly had an impact. If you don't think these guys did not recognize the shot clock ticking down then dream on. Was it hometown cooking or just incompetence? The problem I have with the NBA  though is the way superstars are protected such as Lebron James. In one play he lowers a shoulder into a stationary Josh Smith and Smith is called for a foul. This used to irk me with Jordan. The NBA would be much better if they would apply the rulebook as stated and not add to it.

Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2009 3:18 pm

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

waaaahhhh waaahhhh the haters and crybaby's are out in full force...bballfan goes on to suggest that if the game was in Atl, wait it was, the night before, and what happened there, thats right the Cavs dominated when it mattered, but yea he suggests that if in Atl, the game wouldve been stopped and the Hawks given a full shot clock and subsequently scored and won END OF STORY...riiigghhht, bballfan, you're telling me that the team that didnt score a single point in the first 9 minutes of the 4th quarter the night before and that blew a 17pt lead in this game, would then have scored on that set guaranteed and won the game END OF STORY??? riiiiggghhhttt, and miamivice, its not surprising to see you hating on the Cavs every chance you get since your team isn't relevant anymore, boo hoo for you!!! LOL!!!! LOL!!!! LOL!!!

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2009 2:37 pm

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

You are sick of the Cavs getting calls because of Lebron.  Well i'm sick of every other team making excuses and saying "Lebron got all the calls thats why we lost".  Hell even Kobe and Phil Jackson were pulling that card after their team was out played for 48 minutes.  Don't blow a 17 point lead and your team doesn't have this problem.  I will not apologize for Lebron getting calls.  Every NBA star gets them and Cleveland #1 has never had an NBA star before Lebron and #2 havn't had a star player in general since Jim Brown.  I had to live with Jordan getting every call and beating the Cavs every year in the playoffs and your gonna have to deal with Lebron getting calls his way.    

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2009 2:21 pm

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

Just watched the video and there is NO WAY the Hawks should win this protest.  They were running a normal paced set offense on their end of the floor and clearly were not rushing anything.  They assumed the shot clock was running as normal.  There were no violations called and it was flat out a mishandled ball which gave the ball back to Cleveland.  Hawks fans and coaches and players should all stop whining about it if they are.  Face it, the players did not execute.  Don't blame it on the clock when it's obvious the players on the court did not even notice.

However, something SHOULD be done to the person who was in charge of running the shot clock.  Fine, suspension....whatever.  That cannot be tolerated in the NBA.

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: December 31, 2009 1:49 pm

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

Wow, the crybaby factor is at an alltime high on these boards.

Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2009 1:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 9, 2007
Posted on: December 31, 2009 12:20 pm

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

Wow dude, that's one of the stupider things i've heard in a while. There's 1:40 left in the game and you think the first thing they look at when they come up the court is the shot clock? No, the point guard i looking for open players to make a shot. Obviously Bibby can't anticipate something like this happening. Must be a Cavaliers fan. I'm sick and tired of the Cavs getting calls just because Lebron is on their team. If this was at any other arena, the shot clock would've been reset and the Hawks would've won. End of Story.

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2009 5:53 am

Hawks plan to protest shot clock error (UPDATE)

There was clearly a shot clock error but it did not change the complexion  of the game.  The Hawks turned the ball over on a sloppy play.  The coach then tried to blame the shot clock to erase their mistake.  The Hawks were not rushing a shot to beat the shot clock!  Smith was driving to the basket and lost the ball, period.  I can see if they rushed a shot based on the clock but they clearly did not.  The were running their one-on-one offense they used the entire game and lost the ball.

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