Even though Paul Pierce, who had just hit what he figured was the game-winning shot with .4 seconds left, was in a state of shock after Amar’e Stoudemire drilled a deep three at the buzzer that seemingly gave the Knicks the win, the large majority of the people on the floor knew it wasn’t good. Rajon Rondo was standing under the basket looking at the lights go off for the final buzzer. Doc Rivers was pretty certain, but he double-checked with the Knicks radio team for confirmation. “They said it was no good,” Rivers said. “So I thought we were in good shape.” There was practically no way Stoudemire could get that shot off with so little time.
But last night, while the media scrum was waiting on Rivers’ postgame interview, Matt Moore from CBS Sports brought up an interesting point. How much time was left when Pierce hit his shot? The clocked stopped at 0.4 seconds, but even a fraction’s difference meant that Stoudemire’s shot could have counted. After looking at replays, Moore argues that there were at least 0.6 seconds and possibly 0.8 seconds left on the clock when Pierce drilled his shot, which meant Stoudemire’s shot probably should have counted.
UPDATE 10:41 p.m. EST: A league spokesman for the NBA informs CBSSports.com that there was no “trigger” that occurred which would allow a review of Pierce’s game winner, which meant that it stood as called. So that explains that. We’ll have more on the trigger rules later.
UPDATE 11:22 p.m. EST: For what it’s worth, a New York (yes, I hear you Celtics fans) media producer says he timed Amar’e Stoudemire’s shot and it came out to .68 seconds . He claims that Pierce’s shot was through at .7 as well .
It’s a fair argument, but as Red’s Army points out, it’s probably more valid if this would have been the clock operator at the TD Garden not MSG.
[via Red’s Army]