The Grizzlies’ Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater Should Not Have Counted And Here’s Why

The Memphis Grizzles staged a furious comeback against the Sacramento Kings last night, erasing a 26-point deficit and winning on a Courtney Lee reverse lay-up with 0.3 seconds left. Or did they? Officials reviewed the play for five minutes and counted the basket. That was the wrong decision.

Here’s what they missed.

Ryan Hollins tipped the inbound pass.

He didn’t make much contact but enough to change the rotation of the ball. The Sacramento Kings announcers were ALL over it on replay but the review center completely ignored it.

“Back and to the left, back and to the left, back and to the left.”

Courtney Lee did NOT get the shot off in time.

Three tenths of a second is not a lot of time, certainly not enough to catch a ball and do a reverse layup. The Trent Tucker Rule is a bit outdated (and the interpretation has changed) but let’s revisit it briefly.

The game clock and shot clock must show :00.3 or more in order for a player to secure possession of the ball on a rebound or throw-in to attempt a field goal. Instant replay shall be utilized if the basket is successful on this type of play and the game clock runs to 0:00 or the shot clock expires on a made basket and the officials are not reasonably certain that the ball was released prior to the expiration of the shot clock. The only type of field goal which may be scored if the game clock and shot clock are at :00.2 or :00.1 is a “tip-in” or “high lob.”

Now, allow me to get nerdy on you for a moment (I briefly talked about it on Twitter).

Here are the 13 frames.

Now, it’s questionable as to whether Lee’s touching the ball in the 13th frame. Even if we eliminate that, it’s 0.4 seconds, a full one tenth of a second longer than the time on the clock.

So yes, the Kings got screwed and they got screwed hard by an NBA replay system that’s frankly not up to date.

There’s NO reason why someone like me can do this and the NBA can’t. Shame on them.