Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on the first two Late Game Situations posts. They have been very successful as I received almost 350 total views combined!
With that said here is another scenario for you to think about.
With 1:08 remaining in the game, Team B has the ball and is down 73-67. Team A has four timeouts and Team B has one timeout. Both teams are in the bonus.
Team B runs offense and sets a ball screen at the 3pt line and Team A goes under the screen. Team B hits a 3pt shot with 1:01 remaining, to make it a one possession game at 73-70. Team A calls a timeout with :59 seconds remaining.
Team A runs offense but is forced to take a 26 foot desperation 3pt shot with :01 second on the shot clock and :30 left in the game. Team A rebounds the miss, but Team B forces a jumpball. Alternating possession gives the ball to Team B with :26 seconds remain in the game.
Team B calls a timeout with :26 seconds remaining. Team B now has no timeouts remaining.
After the timeout, Team A presses Team B. Team B breaks the press but misses an uncontested 3pt field goal attempt with :18 seconds remaining. The loose ball ends up going out-of-bounds by Team B with 14.8 seconds remaining.
Team A calls a timeout and now have 2 timeouts remaining.
Team A inbounds the ball at their defensive foul line extended. Team A turns the ball over on the inbound pass. Team B steals the ball about 50 feet from their basket. Team B quickly dribbles to the 3pt line and shoots an uncontested 3pt shot with 12.4 seconds remaining. The 3pt shot misses and Team A rebounds the ball. Team A eventually throws the ball down the court to try to get a fastbreak layup, but a player for Team A drops the ball out-of-bounds with 3.5 seconds remaining.
Team B has to inbound the ball at their defensive baseline.
Team A calls a timeout and now has 1 remaining.
Team B throws the ball to half court. The player at half court for Team B tries to make another pass to their teammate but the ball goes out of bounds to end the game.
In my opinion, Team A made a tremendous amount of mistakes. Any one of these could have cost Team A the game:
1. With 1:08 remaining Team A should have come over the top of the ball screen at least. I personally would have switched and made them throw it back for a hi/lo opportunity or a drive to the rim. Either way giving up a 3pt field goal in that situation, making the game a one possession game is an error.
2. I didn’t mind Team A using almost all of the shot clock, however, to launch a 3pt shot from that distance without really putting any pressure on the defense (because the guards were merely throwing the ball around the perimeter) is not . Instead, Team A should have attacked the rim during their possession and put the onus on the officials to call a foul.
3. As far as timeout management goes, as Team A’s head coach, I would have called one of their three timeouts after the offensive rebound to maintain possession. Instead, Team A’s head coach allowed Team B to tie them up and regain possession on the alternating possession arrow.
4. Yet another mistake Team A made was pressing Team B. First, Team A is not a pressing team (at all) which most likely made their players lose confidence. Secondly, Team A gave up an uncontested 3pt field goal attempt fairly easy.
5. Another mistake Team A made was when they turned the ball over with 12.4 seconds left to Team B. If Team A could not easily inbound the ball and wait to be fouled, they should have called a timeout. Instead Team A turned the ball over.
6. Upon this turnover, Team A easily could have fouled to prevent the game tying 3pt field goal attempt. Once again, Team A failed to do so.
7. Team A made yet another mistake by throwing the ball down the court after the previously mentioned 3pt miss. Team B clearly had to foul Team A to stop the clock, so this turnover by Team A gave Team B yet another possession to try to tie the game up with 3.5 seconds remaining.
8. In addition, to make matters worse, Team A called a timeout after the previously mentioned turnover to allow Team B to set up a last second full-court play. I understand setting your defense, but once again, I would have had fouled Team B in this instance to not allow another potential 3pt field goal attempt.
All-in-all, I felt that Team A did a very poor job with timeout management, foul management, shot clock management and taking care of the ball. It seems that Team A did just about everything wrong, IN ALL ASPECTS, but still won despite these near fatal errors.
Please comment below and give your take on this late game scenario and how you would have coached it. I appreciate all of your responses and feedback. I have done my best to explain the situation, but if there are any other factors that would impact your decision, I will be happy to retrieve them for you.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo