Late Game Situation (#3) set the blog’s all-time high for visits on the blog, recording almost 300 in one day! Thank you for all your contributions. I encourage all of you to leave a response with any feedback. Your sharing will help us all develop.
So without further ado…
Team A has one time out remaining and has only committed five team fouls. Team B has two timeouts and has committed seven team fouls. Team A is down three points and defensive rebounds the ball with 2:00 remaining in the contest.
Team A gets to the rim and coverts the “And 1” to tie the game up with 1:37 remaining.
While running offense (drive and kick action), Team B turns the ball over with 1:15 remaining.
A player for Team A rebounds the ball and goes coast-to-coast, drawing a two-shot foul with 1:10 remaining. The 86% free throw shooter, misses the first free throw attempt and converts the second free throw attempt, giving Team A a one-point lead.
Team A does not press. Team B inbounds the ball and with 57.3 seconds in the game (and 24 seconds on the shot clock), Team B hits a flare screen 3pt shot to give Team B a two-point lead.
Team A responds by attacking the rim immediately but the layup attempt is blocked out-of-bounds with 46.3 seconds remaining in the game (24 seconds on the shot clock).
Upon inbounds the ball, Team A commits a travelling violation trying to attack the rim with 41.9 seconds left in the game and a 6.9 second differential in the shot clock.
Team B inbounds the ball from their defensive baseline. Team A elects not to press. Team B takes a shot attacking the rim with 15.4 seconds remaining (9 seconds on shot clock).
Team A rebounds the ball, pitches it ahead and attacks the rim. Team A is fouled with 8.7 seconds remaining. Team B calls a timeout to ice the shooter. Team B now has one timeout remaining.
Team A misses the first free throw attempt and makes the second, to make it a one-point game. Team A then takes its last timeout.
Team B inbounds the ball. Team A face guards and switches all screens to pressure the inbound pass. Team A fouls Team B with 5.1 seconds left, this however, is only their 6th team foul.
Team B calls its last timeout.
Team B inbounds the ball on their defensive baseline and is fouled by Team A with 4.7 remaining. Team B now goes to the far court to shoot a one-and-one, still up by one point.
Team B misses the front end of the one-and-one. Team A pushes the ball and takes a runner from 24 feet as time expires. The shot misses and Team B wins by one point.
All-in-all, I like how these last two minutes played out. Both teams attacked the rim when they could and Team B made a critical uncontested 3pt shot that was a set play.
Obviously if Team A makes another free throw or two, they would have had a chance to win outright. That, of course, was not the case.
Instead Team A had to take a 24 foot 3pt runner as time expired. This was not a bad shot considering they had to go the length of the floor in 4.7 seconds. However, if Team A had not wasted a critical 3.6 seconds on the inbounds pass with 8.7 seconds remaining, they may have had a chance to win the game. If this time was not wasted, Team A may have been able to get one or two more dribbles which may have allowed them to get to the rim for a layup or fouled on the last shot attempt.
The only other way Team A could have saved some time was if they had fouled a little earlier so they did not have to waste four seconds (8.7 seconds to 4.7 seconds) fouling.
One other portion of this situation that is up for debate is Team B taking a timeout with 5.1 seconds left. Obviously Team B was concerned with getting the ball inbounded and wanted to be organized. The only downside to doing so gave Team A a chance to talk strategy on based upon what was going to happen at the free throw line. I am sure that Team B’s coaching staff was also speaking with their players and instructing them what to do if their player had made one or both of the free throws.
I did like Team A’s effort to go two-for-one, however, they travelled with 41.9 seconds left. Despite the poor execution going early in the shot cloack and trying to get a two-for-one was the right play because it was done going to the rim and it would have given them the ball back late in the game.
Another subtle coaching move occurred at the foul line. Team B iced Team A’s shooter with 8.7 seconds left. Team B also rearranged some personnel on the lane line before the shooter received the ball from the official to make the shooter wait even more. A great stall tactic.
All-in-all, I thought it was well played by both sides.
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