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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Refs Overturn Brad Miller’s Buzzer Beater to Beat Nuggets, Wrong Call

It didn’t take long for us to have one of the first shot clock millisecond instant review plays of the year. With the Bulls down by a point against the Nuggets and 0.6 0.3 seconds left on the clock, Chicago inbounded the ball to Brad Miller who did a super-quick catch and release. Miller’s shot at the buzzer went in and the Bulls celebrated what appeared to be a game-winning shot. The entire United Center was in a frenzy thinking the Bulls had just won the game. That was until the refs intervened and overturned the play. Here’s video of Brad Miller’s buzzer beater against the Nuggets:

Here’s my take on the event, and it probably won’t be popular with anyone outside of Bulls fans. I think there comes a point where instant replay intervenes too much with the judgment of the naked eye. Replay of this play to me didn’t produce overwhelmingly conclusive evidence that Miller released the shot after the buzzer. When it comes to a millisecond as it did here, I think you have to give it to the guy. In the same way that the tie goes to the runner in baseball, if there’s a tie like this and the guy actually made the shot, I think you have to give it to him.

Now if you want to complain about a guy having the opportunity to win the game with 0.6 0.3 seconds left, blame it on the rule that allows teams to advance the ball half the court simply by calling a timeout — now that’s a problem. But when there’s ties like this and it becomes a matter of hundredths of a second, you have to give it to the guy for doing the impossible — making that super tough, clutch shot. Much like the challenge calls in tennis, sometimes technology has its weaknesses (the tennis replays include the full diameter of the ball, not just the spot where it hit the surface); one hundredth of a second is too picky to overturn. If the stadium operator started the clock one hundredth of a second too early then it makes Miller’s shot one hundredth of a second after the buzzer. You know what I mean?

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