According to the NBA rulebook, you can apparently grab a rebound, call timeout, and get off a last second shot.
At the end of last night’s Bulls-Nuggets game, Chauncey Billups intentionally missed a free throw with .6 seconds left and the Nuggets up by one. Joakim Noah grabbed the rebound, and the Bulls were able to call timeout.
According to the NBA rulebook, “NO LESS THAN: 00.3 must expire on the game clock when a player secures possession of an unsuccessful free throw attempt and immediately requests a timeout” (page 57 in the rulebook).
I’m guessing either one of the Bulls coaches or players told the refs that they wanted a timeout if they got the rebound, because looking at the replay, it doesn’t look like anyone on the court is able to make the timeout call that quickly.
So the call for the clock to be set to :00.3 was correct. The other time issue people seemed to be confused about was how much time must be on the clock for a player to attempt a regular field goal, and not have to go for a tip-in.
Also on page 57 of the rulebook, it states, “The game 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.” There seemed to be confusion over whether the rule is :00.4 seconds or :00.3. Again, the correct call was made.
Finally, did Miller get rid of the ball in time or not? From the overhead camera, it appears his fingertips were still on the ball when time ran out, but its not completely clear. But according to the NBA rulebook, the question of whether or not he got rid of the ball in time was the only referee decision that could be questioned at the end of the game.
For once, let’s give the refs credit for correctly making some tough end of the game calls.
On a side note, how frustrated is Chauncey Billups if Miller gets that shot off before time expires?
Billups intentionally missed his second free throw, which would have put the Nuggets up by 2, figuring time would run out on the rebound.
Say he makes the free throw, the Bulls call timeout, and run the same play. Miller’s foot is inside of the three point line. If Billups had made the free throw, and Miller’s shot counted, the game would have gone to overtime.
If Miller’s shot counted after Billups missed the free throw, the Bulls would have won because Billups did what anyone would have done in that situation- assumed the .6 seconds would run off the clock if he missed the free throw.That would have been a very frustrating way for the Nuggets to lose their third game in a row. Instead, they escape Chicago with a win and push their Northwest Division leading record to 6-2.