Thursday, June 20th, 2013 at 10:10 am  |  33 responses

Gregg Popovich Illegally Substituted Tim Duncan in Game 6

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich came under fire for his late-game management as the Miami Heat rallied to win Game 6 103-100. Pop got away with an illegal substitution for Tim Duncan (who he controversially sat down at crunch time) after Ray Allen drilled a game-tying three to force overtime. Per the Palm Beach Post: “Wednesday, the NBA confirmed that Gregg Popovich should not have been allowed to substitute Tim Duncan for Boris Diaw as the officials reviewed Ray Allen’s 3-point attempt to make sure Allen’s foot was behind the line. If the officials had caught the substitution error, it could have resulted in a technical foul, which might have given Miami a one-point lead prior to overtime. The Heat were aware of the mistake and, if they lost, could have filed a protest that — depending on how the league ruled — could would have created chaos, especially with the Spurs already crowned champions. When asked Wednesday whether he was under the impression he could substitute Duncan in that spot, Popovich answered a different question. ‘No,’ Popovich said. ‘I was upset because I wanted to take it out and go. There were five, whatever, seconds left on the clock. He just made it. That’s one of the great times when you can push the basketball against another team. They don’t want to foul. The game is tied. Oftentimes, you’ll see somebody go right to the hole. Get a foul or a layup. And that was taken away with the review.’ A league official confirmed that Popovich had no say, by league rules, in whether the officials review a play. ‘I was told afterwards somebody threw something on the floor there also, and they had to stop it for that,’ Popovich said. ‘I don’t know if that’s true or not. But we wanted to take it and go. And that’s why I was upset.’”

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  • JoeMaMa

    Best not to second guess his decisions. He’s won 4 championships and is considered the cream of the crop. Miami did the hero thing to come back – simple as that.

  • TV63

    It didn’t matter anyway so why are these sports analyst crying? Like Heat didn’t get away with fouls that weren’t called. Shut up already.

  • Dev

    Interesting Story

  • Ugh

    The league hasn’t awarded a win under protest conditions since 1897.

  • Max

    Holy cow, could you imagine the Spurs winning it, celebrating and everything, Stern intervieuw and stuff, and the they file the protest?

  • Max

    Yup, they’ve done it all year and would’ve been champions had Manu or Kawhi made 1 more ft/ the Heat wouldn’t have had a lucky boune after their miss.

  • pposse

    Pop has a point, why did they bother reviewing that three pointer from Ray Allen. Refs have to use some common sense sometimes. Aren’t they supposed to review the shot at the next dead ball?

    Its hard as hell to draw up a play to score in 5 seconds when you have to in bound the ball on the other end of the court AND the defense is set. That’s why they changed that rule and you can advance the ball to half court on timeouts. Refs are clueless they took away a great opportunity from the Spurs and now Tim Duncan being illegally subsituted is the headline c’mon now.

  • RayJr

    Per NBA.com:


    a. During the first three periods of a game, any review of a 2-point/3-point field goal must be conducted at the next timeout or period break.

    b. In the fourth period of a game, any review of a 2-point/3-point field goal occurring prior to the third full (mandatory) timeout must be conducted at the next timeout.

    c. Following the third full timeout of the fourth period and during any overtime period(s), any review of a 2-point/3-point must be conducted at the next clock stoppage–including immediately upon a made basket when the clock stops in the final two minutes of a game. For this purpose, “immediately” means prior to the ball being touched inbounds on the play following the successful shot.

    So the refs did have the right to review immediately after Ray’s shot.

  • spit hot fiyah

    that would be the craziest. take the trophy back and replay game 6? the internet would probably turn into a black hole and implode.

  • spit hot fiyah

    pop is under fire? how about the refs missing such a thing? they should be under fire.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    if there was an item on the floor, they didn’t miss anything.

  • pposse

    that rule needs to change; that completely disrupted the flow of the game. This is why i’m saying that the refs need to use common sense. I mean the replay isn’t going anywhere, its still going to be there after the game clock goes to 0; just wait it out, and on top of all that that was clearly a three pointer. Stevie Wonder seen that. Why review it to begin with??

  • Dfrance

    It has to be done immediately. Say they don’t review it right away, the Spurs go down and miss, buzzer sounds. They review it and it was only a 2 pointer, Miami loses and the Spurs walk off with the trophy??? Just like that?

  • pposse

    yeah i guess your right, right before your wrote that response i thought of that scenario too.

    its just unfortunate. I understand Pop’s frustration. The gameplan for the spurs has been to push it on Heat made shots all series long and it worked and that opportunity presented itself in the most critical part of the game for the Spurs, but then vanished because of the replay rule.

  • Trawww

    That’s how the Spurs won in 2007. (vs Suns)

    Suspended who? Diaw, Stoudemire, Horry and Marion if I remembered correctly.

    Good one, David Stern, robbing Nash of a chance for the chip.

    See, the NBA is rigged and referees still be betting on games.

  • spit hot fiyah

    u can sub if they blow the whistle for an item being on the floor?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i thought you meant them stopping play. because they aren’t supposed to be able to stop play just for a review of a scoring play.

  • spit hot fiyah

    no i was referring to the refs letting pop sub when he shouldn’t have been able to

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no doubt, in that case, i totally agree. this mistake is more on them than it is on him.

  • RayJr

    I agree with you on the flow getting disrupted, but I think it’s harder to change the score if they have to review it after the game clock goes to zero. I’m sure the NBA wants the score to be final as soon as the time has expired because changing a score after that would cause a lot of controversy.

  • ThaWindy

    That’s not the only time the refs stop play for no reason. Both teams had no timeouts if I remember. So why the stoppage after Allen’s 3?…..

  • danpowers

    didnt only happen to them. these guys are professionals, they know the rules. if they dont have the discipline to follow the rules then thats their own fault and no reason to b*tch and wine about.

  • bike

    I’m glad it really wasn’t or isn’t an issue. That would have been totally f’d up if they hit SA with a tech at the end of a game like like and would have been epically f’d up if SA won and the Heat later protested it.

    Please, let’s move on now.

  • Max

    The stupid rigged theories would reach new heights.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    Agreed plus all the conspiracy theorists would have been all over the place if the Heat won the game by a controversial technical.

  • Zabbah

    Exactly. Those players should have known that to stand up from the bench would mean automatic ejection next game. It’s happened without fail. Why on earth would you think it wouldn’t happen to you now?
    And what exactly did they achieve by standing up and acting all tough. Dumbasses deserve that series loss. Not Steve Nash, but Stoudemire and the rest.

  • danpowers

    thats it. it happened a couple of years b4 in that knicks heat series. every player back then knew about that ruling so f*ck em lol

  • Jason

    sorry but your point makes completely no sense. Spurs had zero timeouts at that point, they actually called timeout and got bailed out by the refs because they wanted to review it. That was a Chris Webber moment. Spurs actually should have been called for 2 technical fouls at that moment

  • pposse

    who called a timeout? i didnt realize that since they had zero timeouts it has to go to replay right then and there. From my vantage point from my tv it was clear as night and day that ray ray hit a three pointer, no need to review the play. You can’t take that back, but if you’re the spurs you don’t want push the ball and try and catch the Heat sleeping? or you want the refs to look at a replay to confirm the ray three pointer and give time for MIami to set their defense?

  • Jason

    This was your original quote:

    “Its hard as hell to draw up a play to score in 5 seconds when you have to in bound the ball on the other end of the court AND the defense is set. That’s why they changed that rule and you can advance the ball to half court on timeouts. Refs are clueless they took away a great opportunity from the Spurs and now Tim Duncan being illegally subsituted is the headline c’mon now.”

    That was what I was refering to, it seems that almost everyone forgot they had no timeouts. Im sorry but who said the Heat were sleeping after the Ray allen make? As Ginobli I think was getting ready to inbound, the Heat players were fully aware and ready for it.

    Im sorry but this is just another sad attempt for Heat Haters to come up with excuses and try create scenarios of how Spurs got screwed. Fact is they were up 5 with 20 seconds left and blew it. Everyone also is complaining that Ginobli got fouled in overtime, well the day after pretty much the whole basketball public saw him take a blatent 4 steps (4 long steps not 3 even though the refs let players slide and take 3 steps now) which would have negated the play and be a turnover anyways.

  • Michael

    It was completely unfair to stop play and allow the defense to set up. That was unprecedented in playoff history if you ask me. The rule needs to be changed. The Spurs could have got a shot off in 5 seconds. In fact, Miami got one off at the end of the third quarter of Game 7 after a layup by Manu. No stoppage of play though because it was clearly a layup. What bs. The league wanted a game 7 and they got a game 7.

  • Zabbah

    It’s happened several times, not just that one knicks heat series. Several times.

  • Dcarf

    I believe the NBA is fixed to some degree, but if they took it back off of the protest there would really be no argument. The rules clearly state they couldn’t sub, they did, refs missed it, and especially if Duncan scored or set a pick they would have absolutely had to overturn it and replay from 5 seconds left.