Gregg Popovich Illegally Substituted Tim Duncan in Game 6

by June 20, 2013

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.'”