Tuesday night in Portland the Trail Blazers are hosting the Boston Celtics and late in the second quarter were losing to the visitors 44-38. But they got a late first half basket using six players on the court.
A video clip of this has been added below (scroll down).
With 10 seconds left in the half, Portland took a 20-second timeout. A Blazers substitution brought Jerryd Bayless into the game. Greg Oden was supposed to leave the game, but he didn’t.
So, after the timeout, Bayless inbounded the basketball to Steve Blake. With time ticking down, Blake lobbed it down to Oden outside the left paint near the rim, who quickly flipped it to Travis Outlaw on the right side of the paint, who threw down an open dunk.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez were also on the court for the Blazers, giving them six players versus Boston’s five.
At this point I’m leering at the 200-inch 1080P 120mhz InsideHoops.com home office HD LCD television (valued at $75,000) and laughing.
On the court for the Celtics was their starting lineup: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins
Before Blake threw the pass, Kevin Garnett was guarding Aldridge at the left free throw corner. Oden was unguarded behind KG near the basket just outside the left paint. When Garnett spotted Oden he yelled/motioned for help (or was yelling that there are six Blazers men on the floor). Perkins, who was around the right side of the paint, responded.
Perkins switched over to guard Oden as Blake lobbed it inside, so Oden quickly flipped it to the now wide-open Outlaw, who crammed home the easy dunk with 3 seconds left, making it 44-40.
InsideHoops.com is 95 percent certain it was Oden who should have come out.
The Celtics went wild protesting. But the amazing result was that the referees, who did not notice the problem until after the dunk, actually counted the basket for the Blazers but issued a technical foul on them, putting Ray Allen on the line for a free throw, which he hit, putting Boston up 45-40, the score going into halftime.
Is this the rule? Did the referees handle this correctly? If so, the Blazers actually benefitted from this!
What if a team intentionally put six men on the floor, almost always scored as a result, and only gives up a single technical foul free throw each time. Right? Of course, that would only work if they managed to score before the refs noticed there were too many players on the court, so they’d have to get it done very quickly before the tech gets called. It could work, for a few plays every now and then!
This was wild.
–InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner
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