As one of the few defenders of the 5 year, $40 million extension for Mike Conley and an NBA league pass subscriber, it is not uncommon for me to spend an idle Tuesday watching the Memphis Grizzlies. I even once spent $240 for 4th row tickets to see the Grizz live while stopping over in Memphis en route to lose a bunch of money playing Blackjack in Tunica, MS. Imagine my delight when I witnessed the mighty Grizz hand the Lakers their 3rd loss in a row on Tuesday, and Mike Conley having one of the better games of his career, going 10-13 for 28 points and...3 assists. Ok, so maybe he won't be mentioned in any Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams debates anytime soon, but considering one of the freshmen in his class at Ohio State is STILL PLAYING AT OHIO STATE, I'd say there's some tremendous upside potential there.
All of this is unnecessary background for what I call Schmucko's shot clock theory. With about 28 seconds left in the Lakers/Grizz game, the Grizz rebounded a ball with a 2 point lead. A lot of times, the losing team in this situation would foul, hoping to extend the game, and not wanting to risk having little to no time left once they get possession. The Lakers instead decided not to foul because they figured they would play defense and hopefully get the ball back with 3-4 seconds left for a final chance to tie or win the game.
Unfortunately, the Grizz make Andy Reid look like John T. Reed when it comes to clock management. A few weeks ago, they blew a 4 point lead with 3 seconds left to the Phoenix Suns, which included an unintentional made free throw by Rudy Gay. In this case, instead of playing the clock down to a few seconds, the 40 million dollar man drove the lane with 10 seconds left, turned the ball over, and the Lakers had a semi-fast break going to possibly tie or win the game. Fortunately for the Grizz, the ball ended up in Ron Artest's hands and he was blocked by Gay at the buzzer, ensuring that The Mike Conley Game would live on.
Here's how Schmucko's shot clock theory could've easily prevented any of this from happening. Let's say Conley dribbled the ball down to 1 second on the shot clock (5 on the game clock): What is to stop him from then arcing the ball super high in the air (while still aiming for the rim), which would run the remainder of the time off the clock? By the time the ball either hits the rim or goes into the stands for a 24 second violation, the game would be over as the game clock does not stop until the ball hits the ground. I've never seen a team do this but also don't believe there is any rule against it. As long as a shot is attempted, the refs can't rule that there was any funny business (Section II, Article j). Of course, if this was successfully achieved, teams would realize that they'd have to foul early in the shot clock and it'd never happen again. But until then, any NBA player or coach reading this can feel free to be the first and last tester of my theory, and all I ask is that you make a guest post on Negative Dunkalectics if it works. I'm looking at you, Landry Fields.