The NBA has officially gone zero days without any controversy. The ending to Game 6 between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat was a wild one. With Miami leading by one point with 3.0 seconds remaining, Marcus Smart attempted a tough 3-pointer. It missed, but Derrick White was there with just enough time to put it back in. The result was a stunning win for Boston to force Game 7.
However, there was a bit of an issue surrounding that final shot. In particular, Heat fans were upset about the time left during that final possession. Prior to the game-winner, Al Horford fouled Jimmy Butler on a 3-point shot. However, the Celtics challenged the call. Initially, the clock stopped at 2.1 seconds. After returning from the review, though, officials set the clock to 3.0 seconds. Fans were naturally irate at the change, but Rob Perez showed an explanation for the additional time.
For everyone curious why the refs changed the clock from 2.1 to 3.0 after the Jimmy Butler foul, here’s how they came to the conclusion via the NBA Replay Center Feed:https://t.co/15sANteOlG pic.twitter.com/XjQmD46adT
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 28, 2023
Usually, officials reset the clock to the moment the referee blew his whistle. That would've shaved off less than half of a second. Anything less than 3.0 seconds left, and Derrick White would not have won the game for the Celtics. This upset some NBA and Heat fans since officials added extra time seemingly out of nowhere.
However, what likely happened is that the review that the Celtics triggered also allowed the referees to review when the foul occurred. The video shows that Butler was fouled at around the 3.0-second mark. Still, some Heat fans argue that the foul occurred with 2.8 seconds remaining, which still would've nullified White's game-winner.
Missed calls are unfortunately part of the game. Referees are human, after all, and you can't expect them to make a precise call all the time. It would've been better if the Heat did not get themselves in this situation.