It was an odd scene at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday for Game 1 between the Raptors and the Nets, and an embarrassing one for a franchise that hasn’t made it to the postseason since 2008.
The shot clocks in the arena all failed midway through the third quarter, and attempts to place backup ones in the corners of the court as is customary when this happens were similarly unsuccessful.
That led to some awkward moments.
The public address announcer, flanked by a man with a stopwatch and an air horn (seriously), was forced to count down the remaining seconds on each possession, and then say “HORN!” when time had run out. Kyle Lowry hit a three to beat the third quarter buzzer, but with the clock off and the red light surrounding the basket not working, officials had to go to the video replay and listen to see if the shot beat the sound of the horn (and it did).
Raptors officials promise to have things fixed in time for Game 2 on Tuesday.
On a day that turned public address announcer Herbie Kuhn into something of a human stopwatch, the 15-year-old building wasn’t up to snuff.
As a result of what team officials called a “signal path failure,” the 24-second clocks and game clocks above both baskets broke down midway through the third quarter of Toronto’s 94-87 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. …
“New cables will be run (later Saturday and Sunday) to ensure no issues arise on Tuesday, and the NBA will inspect both the fixed and backup systems for Game 2,” according to a short statement from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Kuhn declined comment.
It was a strange situation, especially considering the magnitude of the opening game of the playoffs. Players admitted to bing affected by it afterward, but Paul Pierce — who was the subject of a Toronto newspaper’s jab at his age — used the opportunity to jab right back.
“I don’t remember if I’ve ever played (in a game without a clock) since I’m a dinosaur,” he said.