The Knicks were trailing by three points late in Tuesday’s home contest against the Nets, and had gained possession of the ball with 17 seconds left.
As Carmelo Anthony dribbled it up the floor, Derek Fisher appeared to be signaling the closest referee that he wanted to call a 20-second timeout. But his request went ignored, Anthony missed a pull-up three-pointer, and New York suffered its 15th loss of the season.
One member of the referee crew said upon leaving the Garden: “We didn’t recognize it, because we didn’t see it.’’ …
“They said they didn’t see it, I can’t tell you what he did or didn’t see,’’ Fisher said. “I thought he was looking right at me. He said he didn’t see it though.’’…
“I thought it was a great look,’’ Anthony said. “I don’t know what the situation with the timeout was. I got the ball, I didn’t see anyone call a timeout. I kept it going. I didn’t want them to get a chance to set up, switch or trap. I had a clean one-on-one shot and I missed it.’’
This was an easily avoidable situation.
Fisher could have told his guys during a previous timeout that he wanted one if they had possession with a chance at a game-tying or game-winning shot, or he could have told them in a previous practice that he wants that to happen in 100 percent of these situations.
Fisher also could have attempted to get his player’s attention to call the timeout, instead of trying to get through to the official.
The reality, though, is that in this situation, giving the defense a chance to get set following a timeout is almost always going to result in a more difficult shot being attempted. Anthony got a pretty good look at a shot he’s more than capable of knocking down; it’s tough to envision some sorcery being conjured up by Fisher that would have legitimately improved Anthony’s chances.