AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The NBA has tried to eliminate Hack-a-Shaq strategies in the final two minutes, but the league has left the door open for some usage.
The Clippers burst right in last night.
The Clippers trailed the Pistons by four points with 25.5 seconds left when Jamal Crawford went to the line for two free throws. Crawford made the first, and then the Clippers set out to foul Andre Drummond by any means necessary on the second.
Austin Rivers was supposed to commit the foul, but Andre Drummond kept switching to Blake Griffin‘s side of the lane. With the Clippers not wanting to draw a Markieff Morris-style delay of game, J.J. Redick volunteered to commit the foul.
The key: Redick had to foul Drummond while the ball was in the air. That way, it’s a loose-ball foul with Drummond involved in the play as a potential rebounder – and not subject to the last-two-minute rules for fouling away from the play. Otherwise, Drummond would’ve gotten two free throws, and the Pistons would’ve kept the ball.
So, Redick jumped on Drummond’s back like he wanted a ride. A close-up:
“They kind of hesitated to blow the whistle, and as I was hanging there, that kind of felt silly,” Redick said.
Redick surely felt better when, despite not blowing a whistle until after Crawford’s free throw went through the net, the officials deemed it a loose-ball foul.
Drummond split his free throws, leaving Detroit up just three, and Redick nailed the game-tying 3-pointer (on a nice pass from Blake Griffin):
The Clippers won in overtime on a Jamal Crawford 3-pointer, a victory that wouldn’t have been possible without Redick’s ridiculous-looking but very important foul.