With 12 seconds left, the shot clock off and his 76ers holding an eight-point lead over the Cavaliers, Dario Saric drove to the basket and scored.
Jordan Clarkson didn’t like that one bit.
The Cleveland guard threw the ball at Saric’s back and was immediately ejected. The technical free throw made the final score 108-97.
Clarkson, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
“If anybody say different, that they wouldn’t have did that, that they’d have did something different, or anything else, they lying,” Clarkson said. “Especially if it was at that (point — he said play) of the game. They know what’s up. That’s it.”
The Cavs were pressing in the backcourt on the play! How could Saric know Cleveland’s plan was to give up as soon as Philadelphia crossed halfcourt?
If he realized the defense had quit and hadn’t just been beaten, Saric probably shouldn’t have shot. I have no real outrage toward him either way, but we all know the common play is just to dribble the clock out when the trailing defense quits with the shot clock off.
But the 76ers were up just eight. Crazy comebacks can happen. I’d rather he take the safe two points if he had any doubt about the flow of the game. What if he looked back in the name of decorum, and the Cavaliers were still hustling, got a steal and used that to spark a comeback?
I get why Clarkson was mad. His team lost. But he’s wrong here.