• One Big Thing: Schrödinger’s Shot

    Stuck three. The clock reads 2.5 seconds. The inbounds pass is tipped on the way, but it lands in your hands with the clock ticking. Two dribbles and you rise up with Matt Barnes uncomfortably close. It’s a shot, yes, but not a true shot. Something between a jumper and a heave. It falls, and we’ve got overtime on tap.

    Unless, of course, we don’t.

    Have you heard of Erwin Schrödinger?

    Born in 1887, Schrödinger was a Nobel Prize winning physicist who specialized in quantum mechanics. He’s most famous for his thought experiment involving a cat in a box which he used to illustrate his issues with the idea of quantum superposition that supposes two quantum states can be added together and form a valid state.

    Essentially, our boy Erwin theoretically placed a cat in a box with some radioactive material and poison to show that superposition will have to succumb to one reality or another. If the idea of superposition holds, at one point the cat will be simultaneously alive and dead. Whether it’s either state depends on when you look in the box, but it doesn’t make sense that the cat can be both alive and dead at once.

    If that doesn’t make sense to you (especially the quantum stuff), don’t worry. In essence, the cat can’t be some weird in-between state of okay-ness. We won’t know what the true result is until we see for ourselves.

    Unless you’re in Secaucus. You can go back and declare a made shot as too late, despite all indications to the parties involved. The shot was both good and not good until we got final word from the replay center. Then we knew for sure, and it didn’t really jive with what we know about how the rules work.

    The ruling to simply deny Terrence Ross a game tying bucket and consider the game over is insane. For the sake of full disclosure, I am a Raptors fan. It doesn’t change the fact that the way the officials handled the final 2.4 seconds of action makes absolutely no sense.

    It’s deeply inconsistent with the rules as they’re administered throughout the rest of the game and calls into question a host of other practices that we often take for granted.

    At any other point in the game, when the clock doesn’t start on time the officials stop play and reset. The team with the ball simply throws it back in play with the correct time on the clock. Why is it that in this instance the Raptors were not afforded that reset? At bare minimum, they should be given those 2.4 seconds to operate.

    The replay center figured that the play took 2.5 seconds to complete and that the timekeeper error allowed it to unfold within the 2.4 that showed on the game clock. That’s totally fair and it seems nigh impossible that the league would somehow come up with and report an incorrect timeline of events. I have no doubts that the play took 2.5 seconds, and it speaks to the capabilities of the replay center that they can get the exact time on these kind of events.

    Though the fact that they could does beg the question- Why are the final two minutes more important than the rest of the game? I understand it’s about game flow, but there are probably a handful of seconds lost to similar errors throughout every game. When games can come down to a few tenths on the clock, that can add up in a big way. Clearly the game’s closing moments are considered “crunch time” and whatnot, but two points at the buzzer are worth the same as two points in the first quarter.

    Again, scrutinizing a semi-arbitrary time frame with far more intensity then the other 46 minutes of action is an issue of practicality; it just serves to underscore how odd the practices are in these situations, particularly when they’re bungled as badly as they were in Sacramento.

    Circling back, it also seems deeply unfair that Ross is penalized for the timekeeper’s mistake. While he may have seen the ball get tipped, he can only operate based on the clock he sees. To expect him to account for the errors of arena staff is unfair and to punish him for it only compounds the issue.

    There’s also the optics of a home team’s arena staff making errors that happen to result in the road team getting the short end of the stick. I absolutely do not believe that this was anything more than an honest mistake, though the precedent set by this call is a potentially dangerous one.

    Some conspiracy theories are floating around, but spare me the “NBA is anti-Canada” line of thinking. The idea that the league would actively try to hamper a team in one of its five largest markets, a conference finalist whose success has pushed basketball’s popularity to new heights in a whole separate country, to the benefit of one of its most dysfunctional franchises is completely asinine. Most conspiracy theories are.

    The Raptors will appeal, of course, but it won’t work. The idea of opening up an arena for 2.4 seconds is good for a chuckle but it really does seem like Toronto will have to accept a loss on this one. That’s suboptimal for their standings, obviously, but it’s bigger than that.

    It’s not about whether he makes or misses on another attempt. It’s about the inconsistent and curious process that the NBA chose to follow.

    Ross made the shot. The cat was alright. The clock started late. The cat was not alright. It can’t be both, and it wasn’t. Everything was fine until they went to the headsets and we closed the box.

Fantasy News

  • Dewayne Dedmon
    C, Sacramento Kings

    Kings center Dewayne Dedmon’s days in Sacramento could be numbered as the February 6th trade deadline draws near, but there might be a chance for the two sides to salvage their relationship, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.

    The NBA fined Dedmon $50,000 after he went public with his trade demand in an interview a few weeks ago. The Kings reportedly would listen to offers for Dedmon, but they won’t agree to a deal unless it makes sense for the team. Dedmon has struggled to fit it with the Kings this year but recently returned to coach Luke Walton’s rotation due to injuries to Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III. He is still not getting enough minutes to become a fantasy contributor and a trade could have a positive effect for him.

    Source: The Sacramento Bee

  • Jacob Evans
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    The Warriors have recalled guard Jacob Evans from the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz on Tuesday.

    In 22 games with Golden State this season Evans is averaging 4.4 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 15.0 minutes per game. He is not a fantasy consideration as long as D'Angelo Russell is healthy.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Hassan Whiteside
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    The Blazers will entertain offers for center Hassan Whiteside and chances of him being dealt are at 50/50, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic.

    Whiteside is averaging 15.6 points (on 59.8 percent shooting), 14.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and a league-leading 3.0 blocks this season but that doesn’t make him untouchable. Big man Jusuf Nurkic is recovering and making positive strides from a devastating leg injury last season and there has been speculation that he could be back after the All-Star Game in February. Whiteside might turn out to be surplus to requirements upon Nurkic’s return, which makes selling high now a pretty attractive option.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Romeo Langford
    SG, Boston Celtics

    The Celtics have recalled Romeo Langford from the Maine Red Claws of the G League on Tuesday.

    The rookie has failed to gain any playing time with the Celtics and doesn’t belong to any roster in redraft leagues.

    Source: Chris Forsberg on Twitter

  • Josh Jackson
    SF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Third-year forward Josh Jackson might make his Grizzlies debut when the Grizzlies face the Suns on Tuesday.

    Jackson’s long-anticipated elevation comes in the wake of an injury to second-year wing player Grayson Allen, whom the team separately announced on Monday will be out indefinitely with a hip injury. The Grizzlies had grown satisfied with Jackson’s on- and off-court work but had been reluctant to bring him up without a clearer path to playing time. With Allen our and starting small forward Jae Crowder limited due to knee soreness, the time might have come for Jackson to play again. He deserves a speculative add in deeper leagues until we have a better idea about his role moving forward.

    Source: Daily Memphian

  • Donovan Mitchell
    SG, Utah Jazz

    Donovan Mitchell did his best to carry the Jazz in Monday's 117-126 loss to the Rockets with 36 points on 14-of-25 shooting to go with three boards, four assists, three steals and three 3-pointers.

    Mitchell tried to keep the Jazz in the game and the lack of numbers outside of scoring were due to the fact that no one on the Jazz had it going on offense besides him and Bojan Bogdanovic. The good news is that he kept up his efficiency with his high-volume scoring tonight. The rest of the stats will trickle in soon.

  • Rudy Gobert
    C, Utah Jazz

    Rudy Gobert double-doubled on Monday with 12 points and 14 rebounds to go with a steal and two blocks.

    Gobert did his best against a Rockets offense that sought to drag him out on the perimeter. He was still able to grab double-digit boards, but he didn't look comfortable all game against Houston's small ball lineups.

  • Joe Ingles
    SF, Utah Jazz

    Joe Ingles started on Monday, but his shot was off as he scored seven points on 2-of-8 shooting to go with two rebounds, six assists and a 3-pointer.

    Ingles drew the start again on Monday, but was off the mark with his shot again. He's getting enough minutes to keep up his top-100 play, but he just isn't producing as of now. He's worth holding on to for a few more games as he was too good prior to this stretch to let go of after a few bad nights. Mike Conley () had a decent stretch as well, but the bench role will severely limit his upside. It's hard to imagine a world where both players produce high level fantasy lines.

  • Bojan Bogdanovic
    SF, Utah Jazz

    Bojan Bogdanovic was one of the few Jazz players to hit any shots on Monday, scoring 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting to go with one rebound, two assists and seven 3-pointers.

    Bogdanovic was able to put up his usual scoring numbers alongside Donvoan Mitchell. He'll continue to be a solid source of points and triples.

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon drew the start on Monday and responded by setting a new career-high with 50 points on 14-of-22 shooting (16-of-20 FTs) to go with six rebounds, three assists, two steals, a block and six 3-pointers.

    Gordon was the trigger man tonight and did his best James Harden impersonation. The Jazz just couldn't stop him on the pick-and-roll dives and couple that with his hot shooting from deep and you have what may be his best game of the season. His value goes back to 3-point streaming specialist when the Rockets are healthy as Gordon usually doesn't handle the ball this much.