The Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards helped reignite the national conversation about unwritten rules in sports on Sunday evening. The Warriors beat the Wizards 139-115. Brandon Jennings shoved JaVale McGee as he attempted a 3-pointer late in the game with the shot clock running down.
The game was delayed while the players discussed etiquette and Jennings was given a Flagrant-1. After the game, everybody had an opinion. Via ESPN:
“It was very disrespectful,” Jennings said. “Thank God he didn’t go to the rack, it probably would have been worse for him. But any time like that, I think you should let [the] clock run out. I think it was already disrespectful that they were trying to get Draymond a triple-double, Steph was out there with 40. So, I just felt it was disrespectful.”
The Wizards were within 12 with 3:41 to go, so the final score looks like more of a blowout than it was. I’d also like to point out that Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tomas Satoransky appear to be playing defense near half court right before McGee’s 3-point attempt. Still, John Wall and Bradley Beal did not play in the 4th so that’s the real white flag, right? Wall also had something to say after the game:
“Yep, totally agree,” Wizards guard John Wall said when asked if the Warriors treated the game disrespectfully in the closing minutes. “Whenever a team is up like that, supposedly, you just hold the ball and take a shot-clock violation. So, what Brandon did, I don’t think it was dirty. I think it was the right play. You don’t let nobody try to embarrass you and I think that’s what they were trying to do.”
That’s the “right” play. Because not taking a shot with the shot clock winding down is the wrong play. Can we get a coach’s thoughts? Here’s Steve Kerr:
“[The closing seconds were] kind of strange,” Kerr said. “I think JaVale should not have taken that 3. When you have a lead like that, you shouldn’t be shooting 3-pointers. I told him that. I think he understands that. I don’t have a problem taking a shot when there is a shot-clock differential. I never understood why a team would be offended if there is a shot-clock differential. We dribble out the clock and take a turnover? I don’t think you should shoot a 3 either. I guess that [is] what Jennings was upset about. I was uncomfortable with the way it ended.”
So Kerr would have been alright with a non-3, but Jennings would not. And Wall was not. It should also be noted that Draymond Green had shot and made a 3 on the previous possession with his team up 19 with 34 seconds remaining in the game. That 3 got him a triple-double. Happy coincidence.
So to recap: You either do or do not shoot at the end of the game, but if you do shoot, don’t shoot a 3-pointer, but also don’t go to the rim. It appears that the mid-range jumper is officially both the least efficient and least offensive shot in basketball.