Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey on late timeout error: ‘I put it on my shoulders’

Detroit News

Detroit — Bojan Bogadanovic, one of the Pistons’ few veteran players, knew the question about his young rookie was coming.

“A lot of media is going to look at that last play that we called the timeout, but we lost the game in the first quarter,” Bogdanovic said Wednesday night after Detroit’s failed comeback attempt against the Chicago Bulls.

The possession Bogdanovic referred to was a play with 9.7 seconds left when Jaden Ivey, the inbounder, signaled for a timeout when the Pistons didn’t have any remaining. The crucial error resulted in a technical foul, which gave the Bulls a free throw and possession of the ball. A couple of plays later, Detroit’s 117-115 loss to Chicago was official.

Upon realizing his mental mistake, Ivey immediately threw his hands on his head in disbelief. Bulls guard Patrick Beverley signaled for a technical foul in an animated fashion. Once the final buzzer sounded, Ivey bowed his head in angst, and his teammates came to his aid to console him.

It was another late-game situation and learning experience for the developing Ivey, who drained a clutch 3-pointer in the waning seconds of last Thursday’s loss to the Orlando Magic.

After the game, Pistons coach Dwane Casey said the coaching staff told Ivey there were no timeouts remaining, but Casey also mentioned that the game shouldn’t be defined by the blunder.

“It’s funny, because (Ivey) and I talked sometime this week about how I had to trust him to leave him in the game and it didn’t come down to that play,” Casey said. “The young man, the coaching staff mentioned to him that we didn’t have a timeout and he panicked, but the game wasn’t won or lost in that one play… I know it’s going to seem like it, and everybody’s going to say it, but it started way before that.”

Detroit fell into a 15-point hole in the first quarter and trailed by as many as 21 points in the third quarter before mounting a ferocious comeback led by Bogdanovic, who scored a team-high 34 points in his first game back from resting an Achilles injury.

Ivey finished with 18 points, four rebounds and two assists, which included an assist to a cutting Hamidou Diallo that tied the game at 112 with 1:50 remaining. When asked about calling the timeout, Ivey took accountability, while also acknowledging that he’ll keep working to develop better late-game habits.

“All I can really say is during that time and the final seconds, it was key to just lock in from the mental aspect,” Ivey said. “I feel like I could’ve did a better job of asking how many timeouts we had, and just that possession of the game is key. … It’s tough. I put it on my shoulders. We have an opportunity to win and when you do a silly mistake like that, it hurts.

“We can talk about a lot of mistakes that we made throughout the game. We made a lot of mistakes, and we came back and we fought back, and we gave ourselves another opportunity to win the game. I applaud Bogey and Coach (Casey) for saying (the loss wasn’t his fault). I take it upon myself to put the team in a better position.”

Bogdanovic was one of several Pistons players, along with Cory Joseph, Diallo and Jalen Duren to comfort Ivey once the game was over. When asked a follow-up question about the second-to-last Pistons possession, Bogdanovic continued to defend Ivey.

“It’s not his fault at all,” Bogdanovic said. “I think that all of us, from the vets, the coaching staff, we gotta let rook know how many timeouts we’ve got. It came to that play because we were down two, but we didn’t lose the game (by) calling timeout. We lost the game way before, and it’s not his fault at all.”

It’s another opportunity to learn from a late-game situation, but it shows the support Ivey has.

“It means a lot. I really love this team,” when asked about his team’s support. “Like I’ve said before, every time I go out there, I just want to represent the city of Detroit and the Pistons organization well. It’s just tough when you lose the game for your team. I lost the game for my team and that’s how I look at it. I have to look at it as a learning opportunity for me to not make that mistake again. Just keep working every single day to get better and practice good habits.”

The stakes were nowhere near similar to the infamous timeout by Chris Webber — whose 50th birthday coincidentally was on Wednesday — in the 1993 national championship between Michigan and North Carolina, but it’s an enormous opportunity for Ivey to learn from. If anything, that’s what the first season is all about.


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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