Jaden Ivey’s layup in final seconds of loss to Hawks sparks tension: ‘We’re playing for pride’

Detroit News

Atlanta — The Pistons trailed by 24 points and were mere moments away from their fourth consecutive loss when Jaden Ivey scored a layup with three seconds remaining instead of dribbling out the clock.

After the final buzzer sounded, Atlanta Hawks players Trae Young and John Collins took issue with Ivey’s decision and approached him, leading to multiple Pistons players coming to their rookie’s defense. It led to a verbal exchange between the two teams that needed to be separated.

Tempers flared for a brief moment, but the Pistons quickly directed their energy towards their former teammate, Saddiq Bey, who played against his old team for the first time since he was traded to the Hawks at the trade deadline.

It was another classic moment of the “unwritten rule” in basketball, which suggests that the team with possession of the ball during “garbage time” must hold it until the final buzzer sounds.

After the game, Ivey didn’t reveal what Young and Collins said, but shared that he went for the layup because the Pistons were the trailing team in this situation, so there wasn’t a need to hold the ball.

“It’s just funny because if we’re up in that situation (we’re up 20 and we go to score the ball), there’s a sense that that’s disrespectful to the other team because you just gotta hold the ball,” Ivey told The Detroit News.

“We’re down in this situation and it’s 10 seconds left. We’re playing for pride. We’re not going to hold the ball for anybody. It’s 10 seconds left. We’re down. We’re going to score the ball. We’re trying to win the game still, regardless if it’s 10 seconds or five seconds left. 20 seconds left, we’re going to score the ball. I was just confused why they kind of just did all that, and that’s OK. That’s a part of the game, I guess, but I have nothing really else to say about that.”

Ivey finished with 17 points, four rebounds and five assists, marking his 30th consecutive game of scoring in double-figures.

His final bucket, some may consider unnecessary since the game was already out of hand, but several of Ivey’s teammates rushed to the scene of the exchange, including Marvin Bagley III and veteran guards Rodney McGruder and Cory Joseph, who agreed with Ivey’s theory.

“We’re a young team,” Joseph told The News. “We’re trying to gain experience. What we preach here, regardless of the score — they ran up the score on us pretty early in the third quarter — we’re taught to play until the last second. And obviously, if we’re on the winning side of that — if we’re up by 30 — then basketball etiquette kicks in, where you don’t go score that bucket. I think it’s justified when you’re down by 30 to play until the last second.”

Joseph, who’s been in that scenario several times through his 12-year career, added that in most circumstances, defensive teams ask the team with possession of the ball of their intentions to either run the clock down or attempt to score.

“Sometimes it happens when teams say, ‘You going?’ And you just tell him, ‘Yeah’ or something like that. Sometimes, I’ll be like ‘We’re going.’ We’re trying to build something here. We’re going. I think they could’ve asked or they could’ve played defense on that possession.”

Additionally, Joseph urged that the Hawks had three players in the game that didn’t enter until the game’s final minutes. He reflected back to his time as a rookie in San Antonio when those moments were a time to treat the game as if the score was tied.

“My first couple of years of those big opportunities (in the final moments of a game), I would hold out the clock on offense but on defense, best believe, I gotta play or I’m going to hear it from Coach.”

The Pistons dropped to 16-57 after Tuesday’s loss and despite another disappointing outcome, Bagley, who finished with a season-high 31 points, was adamant about defending Ivey.

“They just wanted something to say, I guess,” Bagley said. “They were up. We’re not going to stop playing until the end of the game. We’re down. I’m not tripping off what they’re talking about. I’m going to always have my teammates’ back. Keep it pushing. We’re going to ride together: win, lose or draw. I think that’s what’s going to keep us together.”


Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

Articles You May Like

Detroit Pistons to hire Monty Williams as coach in historically lucrative deal
Detroit Pistons took historic swing to get Monty Williams’ grace, faith and resume
‘The Pistons Pulse’: Ranking team fit of each top NBA draft prospect at No. 5
Monty Williams is a perfect fit for the Pistons
Tom Gores, Detroit Pistons get big applause for convincing Monty Williams to become coach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *