On one hand, I get it, referees. The rules of the NBA clearly state that field goals attempted after time expires cannot be counted if made. Since the ball wasn't out of Marcus Camby's hand before the end of the third quarter of the Houston Rockets' matchup with the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, the basket has to be waved off, because the law is the law, and if we don't abide by it, there'll be anarchy. Fair enough.
On the other, though, Camby has made 16 3-pointers in more than 15 years as an NBA player, and he just found paydirt on what looked to be about an 85-footer. In situations like that, you should be able to give him at least one point, and perhaps even 1.5 points. It'd be the charitable thing to do, I think, especially in this season of giving (wait, it's not December? Lousy Smarch weather in Brooklyn).
Even one or 1.5 points on Camby's near-length-of-the-court baseball pass (no crow hop; that'd be traveling) might have meant the difference in helping his Rockets put away the Kings in regulation rather than having to sweat out a 113-106 overtime win. Luckily, Camby was able to rely on a balanced scoring effort (seven Rockets hit double-figures), a dynamite game from Patrick Patterson (a career-high 24 points on 16 shots off the Houston bench) and four huge late-in-OT free throws from the just-signed Earl Boykins (pressed into duty after backup point guard Goran Dragic, in for injured starter Kyle Lowry, turned his ankle late in extra time) to seal the win.
The only thing that would have made Camby's heave cooler is if it actually counted, like the one Paul George launched just before halftime of the Indiana Pacers' game against the Miami Heat on Monday.
While I respect Pacers play-by-play man Chris Denari's enthusiasm for George's connection, I must take him to task for his estimation of its length — the second-year man out of Fresno State is at least one of his loping strides behind the timeline when he lets it fly. Let's give credit where it's due, friends; the shot that gave the Pacers a three-point cushion heading into halftime came from at least 50 feet away.
George finished with 16 points on 14 shots, 10 rebounds and three assists in Indiana's 105-90 win over the Southeast Division-leading Heat, who dropped back-to-back games for the third time this month after losing consecutive games just once before March (a three-game road stretch against the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets back in mid-January).
Danny Granger led all scorers with 25 points, nine rebounds and three assists, while Pacers point guard Darren Collison added 20 points and four steals in the win. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade each scored 24 for the Heat, who shot just 42 percent as a team, missed 13 free throws, and were outrebounded (49-33) and lost the turnover battle (17-14) for the second straight game.