Shot clock problem forces PA countdowns and air horn at Raptors-Nets Game 1

The opening game of the NBA playoffs was meant to display the best the league has to offer. Instead, it ended up with a goofy technical malfunction that turned the end of Saturday's Game 1 between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets into a goofy scene.

Approximately halfway through the third quarter at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, both shot clocks malfunctioned and turned off, forcing a stoppage in play. Arena workers and technicians attempted to install portable clocks at the corners of the court, but those didn't work either.

So, with the break in play stretching on, they decided to resort to a decidedly more analog solution. Public address announcer Herbie Kuhn informed the players and crowd when the shot clock had reached 10 seconds, then five seconds, and then counted down to zero from there. Except, when the shot clock expired, there was no horn — he just said "horn."

Yes, it was all very bizarre.

In the fourth quarter, one of Kuhn's scoring table compatriots got control of a canned air horn, but it was obviously no substitution for the typical in-arena buzzer. Oh, and the shot clocks did start working again, although not until the closing moments of the game, when they were irrelevant anyway.

It's hard to say if the lack of shot clocks had an effect on the game. It required some adjustment, for sure, although there weren't more obvious cases of bad timing or offensive lethargy than in a typical NBA game. At any rate, the Brooklyn Nets' superior late-game execution and shot-making didn't seem particularly influenced by the technical difficulties. Their 94-87 road win and 1-0 series advantage stand on their own merits.

- - - - - - -

Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL and "Like" BDL on Facebook for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

What to Read Next