Following the Toronto Raptors‘ 131-129 overtime defeat at the hands of Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, there was much talk about which Raptor should receive the ball in late-game situations.
What may have been overlooked is whether or not Nick Nurse and the coaching staff should’ve called a timeout after Patty Mills’ game-tying three-pointer with 12.3 seconds left in regulation.
— NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2021
The Raptors opted not to, but was that the right call?
Amy Audibert, who called Tuesday’s contest on Sportsnet, joined The Raptors Show With Will Lou to discuss the pros and cons of calling a timeout in those types of last-second situations.
Hindsight is 20/20
“We always sit here after the fact and if Fred (VanVleet) hits that shot it would’ve been the most brilliant thing not to take the timeout, but because he didn’t, now the conversation is ‘oh well, he should’ve taken the timeout’,” said Audibert on Thursday. “I really believe nobody takes those decisions tougher after the fact than the coaching staff. At the end of the day it’s their jobs, it’s their lives.”
Fred VanVleet and the element of surprise
“I actually do prefer not taking timeouts because I think you catch defences scrambling,” said Audibert. “You’re (giving) Fred the ball in his hands to go win a basketball game. Over his career, he’s hit some pretty big shots, right? So I totally understand (the Raptors) not taking the timeout.”
Coaches know best
“I’m not on the bench, I’m not on the coaching staff,” said Audibert. “I’m not going to sit here and say ‘they should be doing this, they should be doing that’ because they are the best in the world at doing it.
Makes vs. Misses
“I think not taking the timeout off of misses is also a great option because you’re also getting an extra half a step in transition, this was made off of Patty Mills’ made three,” said Audibert. “We were calling that game in Toronto, so maybe if we were in the gym maybe we would’ve seen Brooklyn celebrating.”
Watch the full conversation about late-game timeouts and much more on The Raptors Show with Will Lou, which can now be streamed live daily on Sportsnet’s YouTube channel. A replay of Thursday’s episode can be found below.