Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:26 PM
ntcrawler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 1958
Posts: 262

Why complex plays and time-outs in timed sports when the clock's almost done?


You've all probably seen it: Basketball, or Football. Less then a minute on a clock. 30 seconds even. The losing team is behind by at least 3 touchdowns, or 6-7 baskets. Yet the coaches keep calling time-outs, rotating players in and out, coming up with complex plays and movements on their market boards. Despite there being no possible way to really make up for the lost points. Is it just for dramatic effect? To stall? Drag the game out?
  #2  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:29 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,157
Most teams down by a lot might use a complex play just to see how it works. Of course they are also going against the 2nd or 3rd string defense at that time.
  #3  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:32 PM
jonesj2205 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 912
There's also an element of no quitting until the game is over. I've been involved in bad teams where the coach quits with 2 minutes left in one game, then a few games later the players give up with 4 minutes left, and then the coach with 10. There's a psychological effect to we play the game until the end.
  #4  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:36 PM
Jasmine's Avatar
Jasmine is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 2,457
Actually, that's often not true when there is a large discrepancy in the score. In basketball, in the age of the 3-pointer, a 12 point lead isn't nearly as big as it used to be. Teams will often play down to the last half minute before relenting. There is also the machismo factor of fighting till the end. Coaches don't want to appear passive or weak.
__________________
"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge."
--Daniel J Boorstin
  #5  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:38 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,157
prior to the 3 point shot UNC was down 8 with 17 seconds left to Duke and tied the game and won in OT. that was in the mid 70s and people still talk about it today. That was before K was coach at Duke.
  #6  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:39 PM
eschrodinger's Avatar
eschrodinger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 300
Fans usually don't want to see their team give up. If the deficit is sufficiently large, you might see even the team that's behind put in some back ups to reduce injury risks, but they'll still often be managing the clock, and doing most of the things you would do in a closer game.

If it's theoretically possible to, in football, e.g., do an onside kick, score, do another onside kick, etc. and come out on top, then fans want to see them try, and players may want coaches to show confidence in them. Once it's clearly out of reach they still may want the score to be closer, so as to be less humiliating, even, as mentioned, if they are scoring on the leading team's backup defense.
  #7  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:42 PM
justmeetee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 761
Also if a coach wants to keep his job he can't let management get the impression he's a quitter.
  #8  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:46 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,157
if the score is very lopsided the losing team will likely also put in their 2nd string offense to avoid injuries to the first string.
  #9  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:47 PM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 16,191
Time to experiment. A meaningless laboratory to try out those plays.
  #10  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:16 PM
dtilque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
if the score is very lopsided the losing team will likely also put in their 2nd string offense to avoid injuries to the first string.
Yes, it's called garbage time, at least in basketball. But it gives the backups significant actual game time, which, no matter how intense the practice, is always better than practice. And since the backups may be the starters in the future, you want them to have as much game time as they can get.
  #11  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:28 PM
Telemark's Avatar
Telemark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Just outside of Titletown
Posts: 23,373
In football, it's not impossible to make up a two score deficit in a very short amount of time with a few well placed timeouts, spikes, sideline plays, and an onside kick. It may look insurmountable to you but it's not really. Certainly it has happened enough times that it's worth it to try.
  #12  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:55 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 12,229
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntcrawler View Post
Despite there being no possible way to really make up for the lost points.
I expect that you are wrong that there's no possible way to win from those scenarios. The chance to win might be very small, but nonzero.

I don't know about basketball, but it takes about 10 seconds of game time to score a touchdown off an onside kick in the absolute best case, which means that the best-case scenario for 20 seconds of game clock and one timeout is something like interception/fumble-recovery for touchdown (8s), 2-point conversion, onside kick recovery (5s), timeout, touchdown (6s) 2-point conversion. Onside kick recovery and score on the same play, 2-point conversion, gaining slightly over one point per second of game time.

Now, the odds of that are really low. But they're not zero. Each of those plays has happened individually. Stringing them together could happen too. Play to your outs.
  #13  
Old 01-10-2020, 03:06 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,157
sometimes a score (or scores) in garbage time can change the final point spread even though the game winner was not in doubt. That could have a big impact on the sports books.
  #14  
Old 01-10-2020, 03:12 PM
dtilque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
sometimes a score (or scores) in garbage time can change the final point spread even though the game winner was not in doubt. That could have a big impact on the sports books.
Which is one reason why they don't allow coaches and players to bet on sports, especially their own game.
  #15  
Old 01-10-2020, 03:49 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 86,337
[Moderating]

Moving to the Game Room.
  #16  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:13 PM
Atamasama's Avatar
Atamasama is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4,967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
In football, it's not impossible to make up a two score deficit in a very short amount of time with a few well placed timeouts, spikes, sideline plays, and an onside kick. It may look insurmountable to you but it's not really. Certainly it has happened enough times that it's worth it to try.
The 49ers-Falcons game this year had the Falcons down 22-17 with only a few minutes left, after giving up a field goal when the score was 19-17. They had to drive down the field and score a touchdown and did, going up 23-22 with the 6 point gain. They wanted to pad the lead enough that a subsequent 3 point field goal from the Niners could only tie, not win, so went for the 2 point conversion and failed. This left only 2 seconds on the clock.

The Falcons kicked off to the Niners but though time quickly expired the game doesnít end until the play does. The Niners tried to keep the play alive to advance the ball down to score a touchdown but in the process fumbled, which allowed the Falcons to scoop it up and run it into the end zone for an overkill final score of 29-22.

So thatís a 12 point swing from 17 points to 29 in what was a few seconds of game clock. Crazy crap can and does happen in the NFL.
  #17  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:36 PM
ntcrawler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 1958
Posts: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
Actually, that's often not true when there is a large discrepancy in the score. In basketball, in the age of the 3-pointer, a 12 point lead isn't nearly as big as it used to be. Teams will often play down to the last half minute before relenting. There is also the machismo factor of fighting till the end. Coaches don't want to appear passive or weak.
I'm not implying that the team should quit, but if they are 12+ points behind and 30 30 or fewer seconds left on the clock, what good will shuffling players or calling for more time outs accomplish? bringing in the big star to finish the game can't possibly save the game at that point
  #18  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:49 PM
Do Not Taunt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
They had to drive down the field and score a touchdown and did, going up 23-22 with the 6 point gain. They wanted to pad the lead enough that a subsequent 3 point field goal from the Niners could only tie, not win, so went for the 2 point conversion and failed. This left only 2 seconds on the clock.
I don't think the clock is supposed to run during the try, regardless of whether it's a 1-point or 2-point attempt. So was it 2s left on the clock after the touchdown?
  #19  
Old 01-10-2020, 05:25 PM
Atamasama's Avatar
Atamasama is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4,967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Not Taunt View Post
I don't think the clock is supposed to run during the try, regardless of whether it's a 1-point or 2-point attempt. So was it 2s left on the clock after the touchdown?
Yup. It was one heck of an end of game goal line stand for both teams. Great if you love long play reviews.
  #20  
Old 01-10-2020, 05:54 PM
Freddy the Pig is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 7,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntcrawler View Post
I'm not implying that the team should quit, but if they are 12+ points behind and 30 30 or fewer seconds left on the clock, what good will shuffling players or calling for more time outs accomplish? bringing in the big star to finish the game can't possibly save the game at that point
I don't watch much pro basketball, but in college at least, it would be very, very rare for a team to be seriously contesting the game with a 12-point margin and 30 seconds left. The usual scenario in that case (99+% of the time) is that if the leading team has the ball, they dribble out the clock, and if the trailing team has the ball, they throw up a last shot and then the leading team dribbles out the clock. I'm not sure what games you're watching where you're seeing otherwise. If a coach is subbing at that point it's usually just to get a few bench-warmers and walk-ons onto the court for some token playing time.

For a deficit of eight points or less that would be very different, and as others have pointed out examples can be cited where teams have blown such leads so there is no sense in giving up.
  #21  
Old 01-10-2020, 06:21 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,157
you know a college BB game is over when the team leading plays the guys at the end of the bench. That's normally with around 2 or 3 minutes left in the game.
  #22  
Old 01-10-2020, 06:38 PM
Hari Seldon is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Trantor
Posts: 13,422
I once saw a pre-season game, Eagles v. Giants where the game was telecast on a delay and I already knew that the Eagles had won 24-23. So when the Giants were ahead 23-10 with something like a minute to go, I was really scratching my head. But they scored twice. I don't recall if there was an onside kick or just using timeouts. This would have been around 1963 or 1964.
  #23  
Old 01-10-2020, 06:41 PM
Do Not Taunt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
Yup. It was one heck of an end of game goal line stand for both teams. Great if you love long play reviews.
Looks like it aired here, which means YouTubeTV recorded it for me. So maybe I'll check it out. Who doesn't love a review that drags on forever?
  #24  
Old 01-11-2020, 10:02 AM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,157
a high school football game in Texas had a big comeback late in the game, I think the team scored 3 TDs late to tie and won in OT.

The famous NFL Heidi game had the Raiders score 2 TDs in the final minute to win. East coast viewers did not see the comeback.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Game
  #25  
Old 01-11-2020, 02:29 PM
ekedolphin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Suffolk, VA
Posts: 5,404
As a Pacers fan, I can't let this go without mentioning Reggie Miller's 8 points in 9 seconds.
  #26  
Old 01-11-2020, 02:48 PM
Atamasama's Avatar
Atamasama is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4,967
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekedolphin View Post
As a Pacers fan, I can't let this go without mentioning Reggie Miller's 8 points in 9 seconds.
Reggie was the definition of clutch. Wow was he awesome.
  #27  
Old 01-13-2020, 09:53 AM
mcgato is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hoboken
Posts: 1,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
a high school football game in Texas had a big comeback late in the game, I think the team scored 3 TDs late to tie and won in OT.
You might be thinking of the Plano East vs. John Tyler playoff game in Texas from 1994. Plano East was down 41-17 with 3 minutes left. They scored four touchdowns by recovering three onside kicks. Then they kicked off with about 10 seconds left, which was returned for a touchdown.
  #28  
Old 01-13-2020, 03:21 PM
Quercus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: temperate forest
Posts: 7,258
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntcrawler View Post
You've all probably seen it: Basketball, or Football. Less then a minute on a clock. 30 seconds even. The losing team is behind by at least 3 touchdowns, or 6-7 baskets. Yet the coaches keep calling time-outs, rotating players in and out, coming up with complex plays and movements on their market boards. Despite there being no possible way to really make up for the lost points. Is it just for dramatic effect? To stall? Drag the game out?
Practice, the league would probably be upset if a team was clearly making zero effort with more than a few seconds left, and most players do like to play so why not?

Sometime (this is most obvious in hockey, but in basketball and football, too), there's a timespan where one team is behind and getting very short on time, so they'll start making fast, high-risk plays (lots of quick three-pointers in basketball, pulling the goalie in hockey, etc.), but at somepoint they realize the deficit is too great and switch back to regular play -- they know they won't win, but would rather play out the end in a more normal way.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:53 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017