NBA makes rule change after Max Strus playoff controversy

Max Strus's heel hovering out of bounds

Starting next season, the NBA will implement what may become known as “The Max Strus Rule.”

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel informed on friday that the NBA will change the announcement time for reviewed shots. The announcement will be made as soon as the replay center confirms the call (since the game is interrupted at a “neutral” time). A blue light will also illuminate the scoring table to signal an upcoming score change, adds Winderman.

Under NBA rules, instant replay review can be triggered when referees are not “reasonably certain” whether a basket made was a two- or three-pointer. At that point, the NBA Replay Center can review the video to determine how to score the E basket to determine if the pitcher has committed a boundary line violation (ie, has gone out of bounds).

This rule became the subject of controversy in Game 7 of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. With 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Heat swingman Max Strus hit a three to reduce Boston’s lead to 56-54. After nearly three full minutes of in-game action, however, the referees determined that Strus had run off the court and erased his three-pointer. At the time, the Heat were down 65-57. But after Strus’ three was taken off the board (combined with two free throws that Robert Williams was taking at the time), his deficit suddenly became 67-54. Miami ended up trailing by just four points (102-98) and even had a real chance to win in the final 20 seconds on a Jimmy Butler try of three.

Regardless of whether or not you believe Strus has left (you can make that determination for yourself here), the timing of the announcement was horrible and spoiled the flow of the third quarter for both the teams and their fans. The NBA’s new rule change hopes to remedy just that.

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