I’ll Count Alligators, You Count Mississippis

At the end of the third quarter of Monday night’s Pistons versus Magic NBA playoff game, Chauncey Billups was able to hit a three-pointer before time ran out. To be more clear, he hit a three pointer sometime after the game clock froze at 4.8 seconds. While the officals went to review the play, they couldn’t use replay to determine when the clock started because of league rules. Instead, they pretty much had to guess and they concluded Billups made the shot with .5 seconds left on the clock. Meanwhile, TNT was able to later replay the end of the third quarter with a clock superimposed over the play which showed Billups did not get the shot off in time (he was actually .1 seconds too late).

I think we can all see how ridiculous this situation really is. I mean, the officials were put in a position to make a call that couldn’t be reviewed properly, and unfortunately for the Magic, the play definitely could have helped them win the game. The officials were left to replaying the play in their heads and then come up with a magic number (no pun intended). While the Pistons ended up winning by 7, the game was a lot closer than that. Negating Billups three pointer would have put the Magic up by one going into the 4th quarter and could have made all the difference in momentum for a team that didn’t capitalize on some easy shots later on.

The NBA has had a few mishaps this year regarding officiating and clock management, and this is just another one to put on the books. Honestly, the play should have have been re-done because there was no possible way for the officials to determine if Billups made the basket in time, let alone that there was .5 seconds left on the clock after the basket was made.

And just to make the Magic a little more irritated going into game 3, they had to stop overnight in Cincinnati when their plane was diverted because of mechanical problems. The Frappe tried to contact the pilot of the flight, but he refused to comment saying the flight wasn’t reviewable.

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