April 3, 2008

More Hot-Lanta controversy

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

We may be headed for a second replay of the season if the NBA sees what everyone else who caught the end of the Raptors-Hawks tilt last night saw. Because of some wackiness perpetrated by the Atlanta timekeeper, the Raptors’ final attempt to win the game was waved off because time had apparently expired and the game was to head to overtime — where the Hawks eventually won. But not so fast.

Upon further review, which the refs didn’t look into, the timekeeper had started the clock before T.J. Ford had touched the ball to lay it in. It was almost .2 whole seconds fast, which doesn’t sound like a long time, but would have been enough time to give the Raptors the win.

This could be the second time this season that the Hawks may be forced to play a replay. The only difference between the Hawks-Heat replay and a potential Raptors-Hawks replay (which should happen, this was an ugly error) is that there is playoff ramifications now. Had the Raptors won the game, they would have clinched a playoff spot in the weak East. Since the Hawks are also in the playoff running – and not that far behind Toronto – seeding is front and centre here. If (more like when) the Raptors file a complaint and are awarded a replay of those final .5 or more seconds, a lot will be at stake.

Oh, and apparently the timekeeper also kept the clock running a few fractions too long after Atlanta had scored the game-tying bucket, leaving just .5 seconds on the clock. And aside, Ford’s defence on Bibby’s tying shot was horrendous.

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