Friday, January 11, 2008

Here's A Replay I Never Thought I'd See In Basketball

The Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat must replay the final 51.9 seconds of their game last month because the NBA said the official scorer ruled incorrectly that Shaquille O'Neal fouled out. This will be the first time since 1982 the league has sent teams back on the court for a replay.

Usually in baseball when rain delays or cancels a game, depending on how much of the game was played and the content produced in the game, sometimes the rest of the game or whatever innings were remaining are played on another date. However, I never heard of this happening in basketball, especially over someone fouling out. I could understand this happening if the stadium collapsed or some disaster struck, but not because someone mistakingly ruled Shaq fouled out when he didn't. I mean, would it really make a terribly big difference if Shaq played the last 52 seconds of the game?

The Hawks won 117-111 at home in overtime Dec. 19. The NBA said Friday the replay will be held before the teams' next scheduled game -- March 8 in Atlanta. Play will start from the time after O'Neal's disputed sixth foul.

The Hawks also were fined $50,000, with commissioner David Stern ruling the team was "grossly negligent" in failing to address the mistake.

The protest is the first granted by the NBA since December 1982, when then-NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien upheld a request for a replay by the San Antonio Spurs after their 137-132 double-overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers the previous month.

The Spurs and Lakers finished the game in April 1983, with San Antonio winning 117-114.

I guess the Heat figure that every possible win is a must, but I can't see their season turning around, especially with the East only getting better.

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