This series could hinge on one late bad call, or it will more likely hinge on the many errors the Orlando Magic always seem to commit against Detroit in crunch time.
Either way, Game 2 was clearly affected by the inability of the referees to make an accurate call.
Orlando shot itself in the foot numerous times during last night's game with 19 turnovers, shooting 1-for-9 from 3-point land in the fourth, and converting only two field goals in the the last seven minutes.
One call doesn't normally make a huge difference. The problem here isn't that the Magic blew it, but rather they blew it under an unfair disadvantage. The refs shouldn't be blamed directly for the result, but rather the disadvantage they caused the Magic to have.
The issue here is those last 5.1 seconds in the third quarter.
The officials counted a 3-point basket by Chauncey Billups, even though the clock didn't start for those final 5.1 seconds of the period. If the refs had caught that the clock had stopped, or not started, any time before a shot had been taken, when the shot-clock is off, they would have just made the Pistons take the ball out again, with 5.1 seconds put back on the clock.
So why could they not just do that after a shot had been made? They clearly had no idea how many seconds really did come off the clock, so why just guess, and unfairly give an advantage to one team?
Orlando may pick itself up after this game and make this a series worth watching, or Detroit may end up running away with this thing and never giving the Magic a chance. We'll know that soon enough.
The thing we will never know is how Game 2 would have ended had Orlando been spotted those three points with 14 seconds left in the fourth and possession of the ball, up by one instead of down by two.
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