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Originally written on Gamedayr  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Via Gamedayr:

The NBA dodged a massive bullet after Ray Allen pulled a Jesus Shuttlesworth and saved the Heat’s season with 5.3 seconds remaining in regulation of Game 6. Had future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan been the one to bury a game-winner in those final seconds, the league would have to explain why a player who was not even supposed to be in the game in the first place had just won his Spurs the championship.

Let’s back up. What are we talking about?

After Allen hit his series and season-saving three for Miami, the officials stopped the game in order to check out the tape. The refs were looking to make sure Allen’s feet were both behind the three-point line.

Coach Gregg Popovich’s Spurs were out of timeouts at the time. The break in action gave him an opportunity to at least talk to his players, if not draw something up.

Pop substituted Duncan, which was an illegal move. Because there was no foul or timeout called, the same five players that walked off the court to wait were the same five who were supposed to walk back on.

But such was not the case, and the NBA confirmed its mistake on Wednesday.

Nuts, indeed. The substitution should have been called a technical foul, which should have resulted in Miami foul shots. Such a situation would have presumably resulted in Ray Allen winning the game for the Heat.

Conversely, if Duncan (or any other Spurs player for that matter) had hit a shot to win the game, they would have done all the celebrating in the world — only to have to re-play the final five seconds of the game at a later date.

Seriously. The shot would have been protested by the Heat, and an expedited ruling on the part of commissioner David Stern would have likely forced the two teams to take the court, totally cold, with seconds remaining in Game 6 of the Finals. Remember, the Spurs would have already celebrated winning the NBA title, as any game-winning shot with Duncan on the floor at that point would have given San Antonio four wins for the series.

Luckily, the NBA does not have to worry about any of the this. The Spurs did not score, the Heat won, 103-100, in an epic overtime clash, and now both are gearing up for what promises to be a Game 7 for the ages.

More from Gamedayr:
38 Comments:
  • The league isn't the only one who wants Miami to win.
    We call them fans.

    You upset because the league isn't a fan of your team?
  • 1st, Pop was livid that a ref review happened. He did not want the Heat to have a chance to set the defense; and would have rather had an easier time inbounding the ball. 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on, the NBA again allowed WWF rules take place during the game. Jumping into a player and knocking them down to block a shot is a foul. Hacking a playing coming down the lane for a shot is a foul. As my wife said; what a surprise, a game 7. For the past 20 years, the N-Brawl-A has been less about the better team, and more about how many fouls the refs will overlook for the "good of the league".
  • Yup, I agree, there are so many times when LeBron drives to the lane and gets hit, but the refs never make the call. The one where Tim Duncan knocked LeBron's headband off, they surely didn't call or Miami would have won the game earlier. Then, they let Tim Duncan back into the game when he wasn't supposed to be on the floor. What a joke. Miami won despite the referee's trying to give it to the Spurs.

    Looks like LeBron and the Heat will get another trophy after tonight.
  • I hope not there's no more deserving a team than the San Antonio Spurs they have class and LeBron is an arrogant idiot and I am so tired of hearing how good Lebron is not the team Lebron mind you I hope the Spurs win they've earned it all this time no matter how hard they've played they never get the credit they deserve well it's time to give credit where credit is due GO SPURS GO!!
  • Umm if you want people to take your comment seriously, you might want to think about adding some punctuation marks. And BTW, the winning team "deserves" it, not the nicest or most likeable.
  • More deserving team? Not the Spurs, that's for sure!
  • Oh yeah, when Kawhi Leonard pushed Mike Miller in the face in order to get a dunk over him, that was a blatant offensive foul that the refs didn't call to give the Spurs some life. If LeBron had made that play on Leonard or Duncan, its an offensive foul on LeBron. I say, Miami must be a great team to have overcome all those referee obstacles to win game 6.
  • WHAT ABOUT THE FOUL ON GINOBLI ON THAT LAST POSSESSION AND THE FOUL ON DANNY GREENE NO ONE CALLED THOSE EITHER RIGHT YEAH THATS WHAT I THOUGHT THE DAMN REFS SWALLOWED THEIR WHISTLES ALL OF THOSE TIMES TOO. GO SPURS GO!!!!
  • Affirm, very nice response. Folks need to stop whining and just root for your perspective team. Every frickin team in evry sport with referees at some point and time gets a wrong or no call for them or against them. So suck it up, stop hatin and enjoy the frickin games.
  • Unbelievable comment
  • Dude were you even watching the game? You couldn't be further from accurate! "POP" was jacked because he wanted the refs to review the tape to ensure Allen was behind the three point line. DUH.
  • That was almost a pointless article. Now, how about that sewage backup?
  • illegal? really? a law was broken? an NBA rule may have been violated, but illegal? let's get some perspective here. it's a frickin' game. even a rigged game. the NBA is just a step down from WWE.
  • Then why are you on here you moron?
  • Perhaps you should try looking at a dictionary once in while. Yes illegal can be used in a situation that involves rules, in addition to laws.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/illegal
  • Go Heat! Let's win this tonight!
  • Amen! Go Heat!!!
  • Could not agree more etheredge. Have believed for years the entire NBA finals have been fixed. I mean REALLY? Are the networks and the NBA really that desperate? Do they honestly think the sports watching public is really that stupid that we can't see what is really happening? A least in the NCAA tourney, the best team(that day) wins. Not the team the networks want to win for ratings. It's sad.
  • Yet you obviously continue to watch, and here you are reading an article and commenting on it. I guess people really are that desperate.
  • I haven't seen Stern, or any other NBA Exec shoot a last-second three-pointer yet.
  • What about Miami fouling the last shot of the game, why no freethrows for San Antonio? (3) It was clearly a foul!
  • Yeah it wasn't, go watch a replay.
  • Nah. No foul.
  • Yep! In fact, Duncan's wife just tweeted that the police came to his hotel an hour ago and led him away in 'cuffs. So now the question is, will the Spurs be able to bail him out in time for Game 7.

    Yea, this is another perfect example of how brain dead this society is and how little understanding of the English language they have. As long as the brain dead masses outnumber those like you and I, the media will continue to sensationalize (lie) and the masses will continue to eat it up and never question it.
  • Again...use a dictionary once in a while. The title of the article has appropriate use of the word illegal.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/illegal
  • Then if it's rigged why do the people keep watching whats the point why don't people take a stand and teach that idiot Stern that we pay alot of money to see our team win and just cuz that idiot stern wants whoever to win thats the way it will be I don't think thats fair
  • Any break in the action called by the refs is the same as a time-out or like a foul - who are you trying to kid - the NBA blaming Popovich is why I hardly watch the NBA anymore - how much more whining by overpaid jerks should we listen too. Ray Allen should have been called for a flagrant on the last play instead of foul shots - that's the mistake (and I'm certainly not a spurs fan either)
  • Wow, an article about that. What about the 2 non foul calls in the last minute of the game.
  • Non-calls are a tad different, but please continue.
  • The are consistent with the other non calls throughout the game. The calls appeared to be in the Spurs favor during the first 3 quarters...but I do believe the 4th quarter calls favored the Heat. Perhaps the Heat woke up and realized the refs were on hiatus from reality.
  • Go Spurs Go!!!
  • Wow....what game were you watching? Had the correct call been made in the last seconds of the regular period, Manu would have been at the line shooting free throws and the Spurs would have won, making this a non-issue. Give me a break, LeBron gets away with murder and rarely ever gets called for a foul. The only thing you folks have right is that the NBA wanted a 7th game and wants Miami to win. San Antonio is the smallest market in the NBA and has never received respect from Stern......hmmm could it be about revenue?
  • WE LUV THE HEAT because these players brought home the GOLD MEDALS for TEAM USA in the Olympics. It was not Parker, Duncan, or Ginobli; they represented their own countries in the Olympics. So, we are not dumping or bailing on the HEAT players now. Yeah, we want the HEAT to win; leave everything on the court tonight.

    Bosh, we need you standing up, not on the floor. LBJ, make the newspapers, again, and score a record 50 points in 1st half. We know you can do this. Wade (from our hometown Chicago) will leave it all on the court. Ray, we know it ain't over until the fat lady sings; Well, she didn't sing Tuesday night; thanks for 3-points to tie the game for us. GO HEAT (TEAM USA)

  • LeBron whole interview was laced with "Me""My" and "I" nothing about the team effort and I don't really care who wins tonight, I just enjoy watching a good game and refed fairly. So far have seen good games but the ref's need some work.
  • I'm here to say the heat need to win.They desevre to hold the trophy in the air and the spurs are some old guys who need to be in the nursing home.
    #goheat
  • It's great to see all the fan spirit out there. We're loyal to our teams, period. Spurs and Heat are playing each other for a reason, despite the
    NBrwalA. So GO SPURS GO!
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