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May 6, 2008 1:07 AM

Pistons Benefit From Magical Clock

Last night at the end of the 3rd quarter of the Pistons/Magic game, there was a clock malfunction. With 5.1 seconds to go, the Pistons inbounded the ball and the clock stopped at 4.8 seconds. Rodney Stuckey drove the lane and then kicked it out to Chauncey Billups who nailed a 3-pointer. But, TNT later showed that the play took 5.22 seconds. Here is the play in it's entirety. The 3-pointer put the Pistons up 78-76 in a tightly contested game where three points would have definitely changed the fourth quarter and possibly the outcome of the game.

The officials had no recourse to figure out how much time had actually passed. They could not review this play. The way the call stood was unfair to the Magic, but a review of the play wouldn't have been fair to the Pistons. On a last second play like this, players are aware of the clock - it's sitting right on top of the basket. Stuckey had seen that there were four seconds still remaining and he had time to kick it to Billups who hit the shot. Had the clock been working Stuckey would have put up the shot.

The whole play should have been done over and neither team should have been upset by that ruling.

On the TNT broadcast, Mike Fratello mentioned that perhaps coaches should have challenges in order to get the calls correct. But, this shouldn't even be an issue of a challenge. Obviously, there was an error with the timing and it affected both teams during this play. There is no reason not to simply call a do-over in this situation.

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