Friday , Jan , 11 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Playoffs At Stake: David Stern & NBA Right To Force Miami Heat-Atlanta Hawks To Redo Game

The Hawks, on the other hand, have been respectable. They’re pushing five-hundred and stocked with cheap, young talent. But nobody in the state of Georgia cares. Atlanta’s arena is half-full and quieter than the library on a Friday evening. So both teams’ fans are apathetic, but Commissioner Stern still had to order a replay of the Hawks’ controversial December 19th win. An extra win could have been the difference between Atlanta making and not making the playoffs …

Playoffs At Stake: David Stern & NBA Right To Force Miami Heat-Atlanta Hawks To Redo GameThe Associated Press reports on the league ordering Atlanta and Miami to redo the final minute of a controversial game:

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.

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 were leading 112-111 in overtime when O’Neal was called for a foul. The scoring table personnel, who are provided by the home team, ruled it was the Miami centre’s sixth foul, when actually it was only his fifth.

"Because of this conduct by Atlanta’s personnel, Miami suffered a clear competitive disadvantage, as O’Neal – the Heat’s second-leading scorer and rebounder that night – was removed from a one-point game with only 51.9 seconds remaining," the NBA statement said.

My Quick Take: Can Miami’s season get weirder? Coach Riley can’t decide whether to quit or stay. Shaquille O’Neal has looked mortal. Dwyane Wade has been injured. South Beach reacquired Ricky Davis. And they’re losing like Charles Barkley in Vegas.

The Hawks, on the other hand, have been respectable. They’re pushing five-hundred and stocked with cheap, young talent. But nobody in the state of Georgia cares. Atlanta’s arena is half-full and quieter than the library on a Friday evening.

So both teams’  fans are apathetic, but Commissioner Stern still had to order a replay of the Hawks’ controversial December 19th win. An extra win could have been the difference between Atlanta making and not making the playoffs.

Also, pretend the NBA didn’t demand a redo. And pretend the Hawks with their ‘tainted’ victory made the playoffs. Perhaps they earn a higher seed in the Eastern Conference and avoid Boston or Detroit in the first round.

Right now, Atlanta, Washington, Toronto, New Jersey, Cleveland, and Indiana are jockeying for playoff spots and, most importantly, the right not to face the Celtics or Pistons.

For once, the suits at NBA head office got it right by demanding a redo. Enjoy it hoop fans. That doesn’t happen too often.

Was the NBA right to order the Heat and Hawks to replay this game? Get at us in the comment box below or hit us up in . Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.