So I was checking the e-mail a few days back and Asian Zero, who's got quite the collection of videos, sent me his latest. Normally, I'd post something like this right away, but I realized that it would be better to wait and post this today because it coincides with the one year anniversary of the game the video comes from (unfortunately, my calendar skills are absolutely terrible, which is why you're getting this 367 days after the fact, rather than 365). The first 47 minutes of this game were filled with great, dramatic basketball, but despite that it still felt like a pretty normal game. Then this happened:
Needless to say, it was a pretty bizarre game. Yet, now that we have the advantage of a year of perspective, we can see how much of an impact this one game had on the rest of last season. Exactly one month after this game, Gilbert got injured and set the playoff run into a tailspin as the Wizards eventually fell all the way to the 7th seed where they were unceremoniously dumped by the Cavaliers. However, if Don Nelson hadn't gotten that T and the if the Warriors had managed to pull off the win, then the Wiz would've fallen all the way to 8th seed. Detroit would've gotten the free pass through the first round and Cleveland would've faced Orlando. Would LeBron have still had enough in him to fuel his insane ECF performance against the Pistons if he had to deal with going to the lane against Dwight Howard for an entire series? Would the Pistons have had a better shot at winning the conference if they had benefited from the easy sweep of the depleted Wizards? It makes you think.
The game didn't just affect the Eastern Conference Playoffs though. As you'll see in the recap I linked to of the game, Pradamaster called the Warriors a "crappy team" which wasn't far off the mark at the time. With that loss the Warriors found themselves at 26-35 for the season, but after that game the Warriors went on a 16-5 tear over the final month and a half of the season which gave them all the momentum they needed for their upset of the Mavericks. Yet, if the Warriors had pulled out the win that fateful March day in D.C. they would've climbed all the way up to the 7th seed. Dirk and the Mavs would have (presumably) saved their dignity by taking down the Lakers, and the Warriors and Suns would've engaged in a series in which there would've been at least 3 games where a team scored 300 points and no one would've talked about how boring last year's playoffs were.
So remember, when you look at Jason Kidd in a Mavericks jersey, wonder why the Cavaliers are the most feared 4 seed in recent memory, or try and figure out why the guy in the Baron Davis jersey won't talk to you, just remember:
the refs' Don Nelson's fault.