Fitting End to a Season of What-If’s

Monday, May 14, 2012
By Jon Newberry

What if Al Horford never gets injured?

What if Josh Smith isn’t slowed with a knee injury, forcing him to miss Game 3?

What if one basket or stop goes differently down the stretch in Game 2, 3 OR 6?

All of these questions can eat at Hawks fans (not to mention players and coaches) as they settle in for the summer offseason. Now the NBA has officially given them one last “What if” to ponder.

“With 3.1 seconds remaining in the the Boston-Atlanta game last night, a foul was called on the Celtics’ Marquis Daniels after the Hawks’ Marvin Williams had released the ball and therefore the foul was correctly treated as a common foul and not an Away-From-the-Play foul. With that said, however, the replay shows that the foul on Daniels should have been called sooner than it was by the officials, in which case it would have met the requirements of an Away-From-The-Play Foul.”

When an “Away-From-The-Play Foul” is called, the inbounding team is awarded one free-throw AND possession. Instead, the Hawks were not in the bonus yet, and maintained possession for a sideline inbounds.

“That would have been a huge play, a huge turn of events,” Josh Smith told the AJC’s Michael Cunningham. Indeed, it just adds one more “What If” to motivate Atlanta through offseason workouts as the NBA Playoffs move on without the Hawks.

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