The last play of Game 3 was very interesting.
Most writers didn't see it. They were either making their way to the work room or already banging out their stories. What happened was, with 6.7 seconds to go, Lamar Odom took it to the hoop for a Laker basket. The whistle blew. Had he gotten the call, it could have been a three-point play and that would have made the final score 90-81, not 87-81, which would have been significant since the spread was, yup, nine.
But a referee --- wish I had noted which one --- waved off the basket, calling an offensive foul on Odom.
Conspiratorial thinkers are probably out there saying, "Ah-hah. That ref had the Celtics getting nine."
Being neither a gambler nor a conspiratorial thinker, I don't go there. But many will. I bring this up in light of the latest Tim Donaghy flap. Referees have an enormous influence on so much that happens in a game.
The problem is that we know what Tim Donaghy did. All we can do is hope that he was, as David Stern keeps saying, a "rogue official."