Orlando forward Aaron Gordon said he felt "cheated" after the way Wednesday night's game between the Magic and Los Angeles Lakers ended.
He might have a point.
The NBA said the wrong decision was made in the final minute of the game. The Magic should have retained possession in the game's final second, rather than game going to a jump ball, the league said.
With the Lakers leading 108-107, the Magic attempted to inbound the ball for one final shot with 0.6 seconds left. Before anyone inbounds touched the ball, the game clock expired, which meant it had started too early. The play was reviewed by the league's replay center in New Jersey, which determined that a clock malfunction caused the error. By rule, a clock malfunction is solved with a jump ball.
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This jump ball, though, effectively eliminated the Magic's chances of getting a shot off to try to win the game.
After the game, referee crew chief Bill Spooner cited the rule regarding clock malfunctions.
In their review a day later, the NBA determined there was no clock malfunction. Rather, the league said, one of the referees inadvertently started the clock early, which should have resulted in the Magic retaining possession.
That scenario is what Magic coach Frank Vogel wanted and what Lakers coach Luke Walton feared.
Walton felt that the Lakers defended the original inbounds play so well that he didn't want Orlando to take another shot at it.
Vogel's perspective referenced fairness.
"I don't know," Vogel said. "It's just common sense would tell me that in that situation, the clock started early, that you do redo the possession."
Kuzma is flexible
Walton believes in positionless basketball, which doesn't mean exactly what the word would suggest.
There are still designated positions among the five players in any given lineup, but within that construct, he wants his players to be able to shift between different wing positions and be able to guard anyone on the court.
It's a luxury to have players who can do that. Injuries make it a necessity. In the Lakers' last three games, Kyle Kuzma has filled in at small forward, rather than his usual power forward position, because Brandon Ingram has been out with a groin strain.
"It's fun," Kuzma said. "I like playing at 3 (small forward). Get to handle the ball a little bit more, play pick and roll, and it's really a challenge to really guard people. I'm more locked in defensively because I've never really guarded threes before now."
Kuzma is clearly starting to figure it out. He had his best game playing small forward Wednesday, scoring 20 points with 10 rebounds.
The switch doesn't come without challenges for Kuzma. He said the defensive challenge is the biggest one, but there's also the basic challenge of undoing the habit of playing power forward.
Sometimes Kuzma momentarily forgets that he's playing a different position.
"Sometimes I'm playing four, I just go to one spot, I snap out of it and (go to) the new spot," Kuzma said. "Our offense is interchangeable in a sense, so just knowing where you've got to be."
Walton thinks a little more time and experience at the small forward position will help Kuzma. For example, Kuzma is no longer in a position where he's calling out coverages. Most of the time, he's no longer the player setting screens.
"The good thing is, with the way they want to play, with the pace we want to play, a lot of what we try to get good at is playing in the chaos and randomness of games," Walton said. "Whether you're the three or the four, running for layups or running to the three-point line in transition, all of that's still available."