The Game: 2005 Finals, Game 5
The Series Situation: San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons are tied, 2-2
The Play: With 5.8 seconds to play in overtime, Rasheed Wallace helps on Manu Ginobili, leaving Robert Horry wide open. Horry then knocks down his fifth and final 3-pointer of the night to give the Spurs a 96-95 overtime win and a 3-2 series lead.
The Significance: After four blowouts, this series finally boiled down to the kind of nail-biter everyone was expecting to be the norm. Wallace’s gaffe, leaving the man known as “Big Shot Bob” wide open from beyond the 3-point line, was a colossal error. As well as Ginobili was playing in the series, you never leave “Big Shot Bob” in that situation. The Spurs went on to win the series in seven games, with Finals MVP Tim Duncan helping finish the Pistons off in Game 7 in San Antonio. The Game 5 win on the road, however, turned out to be the key after the Pistons squeezed out a Game 6 win in San Antonio. Legacies would have changed had Rasheed made a different coverage choice on that play. A repeat championship would change the way history views those Pistons, who made six straight trips to the Eastern Conference finals. They would have matched the Bad Boys Pistons’ title haul. The Spurs’ dynasty would look a lot different as well without that 2005 title sandwiched between titles in ’03 and ’07. But Horry would still be “Big Shot Bob”, with all of his big shot heroics throughout his career (including championship runs with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers).
— From NBA.com Staff
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