This sounds like something out of "The Adjustment Bureau". One event that is ultimately forgotten… can completely alter the course of history. Sherman Douglas had one of those events at the end of the 92-93 season… which completely shifted the course of the Orlando Magic's history. The story is on Orlando's web site.
Sherman Douglas, who bounced around his entire NBA career and was having a subpar season for the Celtics in 1992-93, enjoyed one of his best games of his career against the Magic in the first of Orlando's final three games.
The former Syracuse standout erupted for 24 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and dished out 11 assists as Boston dominated.
The Magic, however, did bounce back and defeated both the Nets (Nick Anderson tallied 50 points) and Hawks to stay alive.
After Indiana lost to both Cleveland and Detroit, it needed a win against Miami to secure a playoff berth. Vern Fleming, who had started just eight games that entire year, replaced Pooh Richardson in the starting lineup and had the game of his life. Fleming racked up 31 points, seven assists and seven rebounds as the Pacers edged the Heat.
Despite both having identical records (41-41), Indiana qualified for the playoffs due to tiebreaker rules.
As it turned out, the combination of Douglas and Fleming’s performances those two days ultimately and inadvertently transformed Orlando into a championship contender.
After not qualifying for the playoffs and following some extraordinary lottery luck, the Magic overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft.
After drafting Chris Webber, Orlando traded his rights to Golden State for Penny Hardaway and future draft selections. In effect, the duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Hardaway helped the Magic quickly evolve into an NBA powerhouse.
Who knows what would have happened if Orlando had won that game. Orlando could have become a playoff team… then hovered in that 8th seed/7th seed mediocrity for a while… and then who knows? They could have become the Bucks for all we know. Instead, they've had some good runs as title contenders.
One great game by a forgettable Celtic. If he just played an average game… there might not be a Stan Van Gundy patrolling the sidelines and Dwight Howard throwing elbows around and getting techs.