On the Spurs' final possession of regulation in Game 6 Tuesday night, Tim Duncan inbounded the ball to Tony Parker, who raced up the court and lofted an errant, fallaway shot from the baseline at the buzzer. One of the best Finals games in years was going to overtime.

But rewind that: Duncan, who'd been subbed into the game following an official play stoppage for a replay review of Ray Allen's game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left, shouldn't have been on the floor. The league office confirmed Wednesday that Duncan had been substituted into the game illegally after the replay stoppage.

What does this mean? Since the Spurs didn't score on that possession and ultimately lost 103-100 in overtime, it doesn't mean much. A mistake was made, a rule was misapplied, but it didn't affect the outcome of the game.

But what if it had? If the Spurs had scored on the final possession of regulation and won the championship on that play, all holy hell would've broken loose. The Heat could've -- and presumably would've -- filed a protest with the league office over the Duncan substitution. Under the league's protest guidelines, there would've been an expedited ruling from commissioner David Stern.

If the Heat had won the protest, the Heat and Spurs -- and all the rest of us -- would've had to reconvene in Miami to pick up Game 6 from the point where the rule was misapplied with 5.2 seconds left and the score tied at 95.

Seriously, can you imagine?