Of All the Things That Could Have Gone Wrong (Celts vs Heat, 11/09/13)
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 10, 2013
Yes, Jeff Green hit the three pointer at the buzzer (well, with about 0.2 secs left) to beat the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat, but what are the things that could have gone wrong but went right for the Celtics? And what is the one thing that no one is talking about?* (see no. 5*)
1. Dwayne Wade could have made both free throws with 0.6 secs left putting the game out of reach;
2. Dwayne Wade could have hit the rim and the Celtics would have lost at least another 0.3 secs (the required time that would elapse on a time-out for a ball rebounded after a missed free throw). Possible that the ball would have been tipped and not cleanly secured meaning if he hits the rim, game over;
3. Chris Bosh could have tipped the long (50-55′) pass from Gerald Wallace. I watched many slow motion replays and it looks to me that he missed it by less than an inch;
4. LeBron James could have not bitten or stepped toward the cutting Jordan Crawford (who had rec’d a baseline cross screen from Avery Bradley and a stationary screen from Kelly Olynyk) thereby giving Green the extra step away that allowed him to free himself and catch and get the shot off (which he did with amazing efficiency);
5*. The ref could have called 5 secs. Wallace held the ball out-of-bounds for more than 5 secs after receiving the ball. Ouch!!! The rule says (Rule 8, Sec 3a) “The throw-in starts when the ball is at the disposal of a player entitled to the throw-in. He shall release the ball inbounds within 5 seconds from the time the throw-in starts.” I replayed it at least 6 times and it never came in under 5.21 secs. Live, I was counting it out, panicking; it seemed close. A referee counting it out in his head and swinging his arm each time in an approximation of a second five times is just another thing – a big thing – that cost Miami the game and handed a great win to a resurgent group of New Celtics.