With 17.7 seconds left Monday night the Knicks were down three to the Toronto Raptors. With Amare Stoudemire out, everyone west of the Mississippi knew that the ball would be in Carmelo Anthony’s hands.
They isolated him on the right side, and he went with the quick pull-up contested three. He missed, Raptors win.
That may not exactly have been the play coach Mike D’Antoni drew up. Here is his quote from the New York Post.
“With 17 seconds to go, we wanted to get a two. If a 3 presented itself and it’s wide open, yeah, we’d take it. But we wanted to go for a quick two and then look and see what happens,” D’Antoni said. “It didn’t happen. There was confusion. So be it.”
Somewhere 2,000 miles away, George Karl just said “welcome to my world, Mike.”
The play may have been an isolation for Anthony, but D’Antoni wanted him to attack the rim and maybe get to the line, but the pull-up three is just not a high-percentage shot, not good enough for that situation.
The Bulls showed us Tuesday what a good team does on a final play and how to execute.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.