Do timeouts hurt offenses at the end of close games?

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HoopIdea’s Beckley Mason has been taking a hard look at late-game situations recently, and one theory he’s been playing with is that calling a timeout in late-game situations actually makes the offense less likely to score. The evidence is in, and it supports Mason’s hypothesis: in a late-game situation, teams have a better chance of scoring when they simply let their players go to work in the flow of the game than they do when they call time-out and try to set up an elaborate play to generate a game-tying or game-winning shot opportunity, even when fast-break points are excluded.

All the evidence is over on HoopIdea, along with disclaimers, and the entire article should be read in order to be responded to properly, but Mason lets the Heat’s Shane Battier explain why time-outs may be counter-productive in crunch-time:

Miami Heat forward Shane Battier cites lessons learned from Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, telling Heat Index’s Tom Haberstroh: “I was born and raised in the Coach K school of ‘in closing situations, never take a timeout,’” says Battier. “Defenses aren’t as prepared after a late bucket to tie or take the lead because emotionally teams aren’t as prepared to get that stop. If you call timeout you allow a team to set their defense, focus in. Everyone knows exactly what everyone runs anyways.”

Again, the full article is worth reading; head over to HoopIdea to check it out.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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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.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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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.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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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.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)