Saturday evening the Boston Celtics extended their winning streak to three straight, after Jeff Green inexplicably won the game for his team, a game that was practically already lost.
With 0.6 seconds left on the clock, Dwyane Wade went to the free throw line with a chance to make it a two possession game. After missing the first one, Wade had one job: hit the rim, but miss the shot. It was clear that Wade tried to intentionally brick the free throw, but it doesn’t come naturally to NBA players. The shot did miss, but it went off the backboard without touching the rim and the Celtics were able to call timeout.
This is where things got really interesting, as head coach Brad Stevens drew up an out-of-bounds play.
The hero of the play starts off at the left elbow, while the four Celtics players are lined up in a virtual square. At this point, it’s hard for the Heat to tell exactly what kind of moment to expect. Avery Bradley starts off by setting a baseline screen for Jordan Crawford, who then curls around Kelly Olynyk and Chris Bosh.
With Olynyk and Bosh in the way, Wade has to cut the corner and run through the middle, which is where Green sets a little pick himself. Crawford has run off multiple screens at this point, and caused enough misdirection among Heat players to make them think that the play is drawn up for Crawford. In the above screenshot, you can see that James is looking towards the sideline, trying to read the play. This brief moment of confusion is all that Green needs.
Green swiftly slips the screen and instantly goes to the right corner. LeBron, who probably thought that Crawford is going to be the recipient of the inbound pass, briefly pondered rotating over in case Wade got caught on a screen, only to realize that Crawford was merely a decoy. In the above picture you can see just how much separation Green managed to get between himself and LeBron as a result of that. In the same moment that the above picture is taken, Gerald Wallace actually makes the pass into the empty corner, and he certainly needs credit for his patience and great timing.
In the end, James manages to close out on Green and contests the shot, but Jeff gets enough space to get the shot off and hits it. Game over.
The full play is below.