“The play of the century​ for the Celtics”

“The play of the century​ for the Celtics”

Celtics vs Heat, playoffs. Tie game, 5.5 seconds to go and the Celtics are about to inbound the ball. Perkins inbounds the ball to Ray Allen who fumbles his dribble, Wade steals it and lays it up. The Heat are up two with 0.6 seconds to go. Doc calls a time out and has to create magic.

He can do two things – draw up an alley-oop or a quick shot for Ray Allen. When you have one of the best shooters ever on your team, it’s a no-brainer. The set up he came out of the time out with made it clear he made that decision. But you still have to do it in a way that confuses the Heat. The announcers call it before the play starts. “At this point, you have no players in the game that can go catch an alley-oop.

Everything about the play screamed a Ray Allen shot and that’s half the trick. Knowing what the opposing coach will tell his team and playing into their hand. Everybody keeps half an eye on Allen so Rondo can use Davis’ screen and there is no help from Haslem because he is covering Brian Scalabrine. 

While on The Woj Pod, Doc Rivers and Erik Spoelstra remembered that play.  Spo said the misdirection worked as designed and they were convinced the ball will go to Allen. He also remembered where Doc got the play from. (via The Woj Pod)

“We were so pissed after it, you have Ray, you have Garnett, Pierce. Basically thought, it was gonna go for sure to one of those guys, and you ran a lob to Rondo. Then afterward you said you got that play from your son’s AAU game. I crumbled up everything.”

That was the point Doc was making, coaches never turn their brain off and every game is a chance to steal a play or a gimmick. So in the NBA playoffs, against LeBron, Wade, and Bosh with the game on the line, Doc thought of an AAU play his son was a part of.