Why You Should NEVER CELEBRATE TOO EARLY In The NBA
Huge shoutout to: twitter.com/HalfCourtHoops
Last night we saw 2 games that reminded us why you should never ever celebrate too early in the NBA, even if you have an 8 point lead and 2 free throws, with just a minute to go in the game.
Let me explain what happened in these 2 thriller endings. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
We start off with a game in Boston. Down by 3 with just a minute left, the Celtics are trapping Beal to get the ball out of his hands. But as you can see, now that creates a mismatch, and leaves the much slower Daniel Theiss on Bradley. And the Celtics are compounding the problem even more by getting caught watching the ball. So now Beal gets a full head of steam to the basket, a great strong finish and the Wizards have a 5 point lead with 46 seconds to go.
And the entire team including their leader are celebrating since they can already feel this win.
But look at what the Celtics do out of the time out.
Tatum is inbounding, and we have Kemba screening for Theis.
To me, this is a decoy, since check out how weak this screen is, Walker is basically letting Lopez go through. And here is exactly why. Great hard pick by Daniel up top, and now you have the much slower Lopez, on the perimeter trying to chase Tatum on the switch. And that is impossible, as Jayson goes past him, has the open lane and easily lays it in.
But look at their defense here on this crucial possession.
Beal gets the switch off of Tatum, however he will stay right there, as the Celtics will kinda zone up and not allow Bradley to drive, so he either has to take a long contested shot, or take what Boston is giving him, and that is- the pass for the Russell Westbrook three.
He made one from the exact same spot, just a few possessions prior, but the defense will gladly take their chances and play the percentages. And in this situation, it paid off as Russell is short on this shot.
They take their last time out and Brad Stevens draws up this play.
Everyone clears out as Tatum is getting a running start from the backcourt.
And he does a double change of direction here. Goes basket, to the three, and inside again which shakes Beal off of him. The pump fake and the strong and tough finish to cut the lead to 1.
And then the clutch defense. They trap Bradley and are disciplined enough to not go for the foul right away as they have him pinned against the baseline. And under huge pressure, he slips giving the Celtics a chance for the lead. Everything is clear and the correct call was made.
And after a tough inbound the ball somehow gets to the hero of today’s game, and I love his decisiveness on the third straight possession to not settle for a shot but rather go inside and finish strong and he does that once again with time winding down, for the potential game winner.
With 4 seconds to go the Wizards have 1 last chance but the Celtics kind of read what they were going to run. And instead of me just rehashing what I saw on twitter, here is the original commentary from Half Court Hoops that I really loved, and I will link the twitter handle in the description.
Excellent explanation so everybody make sure you follow Half Court Hoops.
Boston win a tough game down by 5 with less than a minute to go.
And we now move on to the main attraction of this video. And why you should never celebrate too early. Check this out.
When De’Aaron Fox stole the ball and got fouled up by eight with just 69 seconds left in the game, nobody could blame the Kings for thinking that they got the win.
Especially after the refs called this a flagrant foul, which means 2 shots and Sacramento has possession.
Fox misses the first. Okay, no big deal. He then clunks the second one as well.
They still have the ball tho, and a big lead with little time left.
Move the ball around, and it finally finds its way to Marvin Bagley who goes for the dunk, but gets blocked by Lamelo. And in transition a quick three by Terry Rozier to keep the hopes alive.
5 point deficit with 52 seconds left. Charlotte is not giving up.
You can see they force the ball out of De’Aaron’s hands and into make a 55% free throw shooter take these.
The result? 2 more missed free throws, and somehow the Hornets are still in it.
And on this pivotal moment of the game, look how Rozier is tightly guarded by Barnes.
So he gives fakes going inside, uses the screen, Barnes is a step behind him, so contesting this shot, he hits the arm of Rozier, giving him 3 free throws. And check out this look that he gave to Harrison, as he was chirping at him before the last one. In these clutch moments, Scary Terry showed great poise and calmly knocked down all 3 of them.
On the next play, Fox seemingly put things back in control, as he was able to escape this double team, go to the basket and finish with this beautiful floater, to put the Kings up by 4 with 24 seconds left in this game.