Vote how bad a decision did Butler make by shooting?

Assuming you had the Heat +1 how would you rate Jimmy's pull up 3?

  • Terrible he is bad 3pt shooter

    Votes: 29 8.5%
  • Pretty bad- but ESPN is telling me the HEAT were heroes just to show up

    Votes: 35 10.2%
  • Okay it was wide open, have to live with your stars ma,ming decisions

    Votes: 253 74.0%
  • Great Celtics are lucky.

    Votes: 25 7.3%

  • Total voters
    342
  • Poll closed .

geoduck no quahog

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Imagine if Butler had made that shot, the Celtics clank the last attempt, and things work out that the only lead the Heat had the entire game was on their final shot attempt. I would be recovering from stroke this morning.

I hated that he took that shot because I was certain it was going in. In other words, I agree with his decision.

BTW, interesting that Duncan never played, given the Heat's poor showing from 3 (6/30)
 

Euclis20

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BTW, interesting that Duncan never played, given the Heat's poor showing from 3 (6/30)
Both he and Herro would have been very easy sources of offense for Boston. The best version of the Heat (at least against the Celtics) meant leaning more towards defense - their only good offense all series was scoring in transition off of stops, which only happens with good defense.
 

Spelunker

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This math only works if you're giving Butler a 40% chance of hitting that open three, and a 100% chance of making a two instead.

In this calculation, Butler would have to have an 80% chance at making a two to be better than shooting that open three(that's ignoring and 1 completely and assuming it's a 50/50 game in OT)

I think that's the right shot for Butler to take. I can say for myself, I was terrified when he pulled up. As a Celtics fan, I wanted nothing more than for him to attempt a 2 pointer there.
And the converse to the "Jimmy didn't have the legs to make the 3 because all of the minutes he played" argument is that the OT likely *wouldn't* be 50/50 because of all the minutes he played.

I wouldn't ever count him out, but how much would Butler have left in the tank for OT? He was on fumes as it was.
 

Van Everyman

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You really think ESPN would prefer a Heat-Warriors matchup? No way.
Of course not. But all the coverage after the game was how amazing Butler was and they replayed that shot about 100,000 times, and talked about the Heat comeback and how injured they were, etc.

I mean, yes, the Celtics were barely holding on down the stretch, I get it -- and they lost a closeout Game 6 at home. But the postgame coverage of the game was 75% focused on the Heat and Butler and Lowry. It was def. bizarre but I guess the game was too.
 

54thMA

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Imagine if Butler had made that shot, the Celtics clank the last attempt, and things work out that the only lead the Heat had the entire game was on their final shot attempt. I would be recovering from stroke this morning.

I hated that he took that shot because I was certain it was going in. In other words, I agree with his decision.

BTW, interesting that Duncan never played, given the Heat's poor showing from 3 (6/30)
You and a lot of other people; as you said, I can't fathom the reaction had they lost by 1 after leading the entire game, blowing a 13 point lead in the process.

I'm a casual Celtics fan, don't live and die with them, am very happy for a lot of posters here who are not casual and do live and die with them.

Considering where they were at one point this season, it's quite a story that they got to the finals, just relax as best as you can everyone and enjoy the ride, going to be a fun series.

Again, very happy for you guys; enjoy this.
 

reggiecleveland

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Of course not. But all the coverage after the game was how amazing Butler was and they replayed that shot about 100,000 times, and talked about the Heat comeback and how injured they were, etc.

I mean, yes, the Celtics were barely holding on down the stretch, I get it -- and they lost a closeout Game 6 at home. But the postgame coverage of the game was 75% focused on the Heat and Butler and Lowry. It was def. bizarre but I guess the game was too.
Just enjoy it. The more they praise the guy you beat the better you look.
Three quick things
1. Butler was incredible, had they won it would be an effort for the ages. A bit silly one missed shot means he will be forgotten
2. The heat were the 1st place team and as bad as TL, Smart being hurt they were better off than Lowry and Herro.
3. It was a goodbye to the Heat, the Celtics will get all the attention from now on. This, for now at least seems an end to the Heat, since the future looks murky at best.

Bonus: You know this. It sucks beyond belief as a fan to have your team praised after a loss. I mean in 1978 F***ing Craig Nettles brought up the Red Sox after beating the Dodgers in the world series, "..but I have to take my hat off to Boston, they were incredible, we were lucky to beat them"
A few around here can recall certain SuperBowl where the losing team was praised post-game. Not fun.
 
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Senator Donut

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Volgaris made a compelling case that it was the best decision and not really close. After dissecting his points I have to agree. I’ll paraphrase…..

* If Butler makes the two to tie the game the Celtics get the final shot. Between the chances of the Celtics scoring on final possession and the (likely greater than) 50% chance of winning in OT, a made layup likely results in Miami losing the game.

* If Butler makes the 3, the Celtics are likely to shoot quicker to give them a chance to foul and extend game if they miss so even if the Celtics score the Heat would get the ball back for another potential game winning shot.

* Butler’s 3-pt pct is misleading bc he takes nearly all of his three’s against the shot clock when it’s under 5 seconds.

* Butler is a career 47% three-point shooter in open transition threes which this one was considered and had a good rhythm shooting them in this particular game.
I agree with pretty much all of this. I think every argument has to acknowledge how much more valuable a three-point field goal is than a two. Given that, there aren’t many better looks than wide-open above-the-break three, even for a below-average shooter like Butler in that game situation.
 

reggiecleveland

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I still come to that you are going to miss and lose most of the time. You need to make the other beat you.

It's like if it is the bottom of the ninth and you leading off down three runs. Swinging 3-0 may all things equal, give the best predicted OPS, but in that situation, all that matters is getting on base, so the oft misrepresented Tim McCarverism of a "walk is as good as a homer" is true.

I don't think anybody would be saying that was the best shot the possession before, because miss then the game is over too. If you are Jimmy Butler who deserved praise for rallying and playing great while hurting, do you just give up? Or do you think I can get one more stop and win in OT? You have a team on the ropes choking away a lead and you make a decision to gamble on less than 50% chance of winning? If he was shooting the ball because he was out of gas and knew they could not win OT, then it is no wonder he missed and missed badly.
 

BaseballJones

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I hear all the arguments and I think the right play was to take it to the rim against Al. At home, Jimmy is probably getting a good look, and might even get a good shot at an and-one.

And his teammates should have been sprinting up the court and might have had more time to crash the boards should he have missed.

But it’s a good debate. I’m just glad he missed.
 

Marciano490

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Sorry, why would the Celtics be favored in OT when the Heat were making a strong, momentum-shifting push into the close of the 4Q?
 

dhellers

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This game accomplished a rare combo: it gave me PTSD (only fading 18 hours later) while WINNING the game.

How about a simple model, assuming the following probabilities.

Odds Butler hits the 3 (given fatigue, etc). 1/3
Odds Butler scores 2 on a drive (given Al is in decent position, but court is open): 2/3
Odds celts score in 20 seconds (assuming butler hits either shot): 1/3. This assume Celts prioritize scoring rather than running out the clock.
Odds celts win overtime. 1/2

Choice 1: take a 3. The odds of heat surviving are
1/3 (shot is made) * 2/3 (celts don't score) = 2/9

Choice 2: drive to the hoop. The odds of heat surviving are :
2/3 (shot is made) * 2/3 (celt's don't score in regulation) * 1/2 (miami wins overtime) = 2/9

Of course there are fringe events. Such as Butler get an and-one on a drive ( seems unlikely refs make that kind of decision),
or Miami scoring in a few seconds remaining if the celts score again.

But this suggests that it was a 50/50 call by Butler, and he may have been thinking
(as that used to be smart Doris Burke suggested) "I am too tired to play an overtime, so finish this now".
 

Euclis20

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Sorry, why would the Celtics be favored in OT when the Heat were making a strong, momentum-shifting push into the close of the 4Q?
If the Celtics are both the better team and had slightly more rest than the Heat (particularly Butler, but also Bam) in the closing minutes, I can buy an argument that the Celtics would be favored in an OT. Balance that against the Heat having all the momentum, plus home court, plus the Celtics in major foul trouble (Brown had 5, Smart/Horford/Tatum all had 4), and I think it's at best a 50-50 proposition for Boston.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think it was a fine maybe good decision.
It was an open shot which were rare late, Al dropped deep so he wasn't beating him just going up into a challenge if he drove, and that's a tough guy to finish on, especially since you can't count on a call there for contact.

Also, a 2 means last shot for the Celtics, a lead means you can get it back on a make or miss. Plus.. OT would be rough given how gassed he was.

I would guess that if you factored in all that taking the open 3 is the better shot
 

Cellar-Door

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This game accomplished a rare combo: it gave me PTSD (only fading 18 hours later) while WINNING the game.

How about a simple model, assuming the following probabilities.

Odds Butler hits the 3 (given fatigue, etc). 1/3
Odds Butler scores 2 on a drive (given Al is in decent position, but court is open): 2/3
Odds celts score in 20 seconds (assuming butler hits either shot): 1/3. This assume Celts prioritize scoring rather than running out the clock.
Odds celts win overtime. 1/2

Choice 1: take a 3. The odds of heat surviving are
1/3 (shot is made) * 2/3 (celts don't score) = 2/9

Choice 2: drive to the hoop. The odds of heat surviving are :
2/3 (shot is made) * 2/3 (celt's don't score in regulation) * 1/2 (miami wins overtime) = 2/9

Of course there are fringe events. Such as Butler get an and-one on a drive ( seems unlikely refs make that kind of decision),
or Miami scoring in a few seconds remaining if the celts score again.

But this suggests that it was a 50/50 call by Butler, and he may have been thinking
(as that used to be smart Doris Burke suggested) "I am too tired to play an overtime, so finish this now".
A note... There is no universe where a 2 contested by at least one elites defender is an expected 66%. Maybe it's 50...maybe.
 

Cellar-Door

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I still come to that you are going to miss and lose most of the time. You need to make the other beat you.

It's like if it is the bottom of the ninth and you leading off down three runs. Swinging 3-0 may all things equal, give the best predicted OPS, but in that situation, all that matters is getting on base, so the oft misrepresented Tim McCarverism of a "walk is as good as a homer" is true.

I don't think anybody would be saying that was the best shot the possession before, because miss then the game is over too. If you are Jimmy Butler who deserved praise for rallying and playing great while hurting, do you just give up? Or do you think I can get one more stop and win in OT? You have a team on the ropes choking away a lead and you make a decision to gamble on less than 50% chance of winning? If he was shooting the ball because he was out of gas and knew they could not win OT, then it is no wonder he missed and missed badly.
You have a much higher chance of winning taking the 3, because having a lead is far more valuable than being tied, and probably the most likely outcome of either shot is that you don't score. The difference in Butler's average on 3s that open and on contested 2s inside 6 feet isn't all that big. The former is around 37%, the latter I can't find a good stat for, but he's under 50% on ALL 2s inside 6 feet, so contested is probably low 40s. Now there is a chance you draw the foul, but hoping for that is really putting it in someone else's hands.

Basically for the 3 you're looking at:
1. 37% chance you are leading (great, now you're favored to win, since a miss you win, and likely the Celtics have to go early enough that if they do make you have time to run an ATO.
2. some chance you get an offensive rebound let's call it 5% (probably low)
3.the rest you are down 2 with 14-15 seconds, you can play foul game

For a 2 you're looking at:
1. 42-45% chance you're tied (Celtics get the last shot and leave you no time, either way)
2. some chance you get an O-rebound (say 3% since it won't be a lng rebound).
3. the rest you're down 2 with 10 seconds left, can play foul game but you're probably losing a whole possession of that.
4. You get a foul call, either make both, same as #1, or miss one, and now basically 3.


The difference in likelihood of scoring any points isn't high enough to offset the huge difference in scoring 3 vs, 1 or 2.
 

the moops

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If the Celtics are both the better team and had slightly more rest than the Heat (particularly Butler, but also Bam) in the closing minutes, I can buy an argument that the Celtics would be favored in an OT. Balance that against the Heat having all the momentum, plus home court, plus the Celtics in major foul trouble (Brown had 5, Smart/Horford/Tatum all had 4), and I think it's at best a 50-50 proposition for Boston.
I don't think players having 4 fouls going into OT would be considered major foul trouble. They had just gone 40, 44, and 45 minutes respectively and only picked up 4 a piece.

The biggest reason it favored the Celtics was they were the better team and the entire Heat team was completely gassed.
 

yecul

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Defensible and ok decision.

Better would be to drive. Get the bucket. Hope for a +1 or 2 free throws. More ways to tie and/or take the lead vs all or nothing.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I was on the line and went with "Pretty bad" just because the refs were going to give him two freebies if Jimmy just drove the ball in. Plus no shot clock and 17 seconds left. Even if he makes it, you are giving the Cs plenty of time to go for the win. I think time/score wise I'd rather either go for a 2 or wide-open 3 by a more consistent long-range shooter with 5 seconds left, with offensive rebounders in better position. Bam was on his own side of the court when Jimmy pulled up.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Sorry, why would the Celtics be favored in OT when the Heat were making a strong, momentum-shifting push into the close of the 4Q?
They really weren’t though at least to any degree that it signified we were tired or anything and were the better team all night. We were playing against the clock offensively down the stretch and overplaying the 3-pt line to deny the 3 which allowed them a couple layups which we essentially gave them.
 

chilidawg

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They really weren’t though at least to any degree that it signified we were tired or anything and were the better team all night. We were playing against the clock offensively down the stretch and overplaying the 3-pt line to deny the 3 which allowed them a couple layups which we essentially gave them.
Defending the 3 and trying not to foul leads to layups. It's not bad late game strategy. You just keep playing, assuming you'll get a stop or 2, or you'll make a shot or two. Up 13 that's all you need. This ended up being one of those cases where it almost didn't.
 

Al Zarilla

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I hear all the arguments and I think the right play was to take it to the rim against Al. At home, Jimmy is probably getting a good look, and might even get a good shot at an and-one.

And his teammates should have been sprinting up the court and might have had more time to crash the boards should he have missed.

But it’s a good debate. I’m just glad he missed.
Maybe Jimmy watched Stranger Things the night before and Al reminded him of the monster. So, he kept his distance.

Hey, basketball has a lot of ebb and flow to it, and the Celtics happened to have an ebb in the last three plus minutes. It was still a wire to wire victory. Next time they're up by 13 with 3 1/2 to go they'll do a better job (I hope they get into one or more such situations against the Ws).
 

scottyno

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I was on the line and went with "Pretty bad" just because the refs were going to give him two freebies if Jimmy just drove the ball in.
Based on what? He drove hard several times in the 4th and didn't get a call, and the heat didn't shoot a single free throw. I think Al would have had to almost intentionally foul him for Jimmy to get free throws on a drive down 2 with 15 seconds left in a game 7.
 

reggiecleveland

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As opposed to driving instead of shooting where they're... also going to lose most of the time
More likely to score and force the Celtics to score. If they tie it the Celtics have to more than get a rebound. If it goes in you call timeout and still have to stop them anyway. Driving to score a 2 means the game is significantly less likely to end on that possession.
 

scottyno

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More likely to score and force the Celtics to score. If they tie it the Celtics have to more than get a rebound. If it goes in you call timeout and still have to stop them anyway. Driving to score a 2 means the game is significantly less likely to end on that possession.
If they score a 2 the Celtics aren't forced to score though. Barring a disaster the Celtics worst case would be going to overtime, with a pretty large freeroll of winning the game in regulation.

And who cares about the odds of the game ending on that possession. The goal is to win the game, not extend the game.
 

reggiecleveland

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If they score a 2 the Celtics aren't forced to score though. Barring a disaster the Celtics worst case would be going to overtime, with a pretty large freeroll of winning the game in regulation.

And who cares about the odds of the game ending on that possession. The goal is to win the game, not extend the game.
I guess that isa where I am different, I don't see it like baseball. I think my team is better, and coach, play that way. As long as the game is not over I can win. I expect to win the next possession.
It always comes back to the idea Butler had taken few thgrees, was not confidenty enough to take many threes then takes a three there. Not his game, not the best play.
 

scottyno

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I guess that isa where I am different, I don't see it like baseball. I think my team is better, and coach, play that way. As long as the game is not over I can win. I expect to win the next possession.
It always comes back to the idea Butler had taken few thgrees, was not confidenty enough to take many threes then takes a three there. Not his game, not the best play.
The heat don't get a next possession though, they have no way to win the next possession. If there were 40 seconds left instead of 15 then your argument makes some sense.

Butler also took 24 3s in the series, he had plenty of confidence to take them. He'd already made the exact same shot earlier in the game.
 

reggiecleveland

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The heat don't get a next possession though, they have no way to win the next possession. If there were 40 seconds left instead of 15 then your argument makes some sense.

Butler also took 24 3s in the series, he had plenty of confidence to take them. He'd already made the exact same shot earlier in the game.
You don't understand the next possession would be the Celtics possession, the Heat would expect a stop.
Anyway I guess the Heat won Jimmy made such a good play down an insurmountable 2 points.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Defending the 3 and trying not to foul leads to layups. It's not bad late game strategy. You just keep playing, assuming you'll get a stop or 2, or you'll make a shot or two. Up 13 that's all you need. This ended up being one of those cases where it almost didn't.
Right. This stretch was no indication as to how the game was going or would have gone in OT. We burned over 20 seconds on each possession and forced Miami to use some clock that resulted in a 2. The only part of the strategy that didn’t go to plan was Smart and Horford missing every single damn open shot that Tatum got them.
 

lovegtm

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Right. This stretch was no indication as to how the game was going or would have gone in OT. We burned over 20 seconds on each possession and forced Miami to use some clock that resulted in a 2. The only part of the strategy that didn’t go to plan was Smart and Horford missing every single damn open shot that Tatum got them.
Yup, people are confusing this with those early season bad isos from Tatum and Brown late in games, and that wasn't what was happening at all.

If the other team's plan is to double your stars and pack the paint otherwise, you need to make open 3s; no real way around that.

Playing Pritchard on the "prevent offense/defense" unit could have been interesting, but I get why they didn't, and it's nitpicking.
 

scottyno

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You don't understand the next possession would be the Celtics possession, the Heat would expect a stop.
Anyway I guess the Heat won Jimmy made such a good play down an insurmountable 2 points.
No, I understand, you don't seem to understand the purpose of the game is to end up with more points. The heat's best chance to do that was for him to take the wide open pull up 3. It's simple math.
 
How much time did Butler have to make his decision - a split-second? He's working on instinct; sure, he had to choose between driving and shooting (or passing, etc.), but he didn't have time to crunch the numbers and assess every option in a cold and calculated fashion. I was laughing listening to Bill Simmons talk with Russillo at the start of his Sunday night podcast about the emotions he said he was experiencing in the moment and the realization which he said was dawning upon him as Butler was taking the shot - total BS, in every sense. Not that I'd expect your live memories of the incident to be unclouded, but did anyone *really* appreciate the fact that it was Butler taking the shot and the relative degree of difficulty the shot was for him *in the moment*, as it was happening? (Most normal sports fans would be in a PTSD state at that moment, worried about choking the game and series away as Butler dribbled up the floor and outwardly or inwardly thinking something more like "aaaaarggfkjhkh" than anything remotely rational.)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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but did anyone *really* appreciate the fact that it was Butler taking the shot and the relative degree of difficulty the shot was for him *in the moment*, as it was happening? (Most normal sports fans would be in a PTSD state at that moment, worried about choking the game and series away as Butler dribbled up the floor and outwardly or inwardly thinking something more like "aaaaarggfkjhkh" than anything remotely rational.)
I don't know about anyone else but when Butler pulled up, my reaction was "OMG. It's going in, isn't it?" but as soon as the ball hit the rim, I was thinking, "Wow I'm glad he took and missed that shot".

But your point stands - Butler was acting on instinct and his instinct was to win the game. I'm just glad it wasn't Strus taking that shot. That would have really killed us Cs fans.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Based on what? He drove hard several times in the 4th and didn't get a call, and the heat didn't shoot a single free throw. I think Al would have had to almost intentionally foul him for Jimmy to get free throws on a drive down 2 with 15 seconds left in a game 7.
Fair point, I had 2 drives where Jimmy could have gotten an "and one", first with 10:57 vs Grant Williams, second potential "and one" later in the quarter against Horford but he was more in a vertical guarding position and it felt like he was playing up that contact. That said, overall I think the refs were waiting to see if shots go in, and did not want to foul anyone out. I think this would change on a close/late play. Overall, rewatching that 4th quarter Butler was standing outside the 3-point line on SO MANY possessions. Was he just going on empty and didn't think he had enough to complete a drive at that point? Maybe. What I know is NOT good is a guy making half a 3-pointer per game at a sub-25% clip going for that shot with plenty of time remaining to get the ball to a better shooter.
 

samuelLsamson

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Given his skillset, it's still astounding he didn't attack the rim and try to get the and-one, but he's been on a hot streak from 3-point range lately, and maybe Al got in his head a bit. Great time to regress to the mean
 

Humphrey

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Imagine if Butler had made that shot, the Celtics clank the last attempt, and things work out that the only lead the Heat had the entire game was on their final shot attempt. I would be recovering from stroke this morning.

I hated that he took that shot because I was certain it was going in. In other words, I agree with his decision.

BTW, interesting that Duncan never played, given the Heat's poor showing from 3 (6/30)
I got to think losing this one would have leapt ahead of Helmet Catch in the list of worst Boston sports losses. Game 6 1986 and Grady Little still are 1&2 in my mind.
Similar to 1986, where they were one strike and/or one out away several times in that inning; the Celts had 5 possessions where a basket would have snuffed out Miami's rally.
 

Red Right Arm

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I feel like part of the struggle with a question like this is that it fundamentally expects superstars like Butler to know and understand their limits and play some sort of statistically optimized pattern of play that constantly adjusts based on the state and flow of the game, and that's just not how these guys are wired. A 25% distance shooter jacking up a three when they have time and one man to beat is an objectively dumb decision when a two ties the game. But part of being a superstar is about coupling superhuman talent with an almost pathological obsession with your own greatness.

Jimmy Butler can make that shot, and he knows it because he's made it before. And again, part of being a superstar is wanting the ball in the biggest moments, wanting to take and make the circus shot, wanting to prove to yourself and everyone else that you and you alone are destined to be a champion. How many times have we gotten on Tatum in a game thread because he seems (fairly or not) to defer to Jaylen or Marcus in the last 3 minutes of a close game like this one? If you have a guy like Jimmy Butler in your team you are getting him the ball in this exact situation so you can let him do his thing.

Being an alpha in the NBA means playing with the confidence of a lunatic, and every team lives and dies by the decisions of their best player. We just watched the Celtics repeatedly take more optimal shots and watched in horror as Marcus clanged open three after open three off the rim. Should Jimmy Butler have taken the shot? Statistically no, it was a dumb decision, but with the season on the line you still want your best player to take their shot and live with the consequences.

Great job phrasing the poll questions, BTW.
 

Red Right Ankle

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I feel like part of the struggle with a question like this is that it fundamentally expects superstars like Butler to know and understand their limits and play some sort of statistically optimized pattern of play that constantly adjusts based on the state and flow of the game, and that's just not how these guys are wired. A 25% distance shooter jacking up a three when they have time and one man to beat is an objectively dumb decision when a two ties the game. But part of being a superstar is about coupling superhuman talent with an almost pathological obsession with your own greatness.

Jimmy Butler can make that shot, and he knows it because he's made it before. And again, part of being a superstar is wanting the ball in the biggest moments, wanting to take and make the circus shot, wanting to prove to yourself and everyone else that you and you alone are destined to be a champion. How many times have we gotten on Tatum in a game thread because he seems (fairly or not) to defer to Jaylen or Marcus in the last 3 minutes of a close game like this one? If you have a guy like Jimmy Butler in your team you are getting him the ball in this exact situation so you can let him do his thing.

Being an alpha in the NBA means playing with the confidence of a lunatic, and every team lives and dies by the decisions of their best player. We just watched the Celtics repeatedly take more optimal shots and watched in horror as Marcus clanged open three after open three off the rim. Should Jimmy Butler have taken the shot? Statistically no, it was a dumb decision, but with the season on the line you still want your best player to take their shot and live with the consequences.

Great job phrasing the poll questions, BTW.
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CPT Neuron

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Live and die with the alpha - it has been said a million plus times that this is a make or miss league and he just happened to miss. Their best player, gassed or not, took a make or miss shot in the dying seconds of a must win game. He took a shot that, given the choice, he probably takes 98, 99 times out of 100 and missed. C's go to the finals.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I go with the Bill Simmons football adage -- if what the other team is doing is exactly what you want them to be doing, it's probably a bad decision. When I saw Butler zooming down the court, with numbers, and Al in retreat, it felt like a layup was coming. In the instant he pulled up for the three, I was relieved.

Later I've come to understand how it wasn't necessarly a bad decision. But in the moment for sure, I was relieved. Even more so the moment after that.
 

HomeRunBaker

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A 25% distance shooter jacking up a three when they have time and one man to beat is an objectively dumb decision when a two ties the game.
As was noted upthread he isn’t a 25% shooter in that circumstance. The large majority of his 3-pt attempts come contested against the shot clock which drives his overall number down. For uncontested 3’s in transition, which this was considered, he is shooting it at 47%. He also made the identical shot earlier in the game. The narrative that’s Butler is this awful 3-point shooter isn’t based in reality.
 

Euclis20

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As was noted upthread he isn’t a 25% shooter in that circumstance. The large majority of his 3-pt attempts come contested against the shot clock which drives his overall number down. For uncontested 3’s in transition, which this was considered, he is shooting it at 47%. He also made the identical shot earlier in the game. The narrative that’s Butler is this awful 3-point shooter isn’t based in reality.
I've seen this stat a lot, and it doesn't make sense to me. He's been a sub 25% 3 point shooter for the last 3 years, how does he go from the very bottom of the league to the very top with this specific type of 3? What's the sample size this year for him on "uncontested 3s in transition?" He took just 116 3s all year. My guess, he's 8-17 on transition 3s (which comes out to 47%). Is the sample size bigger than that? If not, I think we have to retire this stat because it's absurdly small.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I've seen this stat a lot, and it doesn't make sense to me. He's been a sub 25% 3 point shooter for the last 3 years, how does he go from the very bottom of the league to the very top with this specific type of 3? What's the sample size this year for him on "uncontested 3s in transition?" He took just 116 3s all year. My guess, he's 8-17 on transition 3s (which comes out to 47%). Is the sample size bigger than that? If not, I think we have to retire this stat because it's absurdly small.
I don’t have the specifics but these are two completely different shots with a baseline pct of makes that doesn’t seem to be way out of line. There is Contested vs Uncontested but then there is Consested without rhythm, which most forces against the shot clock would be, with Uncontested in rhythm.
 

Euclis20

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I don’t have the specifics but these are two completely different shots with a baseline pct of makes that doesn’t seem to be way out of line. There is Contested vs Uncontested but then there is Consested without rhythm, which most forces against the shot clock would be, with Uncontested in rhythm.
Yeah his % improving in those situations is expected, but he shot 24% from 3 over the last 3 seasons. To go from 24% to 47% just screams SSS, yet it's repeated all over the place as if it's a repeatable % for him going forward and not based on the same number of 3s that a guy like Tatum would take over a 2 game stretch.

For the record, all things considered I agree that taking the 3 was the right move in that moment. I just think that in a vacuum, based on his recent history (and this series, in which he shot 29% from 3), his chance of hitting that in rhythm transition 3 wasn't going to be much greater than 35%, which changes some of the math.
 

snowmanny

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He makes the three they probably win the game and his legend grows exponentially.

I mean, when this guy let this one go, I immediately thought "well, that's a completely idiotic basketball play; what the fuck with the fiddling and diddling and this unnecessary horseshit shot? "
About two seconds later I thought it was fantastic and that I'd never forget it

EDIT - how he timed the shot so it hit the back of the rim EXACTLY as the game clock went to 00:00.0 is beyond me.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESQSecp036I
 
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Just a bit outside

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I originally thought it was a bad decision but looking at it now I don’t think there was a wrong choice. Butler probably makes that shot about 30% of the time considering he has played 47 straight minutes and is fatigued and maybe scores 2 60% or so if he goes to the basket although there are way more variables if he drives. He made the choice and I can’t fault him for it.
 

Cellar-Door

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I've seen this stat a lot, and it doesn't make sense to me. He's been a sub 25% 3 point shooter for the last 3 years, how does he go from the very bottom of the league to the very top with this specific type of 3? What's the sample size this year for him on "uncontested 3s in transition?" He took just 116 3s all year. My guess, he's 8-17 on transition 3s (which comes out to 47%). Is the sample size bigger than that? If not, I think we have to retire this stat because it's absurdly small.
Even if we want to throw out transition as the category.... he shot 37% on wide open 3s this year, 35% over the last 3 (last year was bad, year before was 37% again). It might change the math slightly, but the general idea wouldn't.
 

chilidawg

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I go with the Bill Simmons football adage -- if what the other team is doing is exactly what you want them to be doing, it's probably a bad decision. When I saw Butler zooming down the court, with numbers, and Al in retreat, it felt like a layup was coming. In the instant he pulled up for the three, I was relieved.

Later I've come to understand how it wasn't necessarly a bad decision. But in the moment for sure, I was relieved. Even more so the moment after that.
I had the exact opposite reaction at the time, thinking "game over". So I thought it was good decision, and was very very relieved that he missed.
 

PedrosRedGlove

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Yeah, I was a lot closer to terrified than relieved when he pulled up. I really think you have to go for the kill there.

Going down 1 with ~13 seconds left after collapsing like that would have been brutal, and I'm not sure how confident I'd be in the Celtics recovering on the next possession after that gut punch. Butler driving would have been a mix of hoping for the and-1 and playing for overtime, while also giving the Celtics one final possession in a tie game to win in regulation. Add in that OT would've meant Butler going for 53 minutes by the end of it, and I think he made the right decision.