With his team trailing by one with 9.6 seconds left in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Steve Kerr needed a winning play.
The Golden State Warriors coach appeared to draw up just that: Andre Iguodala lobbed an inbound pass to Draymond Green, who found Stephen Curry for an open 3-point attempt.
I don’t know about this, man. There was too much time left, down by only one, to try a Brad Stevens weakside lob play pic.twitter.com/fDC0oVfbdL— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) June 14, 2019
Curry missed, and the Dubs had to watch the Toronto Raptors celebrate an NBA title on their own floor. But astute observers -- including Celtics alum Evan Turner -- noted, that play to spring Curry was a page out of Boston head coach Brad Stevens' book.
That was a Brad stevens play— Evan Turner (@thekidet) June 14, 2019
They ran the Brad Stevens Butler play but WHY? That is an “Under 2 seconds” play.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) June 14, 2019
Van Gundy with the Brad Stevens shoutout to close out the season.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 14, 2019
We have video evidence, too: Here's a supercut of the Celtics running that same play successfully on multiple occasions out of late-game timeouts.
The second play for Avery Bradley in the above video is almost identical to what the Warriors ran Thursday night. The Celtics have had pretty good success with Stevens' action -- including a couple game-winners -- and the Warriors may have won an NBA Finals game with it had Curry knocked down the 3-pointer.
Some questioned Kerr for running a 2-second play with 10 seconds still on the game clock, but it did allow Golden State time to track down the rebound, even if it failed to do so. (The Raptors also deserve credit for defending this pretty well, as Serge Ibaka gave a decent contest of Curry's shot.)
Stevens probably wishes he was calling that play for the C's in the NBA Finals instead of watching another coach run one of his signature actions, but it's still a testament to his basketball mind that Kerr turned to his play in crunch time.
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