The NBA Finals in the bubble has definitely not disappointed thus far.
On Friday night, a visibly exhausted Jimmy Butler led the Miami Heat in a must win situation with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a 111-108 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The series is now 3-2 in favor of the Lakers with Game 6 on Sunday.
However, the last play of the game sparked a controversy on social media.
Here’s what happened: The Lakers had possession after a timeout with 16.8 seconds left on the game clock.
LeBron James drives to the hoop and draws several defenders, as he normally does under these circumstances. Instead of taking the heavily contested layup, James dishes it out to a wide open Danny Green for a top of the key three-pointer to win not just the game, but the championship.
Should James have just taken the contested shot over three Heat defenders? Or did he make the right play kicking it back out?
Green is currently averaging 6.5 points per game and hitting 21.4% from the field and 27.3% from three-point range against Miami in these finals. Unexpectedly lower stats than usual for Green who in his career has shot 40% from three-point range.
Many took to social media after the game to discuss this play, including Portland Trail Blazers starting backcourt CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard, both of which defended James and said he made the right call kicking it out to Green.
What do you think? Was it the right decision? And if faced with similar circumstances again, will James make the same decision?
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon with special guest Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts].