Despite Will Bynum's experience, he's nowhere as near as seasoned in the playoffs. In his 10th season as a pro, eighth in the NBA, and not playing much for the Wizards recently, he found himself inserted into Game 3 vs. the Atlanta Hawks with 24 seconds left and a 99-98 lead.
Bynum, who replaced Marcin Gortat, was quickly fouled by Dennis Schroder and sent to the foul line. He buried both foul shots.
"That ain't pressure to me," said Bynum, who had nine points in 13 minutes of a 103-101 victory thanks to Paul Pierce's buzzer-beating bank shot. "Pressure is having four or five kids with no job. I'm playing a game that I love. I work hard. I'm prepared for this type of opportunity."
Bynum actually was the Wizards' best scorer in a dismal fourth quarter. They only scored 18 points, six coming from the backup point guard, in blowing all of a 21-point lead.
John Wall's left wrist fracture created a spot for Bynum. He has missed the last two games of this series and is unlikely to play. Bynum had appeared just once in the playoffs, in a Game 4 blowout of the Toronto Raptors in the first round when he logged just four minutes.
Now Ramon Sessions is the starter without Wall, which pushed Bynum up in the rotation and ahead of Garrett Temple because he's a better offensive option.
Bynum contributed to Pierce's game-winning basket, too. He set the screen on Kyle Korver to free him, forcing Schroder to switch on Pierce who is six inches taller and about 70 pounds heavier.
"I've been dreaming, waiting on this type of opportunity," said Bynum, who last appeared in the playoffs in 2009 with the Detroit Pistons and played in China this season until being signed as a free agent in late March. "I'm well prepared. I work hard.
"I've been pro for a long time in a lot of different situations and scenarios."