Last night’s 106-93 victory over the Atlanta Hawks was a great win, but don’t let the final score fool you, this game never felt like a blowout. Former Celtic Brian Scalabrine of CSN may have put it best:
With less than 10 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, Jonas Jerebko made a sweeping layup to put the good guys up 86-71. As great as Boston looked, this is still the NBA, and no lead is safe. This is especially true against a solid Hawks team that still stands in second place in the Eastern Conference after the loss.
After a string of free throws, Atlanta crawled back to make it just a one possession game at 96-93 with under 3 minutes to play. At this point there was a clear momentum shift in favor of ATL, and many in Celtics nation were beginning to fear the worst.
The very next possession, Evan Turner pump-faked at the elbow, only to get his shot swatted by Kyle Korver. As I was ready to throw whatever was next to me through the wall, there was a whistle. The way the game had been shifting, I thought it could have been offensive 3 seconds, maybe even a loose ball foul. No, Brad Stevens called a timeout before the shot!
The third year head coach went on to draw a play/practice his basketball genius voodoo magic and the players responded with a 10-0 run in the ensuing minute and a half, sealing the victory. The final minute included no additional scoring, leading to the 106-93 final score.
Had Stevens not called that timeout when he did, ATL would have probably been on a fast break and could have closed the lead to one or tied it with a transition 3 point shot, likely putting a major spark in the opponents who were ready to go for the kill.
This isn’t the first time Stevens has called a timeout in the middle of a possession before the shot goes up. He used the same tactic in Toronto last season, and the result was a buzzer beater by Marcus Smart.
It wasn’t the first, but it certainly won’t be the last game winning move Stevens pulls off for this team. Celtics fans have a lot to be excited about in their young head coach.
Photo Credit: CSNNE.com
Vine: Chris Forsberg
For more Celtics news and takes follow Nolan on Twitter @NolanChuck Nolan Connor 11/14/2015 12:33:00 PM Tweet Edit