The Miami Heat lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last night. The Boston Celtics cruised the whole way, dominating the first quarter and holding off Heat comeback attempts until the final minutes.
Miami had one last run to save their season down 13 points with 3:35 left to go. And the Heat made the improbable run to have a chance to win the game. Down two, Butler picked up a rebound with 18.7 seconds left and took off. And he went for the win, attempting a 3-pointer.
If it went in and the Heat held on in the final seconds, it becomes one of the best clutch shots in Miami playoff history. But it missed, and we now get months of questions. Why did the Max Strus 3 get overturned? What would’ve happened if so many players weren’t injured in this series? How good can Tyler Herro be?
This 3-pointer from Max Strus was taken away because he stepped out.— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 30, 2022
The shot occurred with 11:04 to go and was taken off the board with 8:28 to go in the 3rd quarter. pic.twitter.com/ucNdRYGjbx
And another question, of course. What if Butler drove to the rim for a layup? What if he get fouled and had a chance to make a three-point play?
I’m fine with him taking the shot. Butler played the entire game, so I understand him going for the win instead of forcing overtime. (P.J. Tucker also left the game early in the third quarter and did not return, with no injury announced.) He couldn’t have guaranteed he’d get an and-one.
Few things to think about - there were 16.7 secs left lets say he gets a layup and the game is tied.— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) May 30, 2022
1. Celts are likely 50% (or more if we are being realistic) to win in OT
2. Celts can hold for the last shot in regulation if its tied.
Besides, Butler went for the tie in another Game 7 — in the Philadelphia 76ers 2019 second-round series against the Toronto Raptors. And he made the layup. But no one remembers that shot because of Kawhi Leonard’s corner 3 at the buzzer.
In two deep playoff runs, Butler has carried the Heat to the NBA Finals in 2020 and to the brink of the Finals this year. He’s surpassed Alonzo Mourning and become the third-best player in Heat franchise history. In Game 6 and Game 7 of this series, he earned the right to take the 3 to win the series. You live with the results.