At the very end of last night’s Game 4, Dwyane Wade shot an off-balance, post-pump fake three that was just a hair short, giving the Celtics a huge victory and making the Eastern Conference finals a best of three series. Cool stuff for basketball fans around the world.
And while you might think Wade missed that shot because he’s shooting only 27 percent from three during the playoffs and had to reset himself for the shot, that’s not it at all. In fact, it was a couple of supernatural forces that didn’t allow Wade’s shot to go in. The first was a ghost. From the AP:
”Red wasn’t going to let that go in, you know that,” coach Doc Rivers said, referring to longtime Celtics boss Red Auerbach. ”Not in the Boston Garden.”
The second, of course, was the spirit of a basketball. From the Boston Herald:
“Yeah, a good look, on line, it didn’t want to go in,’’ he said. “Couldn’t ask for a better look, got the shot off I wanted from the standpoint of how we ran it. They took away our first option and then I tried to make a one-on-one play and got a good shot.’’
“Yeah, it was on line,’’ he repeated. “That’s all you can ask for. I got my legs under me a little bit. It just decided it didn’t want to go in tonight.’’
So basically, between Red Auerbach’s spectre coming down from the heavens to block the shot and a cursed basketball that had a mind of its own, there was no way that three was going in. The play was over before it started. Sorry, Heat fans. That’s just the way it is.
The good thing about this, however, is that now that we know the possession was doomed from the start, there’s no use in debating whether or not Wade should have hit Mario Chalmers on that last possession. Even if Chalmers is a way better shooter than Wade, if the ball has already made up its mind that it’s not going in, and Red Auerbach’s ghost has taken time out of his haunting of Kevin McHale, then no one was going to hit that shot. Argue all you want, but sometimes things are bigger than basketball.