Game 7 of the 2023 East Finals: A place we never thought we’d be

The Miami Heat were a mere 0.1 of a second away from their seventh trip to the NBA Finals, but no one bothered to block out the inbound man, Derrick White, who had an unmolested run to the was able to tip in Marcus Smart missed three-point attempt for the most improbable sub-0.5-second game-winning basket since Derek Fisher’s infamous heave against the San Antonio Spurs back in 2004 Western Conference Semifinals.

Although Jimmy Butler made some plays down the stretch, for most of the game he, nor Bam Adebayo played particularly well, their combined field goal percentage resembled a calculation of Pi. Three point sharpshooter Duncan Robinsom knocked down some key shots but missed on two wide open looks that would have given Miami the lead.

Jayson Tatum put together another 30+ point performance with 31 points but missed 14 of his 22 field goal attempts. Jaylen Brown was solid, scoring 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds on an efficient 9/16 field goals.

The Eastern Conference Finals have been a tale of two series- the first three games featured the Heat putting on a clinic. The next three games it appeared that Ime Udoka was secretly coaching the team, as they have resembled the tough, defensively disruptive team that we saw the later half of last season and whose play fueled a run to the NBA Finals.

Six days ago the Heat seemed poised to send the Celtics hurtling Into the postseason with an embarrassing sweep. However after their last-second loss to the Celtics, the Heat are on the verge of going down in the annals of history, for all the wrong reasons.

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