Mentioned this last night but it bears repeating. I don't mean to take anything away from Big Baby and his huge shots (Steve will cover Big Baby later today I am sure) but Paul Pierce deserves to be praised for his pass last night.
Some could argue that he made the only reasonable play, but reason is tough to come by in the waning seconds of a game. How many impossible last second shots has Pierce made in his career? How many has he missed for that matter?
He's done it his whole career. The Celtics run a lot of different plays using a myriad of screens and movement. But when Doc wants to give Pierce the ball, it's usually the modified give-and-go (meaning "give it to me and go over there out of my way"). He's a master at timing and spacing and creating just enough room to get off his shot. He just chose not to this time. He had Superman in his face so he let someone else play hero this time.
Listen to what the coaches said after the game. First Doc Rivers:
"We have a saying, 'Trust the pass,' " Rivers said. "Our best player trusted the pass. He may have made a shot, but Dwight Howard was in his face. Baby was open. He trusted the offense, he trusted the pass, and Baby knocked down the shot."
Next Stan Van Gundy:
"Our guys did exactly what we were supposed to do and it didn't get the job done," Van Gundy said. "So, that one is on me and that is a tough thing to sit up here and say as a coach. I'm not going to get into that. I don't want to talk about that, for other reasons. But, let's just say our guys played it exactly right, played it very hard, took away all their options, and had I made a different decision we probably could've taken away the last option.
"I thought we did a great job on the play and they had to have the patience to go all the way to their last option and not force up a tough shot."
The truth is (no pun intended) they did do exactly what they were supposed to on that play. You roll the dice and see if the young big man forced into a starting role can beat you with a shot outside the paint.
And the Celtics also did exactly what they should do. They looked for the best options first and when they were not available the went to the open option. It was the logical choice even though it may not have been Paul's natural choice.
So the offense and defense both did just what they should have and it boiled down to execution. Davis made the basket, end of story.