The Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz were not the only teams to have a Game 7 come down to the very last second in the first round of the NBA playoffs. On Wednesday, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder faced off in a Game 7 that had fans at the edge of their seats. The Rockets ended up winning the game 104-102, but the Thunder had an opportunity to score with possession of the ball and 1.1 seconds left on the clock. What transpired after this point was the subject of much scrutiny from fans, media, and former and current NBA players that were watching the game.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was clearly trying to get the ball to Danilo Gallinari for a three-point shot that would have won them the game and the series. Instead, the play was broken up and they did not end up even getting a shot up. But it isn’t as though they didn’t have good alternative options to whatever play they were going to run. As many noticed, Steven Adams had a clear lane to the basket if Gilgeous-Alexander had opted to lob the ball towards the rim, as you can see in the video below. But shockingly enough, this didn’t seem to even cross the mind of Gilgeous-Alexander, or Adams, who did not even move towards the rim in an attempt to make the game winning play.
The comments on social media were pretty hysterical (unless you are a Thunder fan). Our own Monte Morris sent out this tweet questioning the Thunder’s decision making.
Why didn’t he throw that to the rim to Adams tho ♂️— Monte Morris (@BigGameTae) September 3, 2020
Of course, the Nuggets also made some questionable decisions in their Game 7. With possession of the ball and time expiring, Jamal Murray decided not to dribble the ball out and wait to get fouled despite the fact that the Nuggets were ahead by two points. Instead, he sprinted towards the basket and passed the ball to Torrey Craig for an open layup that Craig unfortunately missed, resulting in the Jazz getting off a last second three point attempt that could have sent them to the second round and sent the Nuggets home.
I think it’s safe to say that Game 7s that come down to the wire, while not always smooth, are exceptionally exciting games. Let’s hope we get more of them as these playoffs progress.