On one hand, baskets get missed all the time. In reality, the chance of a player making a shot is less than the odds of him missing. And in a clutch moment, many players rise, but not all.
On the other hand, it was Ray Allen.
Ray Allen is a clutch three point shooter, so much so that he held the record for the most three-pointers in an NBA Finals series until the 2013 Finals when Danny Green outshined him.
Maybe that was what did it for him.
The Spurs were up in Game 6, ready to claim their 5th NBA title on the road in front of Miami’s capacity crowd. Shutting the door on Miami going back-to-back and shutting the mouth of Lebron James who was claiming many. many championships just a few years before.
As the story goes, the NBA officials started marking off the court so that the Spurs trophy commencement could be expedited as swiftly as possible. This was enough to ruffle the feathers of the Heat.
In what became a monumental blow to the Spurs organization, a botched rebound, followed by a corner three from the aforementioned clutch Ray Allen sent Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals into overtime.
Blame Pop for benching Tim Duncan, blame Kawhi for missing free throws, blame a missed opportunity for a buzzer-beater with 5.2 seconds or blame a five minute overtime to put Game 6 away. Not to mention an entire Game 7.
But by then, the Heat had deflated any momentum the Spurs had and they never recovered.
Had Ray Allen missed, the Spurs would have won Game 6 and been crowned their fifth championship on Miami’s floor. Danny Green would have most likely been honored as Finals MVP.
Same question persists- without the fire and the failure of 2013, would the Spurs have turned the corner and elevated into the “beautiful game” in 2014?
Sub-question- if the Spurs had not pushed through the loss in 2014 and united — let’s say they had a good season but not a record season — let’s additionally say they don’t make the Finals — does Kawhi Leonard develop into his MVP/DPOY caliber self?
And in Miami, do the Heat dismantle a season ahead of when LeBron went into hiding in Las Vegas? Does Ray Allen retire frustrated with a tip of his cap to Danny Green? Does Chris Bosh transition right into Jurassic mode with his tyrannosaurus rex self?
What kind of domino effect could a Ray Allen miss have caused?
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