Never before has being wrong felt so thrilling.
It felt like just moments before I was discussing with someone the logistics behind leaving Jerryd Bayless on the court late in game four. What could he do that Michael Carter-Williams couldn’t do? Sure, Bayless had played an okay game, MCW isn’t a star point guard and it was clear that Jason Kidd wanted to ride out this game with a bench unit that had played incredibly well in the fourth quarter, but I still doubted leaving in Bayless.
Moments before, the ball was in his hands with less than 30 seconds to play. He missed an open Jared Dudley and ended up driving to the rim, where he flew through the air in the paint, double clutched and …. hit the bottom of the rim with the ball.
The Bulls got the rebound and it seemed like they would take the last shot. Derrick Rose dribbled around near the top of the key and began his move right around the five second mark. Bayless defended him well and Khris Middleton successfully reached his hand in for a strip.
With the clock ticking down, Middleton’s instinct was to get a shot up as quick as possible. His halfcourt heave was blocked and I thought the Bucks were heading to overtime, at least partially because of Bayless. Both because he had played well in the fourth quarter and because he wasn’t able to make anything happen on that last possession.
But Jason Kidd, ever the wise and attentive coach, called a timeout before Middleton’s shot. The Bucks had 1.3 seconds and one more chance. Bayless was still in and I still had my doubts about it.
That’s why I watched the game from the top of the 200 section and Kidd and Bayless came away victors.