This weekend NBA fans were treated to one of the most exciting plays in sports, a buzzer-beater to win the game. But it wasn’t just one buzzer-beater the fans got to witness but three; and not only three buzzer-beaters in just any games but in three NBA playoff games.
It started with the Chicago Bulls’ star Derrick Rose hitting a bank-shot three-pointer as time expired in Game 3 to give the Bulls a 2-1 series lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Eastern Conference favorite as predicted by experts with Gambling.com. Rose has been battling criticism for his continued issues with injuries and his inability to produce for Chicago but fortunately, hitting the game-winner against the LeBron-led Cavs silenced the critics at least for the night.
The buzzer-beating continued in the Eastern Conference as veteran Paul Pierce clinched Game 3 against the number-1 seated Atlanta Hawks with another bank-shot which also put his team up 2-1 in the series. Pierce is frequently criticized for his trash-talking but was able to back-up the talk that night with his unexpected game-winner. Pierce was only awarded the opportunity to shoot the potential game-winner because the team’s superstar point-guard, John Wall is out with fractures in his wrist.
The third and final buzzer-beater again came from the Cleveland-Chicago series as LeBron was able to match Rose’s performance from the prior game winning Game 4 with an incredible long range two-pointer as time expired. This buzzer-beater is receiving praise as the best of the bunch due to the difficulty and lack of shot-banking. The Cavaliers only had 1.5 seconds left on the clock to hit the shot but found a way to get the ball in their star’s hands and win the game.
The LeBron game-winner has also caused quite a bit of controversy after post-game interviews revealed the shot almost never occurred due to Cavs’ coach David Blatt originally calling for James to inbound the ball voiding him of any chance to shoot the game-winner. James explained to reporters after the game he told Blatt that he wasn’t inbounding the ball and that he was taking the last shot.
Blatt is receiving additional criticism because he almost cost Cleveland the chance at the final shot all together after attempting to call a timeout the Cavs didn’t have when the Bulls’ Derrick Rose tied the game with 1.5 seconds left. Fortunately for Blatt, an assistant coach realized the nearly monumental mistake that was about to occur and grabbed Blatt. Blatt was saved twice from ultimately costing the Cavs Game 4 and a series in which would have trailed 3-1.
Here are the three epic buzzer-beaters; you be the judge of which one was the best: