Was Jimmy Butler’s final shot Friday in Heat loss acceptable? – The Mercury News

We’re going to do this in reverse order today.

This time I’ll offer a thought and turn over the floor to those who need to vent (and there were plenty) about the Heat’s final play in Friday night’s loss in Atlanta.

The view here: How off an inbounds play with 4.4 seconds left down one do you not get something toward the basket, some type of pick-and-roll, something that involves multiple defenders and perhaps produces a foul during an NBA postseason that has gone whistle-happy? And that’s against a team lacking their defensive backstop.

Of course Erik Spoelstra has to stand by his player. But I find it very, very, very hard to believe that is what he drew up or what any coach would draw up: going east-west for almost the entire balance of the clock.

And here’s what you said:

* * *

Q: With 4.4 seconds left in the game and down by one, why would you go for a 3-point shot, when the probability of making a two-pointer or drawing a foul on a drive to the paint is so much more lucrative? I swear we have lost several games this season the same way. The Heat need to refine their clutch gene or we are in for a disappointing playoff run. — Wilson, Miami.

* * *

Q: The Heat may have lost this series. What kind of play call is that at the end? — Jeffrey.

* * *

Q: Having 4.4 seconds remaining coming out of a timeout is enough time for four passes. Oh, what the heck, no real play, just toss to Jimmy Butler who was basically being guarded by all five Hawks players — and everybody this side of Timbuktu knew that was going to happen. I hate that kind of coaching and I see it over and over in the NBA, especially the Heat. Bah. — Rolando, Borrego Springs, Calif.

* * *

Q: Obviously Erik Spoelstra is one of the best in the game, but our late-game execution is second-worst the league. Those last possessions were atrocious. No ball movement. And letting Jimmy Butler flail up 3s isn’t going to beat Atlanta, let alone whoever lays ahead when we advance. — Cooper, Key Largo.

* * *

Q: That can’t be the last-shot selection. I had this exchange with you during the regular season Ira and you said you doubted that would be the case come playoff time. Jimmy Butler iso play does not work as a final play. How many times do we have to watch that improvised ridiculousness Jimmy always does? PJ Tucker was wide open under the basket and Tire Herro was open on the wing as Jimmy drew three defenders. Everyone on the defense knew what was coming. Spo needs to tell him to pass the ball. If it was good enough and successful for LeBron James, it’s good enough for Jimmy. — CJ, Dubai, UAE.

* * *

Q: Hi, Ira. Last two possessions are on Jimmy Butler. The ball should have gone to Tyler Herro. Now it’s a series. — Juan, Miami.

* * *

Q: I’m tired of seeing every last-second shot to win the game being an off-balance 3 by Jimmy Butler. That’s absurd. I expect more from him at the end of games and definitely more from Erik Spoelstra. Very amateur last two possessions to lose by one. — Marc, Arlington, Texas.

* * *

Q: Jimmy triple-covered taking the final shot with both Gabe Vincent and Tyler Herro wide open on the other side of the court? Jimmy had just turned it over. The same issue we had throughout the season. — Scotty, Delray Beach.

* * *

Q: Too often at the end of close games, or at the end of quarters, instead of the Heat running a play, everyone just stands around watching Jimmy Butler dribble. and then he throws up a 3-point shot. — Joel.

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