“Let Burien Chevrolet make you a great deal!” - Elise Woodward
By Trenton Jocz, Sports Radio KJR
In the “Community” episode entitled “Remedial Chaos Theory,” perhaps one of the most unique and innovative half-hours in television history, the study group plays out the same party in a multitude of different ways based on assigning each person in the group a number on a six-sided die and allowing chance to determine who had to get up and answer the pizza delivery man at the door. The concept behind the episode was that one simple change in the course of events can create a divergent timeline, with some of the alternate timelines being relatively similar, while others produced a harrowing sequence of events. With one critical coaching misstep last night, Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel did just that, radically changing the course of the Eastern Conference Finals.
If somehow you missed the ending to last night’s Game 1, down one with 2.2 seconds left, LeBron James drove to the basket for a wide open layup as Vogel left defensive anchor Roy Hibbert on the bench for the final possession.
The logic behind the move was that with five capable perimeter shooters and the agile Chris Bosh the only big man among them, Hibbert would have likely been attacked and taken advantage of on a switch. Plenty of holes can be poked in that logic however.
First, and most obviously, Vogel has tried this same gambit twice already in the postseason to no avail. The Knicks immediately scored on
Many NBA scribes noted last night that with less than three seconds remaining,
The decision would have been defensible if the Pacers were up three.
This is why the biggest error is Vogel’s thinking is also the most baffling. In removing Hibbert, they significantly raised their chances of surrendering the most efficient shot in basketball and the one their system is entirely geared around preventing, to the best player on the planet.
Vogel was worried about giving up an open jumper to Bosh or a good perimeter look for Ray Allen, and justifiably so, as they are easily amongst the elite when it comes to taking those type of shots, but returning to the concept of timelines, in benching Hibbert, he created a new timeline where having the big man on the bench effectively eliminated the chance Miami would be taking one of those shots in the first place.
Maybe Bosh or Allen would have won the game with a jumper, but even the best shooters don’t hit at the same clip as James does on open layups.
Now that Indiana has wasted George’s coming out party, a performance reminiscent of the exhilarating highs and error-filled lows of Russell Westbrook’s 43 point explosion in Game 4 of last year’s Finals, and a sloppy effort from Miami (20 turnovers, 16/25 from the free throw line and 5/18 from beyond the arc), they’ll need to submit this type of performance four more times (at least), a tall task for a team that goes through prolonged offensive slumps.
In the span of just 2.2 seconds,