BY DAVID THORPE
There were 58 seconds left in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Boston Celtics were up two points with the ball. ESPN’s Game Tracker put the Celtics’ win probability at 74.8 percent. Any Celtics score and their odds of winning went into the stratosphere.
At half court, Celtics point guard Kemba Walker was guarded one-on-one by Heat rookie Tyler Herro, a pure baller with oodles of potential, who is no match for Kemba in space. (On the previous possession, Kemba had scored over a much tougher, longer defender in Jae Crowder.)
This moment—ending a game with a combination of talent, skill, and wisdom—is exactly why Kemba is in Boston.
And he didn’t even hit the rim.
Instead he made some bad decisions, got his shot blocked, and the Heat defied the odds to win the game in overtime.
Kemba is going to have to play a lot better. He’s in a dark place.
But there is a way out.