Pop quiz hot shot: You’re up 3 in an NBA game on the road with 17 seconds to play. The other team is inbounding the ball. WHAT DO YOU DO????
Do you employ the old-school, traditional strategy and play good defense and presume you can prevent the other team from tying it up with a three-pointer? Or do you go with the statistically superior strategy of putting them on the line so you can’t be forced into OT by the team hitting one shot? To me, this question is usually a no-brainer. You foul. But there were 17 seconds left and that is a much grayer area than if there were, say, 7 seconds to play.
Fortunately, all this becomes much, much easier when the opposing coach runs an out-of-bounds play that inbounds the ball to former All-Star Jamaal Magloire, who hasn’t shot above 50.0% from the line since 2007. David West fouled Jamaal, who is affectionately called — and shoots free throws like a — Big Cat, either intentionally or not. And Magloire airballed it. And the Pacers won.
Sometimes, a kicker in football will drill a field goal so convincingly that it is common parlance to say about the, for example, 52-yarder that “That woulda been good from 65.” Well, this was the opposite: Jamaal, that wouldn’t have been good from 12 feet. (video via Deadspin)