The Los Angeles Lakers missed out on their first chance to secure the 17th championship in franchise history on Friday night. A huge game from Jimmy Butler propelled the Miami Heat to a 111-108 win in Game 5, although if a Danny Green three with less than 10 seconds remaining went in, perhaps history would have remembered this game differently.
The Lakers trailed by one in the game’s waning moments when LeBron James drove to the rim, attracted essentially every Miami defender’s attention, then threw a tricky pass to Green, who had an aircraft carrier worth of space between him and everyone else. Green pulled and got front iron, which led to a Markieff Morris turnover.
The sequence led to plenty of chatter about what James should have done and whether Green should have hit the shot. In James’ eyes, it’s not worth getting bogged down in this conversation, because sometimes, guys just simply miss shots.
“I mean, if you just look at the play, I was able to draw two defenders below the free throw line and find one of our shooters at the top of the key for a wide-open 3 to win a championship,” James said after the game. “I trusted him, we trusted him, and it just didn’t go. “You live with that. You live with that. It’s one of the best shots that we could have got. … Danny had a hell of a look. It just didn’t go down. I know he wishes he can have it again.”
It’s very much an example of “it’s a make or miss league,” because while he’s struggled during the Finals, Green is one heck of a player who you expect to make that exact shot. A wide open, straight away look is something Green hits in his sleep, but this time, he just didn’t. Still, he’s a good shooter, and we’ll bet he hopes this same shot pops up again during Game 6.