Takeaway from a Crazy NBA Playoff Game Ending

Last night I watched the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Eastern Conference playoff game. The series is a best of seven, meaning whichever team wins four games wins the series. Miami won the first three games, so the probability of Miami winning the series was high. Boston then won two consecutive games and was looking to win a third last night, tie the series, and force the series-deciding game seven. The game was played in Miami, and forcing a game seven in that environment wasn’t an easy task.

In the fourth quarter with three seconds left, Miami was ahead 103–102. Boston shot the ball, which rimmed out. With two-tenths of a second remaining, Boston’s Derrick White tipped the ball into the net. Game over. Boston has won and forced a game seven against seemingly impossible odds with three seconds left. The entire arena is stunned. It was the craziest ending of a game I’ve seen in a long time.

The last three seconds of last night’s game were a great example of what can happen if you don’t give up. The Celtics could have let the probabilities of scoring in three seconds deflate them and given a half-hearted effort. But that didn’t happen. They came out and gave their all for those last three seconds and pushed for the outcome they wanted until the clock read zero. Of course, the ball bouncing into White’s hands was a stroke of luck, but had he not hustled to be in that position under the goal he wouldn’t have gotten the lucky break.  

My takeaway is to never give up prematurely. Keep fighting until the clock reads zero. If you give up too early, you could be out of position and miss your lucky break.