The Miami Heat have made history by becoming the first team to win a playoff series as a play-in team. They achieved this feat by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in a game on Wednesday. This victory also marks the fifth time in NBA history that an eighth-seeded team has knocked off a top-seeded team.
During Game 4, the Bucks held a 12-point lead with just over six minutes remaining in the game. However, they ended up losing as Jimmy Butler scored an impressive 56 points, leading Miami to a 3-1 series lead on Monday. In Game 5, the Bucks entered the fourth quarter with a 16-point lead, but the game went into overtime where Miami managed to take a seven-point lead with only 1:43 remaining on the clock.
In a remarkable turn of events, the Bucks were able to cut the lead to just two points and gained possession of the ball with approximately nine seconds left in the game. However, they were unable to capitalize on the opportunity, resulting in their defeat.
It’s not a trick of the eyes – Grayson Allen, possibly unaware of the time remaining on the clock, failed to make a shot before time expired. This resulted in a lack of redemption for the Milwaukee team, whose season came to an end. If the game had gone into double overtime, the Bucks would have had a significant advantage as several key players from Miami, including Bam Adebayo, Kevin Love, and Kyle Lowry, had all fouled out.
The Eastern Conference’s top-seeded team and the NBA team with the best regular-season record watched their season end on a disappointing note. Notably, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer made the same decision as his staff did at the end of regulation, choosing not to call a timeout. This decision prevented them from drawing up a play with less than one second remaining. Now, he is likely to regret that choice as the Bucks leave the game in disbelief.
Grayson Allen’s blunder will forever be remembered alongside J.R. Smith’s notorious mistake in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. In that game, Smith collected a missed free throw by his teammate George Hill in the final seconds, mistakenly believing that Cleveland had the lead.
He then dribbled out the clock, unaware that the score was tied and that his team needed to take a shot. While Allen was aware of the score and would have attempted a shot regardless of whether he thought the game was tied, he simply misjudged how much time was left on the clock.
The Miami Heat have now joined the ranks of other eighth-seeded teams to knock off a top-seeded team, including the 1994 Seattle Supersonics, the 1999 New York Knicks, the 2007 Golden State Warriors, and the 2012 Philadelphia 76ers. Milwaukee Bucks’ loss, following the collapse that led up to it, could be considered the most embarrassing of them all.
Miami will now face off against the New York team in the second round, while Milwaukee Bucks is left to ponder what could have been.