In December 2017, the Suns and Grizzlies met in a contest on the wire. Phoenix had the ball with just 0.6 seconds on the clock and the game was tied at 97.
So what did Suns coach Jay Triano do? He unveiled a coin he had kept in his back pocket for years.
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As he stood on the sideline near the Grizzlies bench, Dragan Bender threw a pass to Tyson Chandler who was floating directly over the rim, giving Chandler the opportunity to slam him through the back of the net. . Wait, can you do that?
“You can’t keep a ball that won’t count,” Triano told reporters after the game.
More than three years later, Triano’s words resonated throughout the Phoenix Suns Arena again. Coach Monty Williams put together a similar game on Tuesday night, and his players executed it perfectly to give the Suns a stunning 104-103 win over the Clippers and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference final.
Look at this beauty:
OK, let’s break this down NBA TV’s Matt Winer called it “The Valley Oop”. (Great job, Matt).
First, note the positioning of DeMarcus Cousins. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue made a smart move by putting Cousins on Jae Crowder in order to make an inbound pass more difficult, but Cousins is up against Crowder, paving the passing lane Crowder needs.
As for the action in the painting, Devin Booker places a formidable screen on Ivica Zubac, allowing Deandre Ayton to break free. Nicolas Batum could he hit Ayton and recover? Maybe, but he’s understandably concerned about leaving Booker.
Once Ayton steps on Zubac running towards the basket, it’s up to Crowder to put the ball to a spot where Ayton can score. As you can see from the angle below, Crowder narrowly avoids the back panel. The placement here is just amazing.
“He’s definitely Jae’s game winner,” Ayton said after the game.
Now you might still be wondering, “But why isn’t this a violation of the gatekeepers? “
As the NBA explained in its Last Two Minute Report from that December 2017 game, “goalie rules don’t apply because (Chandler) comes in contact with the ball during a throw-in and not with a live ball which has already been legally touched on the field. playing field. ”Scott Foster, who was the team manager on Tuesday, offered the same explanation when asked about Ayton’s dunk.
From the NBA: Pool report on the review of the game out of bounds with 9.3 seconds remaining and the final dunk by Deandre Ayton pic.twitter.com/Y4U3iuBPPE
– Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) June 23, 2021
Sometimes less than a second can be in the world all the time. Just ask any Suns fan.