It never should have come down to needing a basket on the final play of Game 5 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks for the Boston Celtics.
Nevertheless, the C's were in position to tie the game in the waning moments of the fourth quarter on Wednesday at TD Garden. But Boston wasn't even able to get a shot off in an attempt to force overtime, as Marcus Smart lost control of the ball as he faced up against Jrue Holiday near midcourt, one last stunning moment in a fourth quarter full of them.
What exactly happened on the play, and why wasn't Smart able to get the ball ahead sooner?
"JT [Tatum] was supposed to come and get it but everyone was just standing around," Smart said. "We had no timeouts, there was a 5-second count, I just got open and tried to make a play. Jrue did a good job of helping. That's it, he made a good play."
There's no guarantee that Tatum, or anyone else ahead of the ball, would've been able to secure an open shot and tie the game against the Bucks. But to not even have a chance at a look made for an even more frustrating finish to a game the Celtics led by 14 points earlier in the fourth quarter.
As a result, their season is on the brink in Game 6 on Friday back in Milwaukee.