Last night's NBA playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat was incredible for many reasons, but there's little doubt it will be remembered as an all-time choke job on the part of the Bucks, capped off by a bewildering final play that saw Grayson Allen dribble out the clock instead of attempting a game-tying shot.
“It’s Grayson Allen time” -Grayson Allenpic.twitter.com/iOcuBRXwMw
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 27, 2023
There's a lot of context as to why the above clip is such a baffling comedy of errors. First off, the Bucks, the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and in a win-or-go-home Game 5, had already blown a 16-point fourth-quarter lead to the 8-seed Heat and allowed their star, Jimmy Butler, to hit a miracle buzzer-beater to send the game to overtime (see below, because it's that incredible).
Onto the final play: The Bucks get the ball with just eight seconds to play in overtime, down two points. They've been choking for basically 17 straight minutes, but they still have a chance to win.
They have arguably the best player in the world, Giannis Antetokounmpo, on the floor, along with very capable scorers Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. They have two timeouts, but head coach Mike Budenholzer doesn't take one with his team's season on the line. This was perceivably the first mistake.
The Bucks' play is immediately a bust. Giannis nearly loses the ball but passes to Middleton, who is instantly double-teamed. He kicks it out to Grayson Allen, decidedly not the player the Bucks want shooting the last shot with the season on the line.
Allen, perhaps recognizing this, appears to freeze as the clock ticks down. He has a chance for an open jumper with one second left but instead opts to try a "eurostep" layup. As he's taking long, graceful strides, the buzzer sounds well before he gets up a shot attempt. The game ends with the Bucks never getting off a final shot, perhaps a fitting end to the team's brutal collapse.
Grayson Allen is certainly not entirely to blame for the Bucks' loss. Giannis missed what felt like a hundred free throws in the fourth quarter and generally played like a deer in headlights down the stretch. The Bucks' defense turned to putty against Butler, and Budenholzer made some baffling coaching decisions to set up the farcical finale.
But in the end, the game closed out with Allen fruitlessly running around, and the majority of Bucks' fans' ire – and NBA fans' memes – went his way.
Let’s take a look inside Grayson Allen brain
— Le5-6 (@deepyy_) April 27, 2023
Grayson Allen with 2 seconds left and the Bucks’ season on the line pic.twitter.com/ue3sNthBuD
— 𝑪𝒐𝒏𝒆 🌩 (@Three_Cone) April 27, 2023
As is typical of NBA memers, jokes in the wake of Allen's failure centered around him hypothetically moving to China next season to play in the CBA, the memey fate for NBA players that fans deem unable to hack it in the National Basketball Association.
Grayson Allen gonna be dropping performances like that in china next year pic.twitter.com/o0OjvZDdYH
— benbot (@itsbenbot) April 27, 2023
Allen is under contract for another year with the Bucks and had a decent regular season before last night's debacle. It's uncertain if the team will want to keep him or seek to trade him – whether to another NBA team or a CBA team – going into the offseason.
+ Add a Comment
Add a Comment