Just an incredible finish between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls tonight. If the Bulls lose this series, they'll look at this game and wonder "what if" they had won this game, a game they should have won. The Celtics will look back at Game 1 and wonder "what if" Paul Pierce made that free-throw.

Ray Allen had to have a big game, and indeed he did, including scoring the game winner. I thought the Bulls actually did a decent job defending the last play, switching all screens. The play itself was good as well, a screen the screener with Ray Allen coming to meet the ball. Check out the final 12 thrilling seconds,

Just wanted to emphasize from a coaching perspective to always be aware of the timeout and substitution situation. In both Games 1 and 2, the Bulls ran out of timeouts at the end of regulation. You would think that one of Vinny Del Negro's assistant coaches's job is to keep track of timeouts (yes, veteran Del Harris is one of the assistants). Now, one could argue that it wouldn't have made a difference either way, but in my opinion, at the NBA level it is unconscionable to have overlooked such an important detail. And for it to happen twice in a row, that's almost negligent. I can understand if you coach high school, where you don't get all the stoppages and TV timeouts they do in the NBA.

Second point, but perhaps less significant was the issue over substitutions. Just prior to the inbounds, the Bulls wanted to get Ben Gordon in the game for defensive purposes after seeing the Celtics players on the floor. Good idea, bad execution. Again, someone should have prepared for it during the timeout for Gordon to be ready to sub in just in case. Instead, Del Negro was scrambling to try to find Gordon, then check in, but the refs denied the substitution -- too late. One could argue that it wouldn't have made a difference (and certainly with the way Ray Allen was shooting, nobody would've stopped that shot from going in), but still the point remains that as a coach, you have to be organized and prepared for anything, assume nothing.


The Bulls still fly back home feeling that they've gained the home court advantage going 1-1 in Boston. The Celtics did need the win more than the Bulls did tonight. It's tough to read how the rest of the series will play out, but my guess is that it goes 7. Too many inconsistencies on both sides for any team to pull away in my opinion. Should make for a great fan experience in any case.

If you're looking for more buzzer beating plays for your season coming up, take a look at Jay Wright's brand new DVD on Late Game Sets. Coach Wright is the head coach at Villanova. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.