A situation late in the game between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs would have given fans of the Milwaukee Bucks a blast from the past.
With 2.7 seconds left on the clock and Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson at the free-throw line, Kidd instructed Brunson to miss the second attempt with the Mavericks clinging to a 109-108 lead.
San Antonio had no timeouts remaining so the theory would be that by forcing the Spurs to rebound the ball, you would leave them in a situation where a full-court heave is their only option.
If Brunson made the free-throw, the Spurs would have a more controlled situation with some time to find an outlet pass that could at least get them a shot closer to the basket.
The only issue was that Brunson failed to hit the rim on the free-throw, giving the Spurs the ball from the baseline anyway.
The Mavericks won the game, so all’s well it ends well…
“I probably messed him up there at the end, telling him to miss the free throw, so I owe him a point,” Kidd said postgame.
While he may have unintentionally messed with Brunson’s concentration, the idea was correct, he just wasn’t banking on him missing the rim all together.
It’s not the first time Kidd has answered questions postgame after instructing a player to miss a free-throw.
In December 2017, Kidd instructed Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton to miss a free-throw with 1.4 seconds on the clock and Bucks leading 119-116.
“We’ll take the bet of someone making it from the other side of the floor,” Kidd said. “If we did make that free throw, our luck they get it in-bounds at half-court and we foul the 3-point shooter and it’s a four-point play. We’ll take our chances with them heaving a full-court shot.”
Nobody understood why a Milwaukee defender would be contesting a shot to reduce a four-point deficit to a one-point deficit but the Bucks won so all’s well it ends well…
Kidd holds a 2-0 as a head coach in games ending with instructed misses at the charity stripe so I guess you can’t complain with that.
It is worth tuning in for though.