In a make-or-miss league — a term Jeff Van Gundy routinely used as a head coach and continues to utter from his vantage point as television analyst — coaches are asked to win games when a play gets called and a shot needs to drop.
In the end, it’s up to the player to bury a look.
Paul Pierce made his shots in Game 1, a series of makes within a two-minute span that helped vault the Brooklyn Nets to their win and a quick 1-0 series lead.
When he missed in Game 2, especially a late three-pointer that would have given the Nets a one-point lead and perhaps a 2-0 series advantage, it was the Raptors who escaped with a win.
Such is the fickle nature of playoff basketball, when late-game possessions always loom large.
Make or miss, it’s as simple as drawing up a pick and roll during a timeout.
Coaches aren’t the ones who are asked to make shots or make stops, but coaching at this time of the basketball calendar takes on another layer, a level