GameChangers (05/25/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Game-changing plays from the NBA Playoffs.



To highlight the Live ScoreCaster, we took our in-game technology to the next level to review the game-changing plays from the NBA Playoffs and what the game would have looked like if the plays had turned out differently.

Click the header below to view the Game Breakdown for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks

LeBron James had a triple-double with 38 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 114-111 overtime victory against the Atlanta Hawks to take a 3-0 series lead. The Cavs are one win away from returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007, which would be the fifth in a row for LeBron.

The Hawks could have won if…

Atlanta rallied from down ten points in the fourth to force overtime. The Hawks' Jeff Teague scored a team-high 30 points and hit a step-back jumper with 55 seconds left in overtime to give Atlanta 111-109 lead (Hawks had a 63 percent chance to win).

LeBron answered with a corner three pointer, set up by an offensive rebound by Tristan Thompson, to give the Cavs a 112-111 lead with 36 seconds left. Atlanta would never lead again.



The offensive rebound was key. Had Atlanta corralled the rebound, leading 111-109 with possession and less than a minute to play, the Hawks would have become 73 percent likely to win.

Would Tristan Thompson have got the rebound if Al Horford had not been ejected from the game in the first half? Horford was second in rebounding for the Hawks.

Additional Game Notes:
No team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win. When a best-of-seven series goes to 3-0, 59 percent of the time it ends in a sweep. Before the conference finals began, we gave Cleveland a 7.7 percent chance to sweep Atlanta.