GameChangers (05/15/15)

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 for each game to view the Game Breakdown for each matchup.

Hawks vs. Wizards

The Atlanta Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals Friday night with a 94-91 win over the Washington Wizards. The Hawks got a playoff career-high 25 points from DeMarre Carroll but had to survive another last second three pointer from Paul Pierce.

The Wizards could have won if…

With six seconds to play, trailing 94-91, the Wizards got the ball to Paul Pierce, who won Game 3 on a buzzer-beater. The savvy veteran dribbled to the corner, created space and launched a three-pointer that swished through the net tying the game as time expired. Overtime looked imminent but the play was reviewed.



Officials determined that the shot left Pierce's hand a fraction of a second late. The shot was waved off and the Hawks won the game.

Had the shot counted and the game goes to overtime, Washington becomes 52 percent likely to win the game and force a winner-takes-all Game 7.

Additional Game Notes:
This is Atlanta's first trip to the conference final since the NBA realigned into conferences in 1970-71. The team had not won two playoff series in a single year since moving to Atlanta in 1968-69 season.

We gave the Hawks a 52 percent chance to reach the Eastern Conference Finals before the postseason began, the second most likely team behind the Cavs in the East.