The Miami Heat’s loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals featured two infamous shots. One was Jimmy Butler’s late pull-up triple that missed and failed to give the Heat the lead. The other was Max Strus’ 3-point shot early in the third quarter that was later overturned.
The call was officially overturned minutes after the shot and pushed the Heat’s deficit further. Miami lost the game by four, ending their season.
NBA referees took away this 3-pointer because Max Strus stepped out of bounds.
Did Strus step out? 🤔pic.twitter.com/tYYC0nRT8U
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 30, 2022
After the game, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra wondered if the NBA would look into how this played out and perhaps change something.
According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinal, the Heat ran into an incident that is rare but not unheard of. Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s Senior Vice President, Head of Referee Development and Training, explained that these incidents have happened previously, even in Miami.
“When one happens in Game 7, it garnered more attention…but there were 15 other incidents where points were taken off the board this year from a team — including Miami, ironically — throughout the season.”
The Heat were upset that Strus’ revoked triple was not announced until later in the game. McCutchen explained, though, that the process is faster than it used to be and relies on stoppages in play to announce.
“We can’t announce those in live action,” he said. “As the ball’s being dribbled up, no one wants an announcement that interrupts flow through disappointment. If you hear that while you’re going up for a layup and you’ve just lost three points, that can really impact play.
Strus’ emergence as a strong shooter gave the Heat a key wingman for Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. He averaged 10.6 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 41.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Heat’s latest undrafted player that turned into a key starter should get many more chances to help Miami return to the NBA Finals.