Brad Stevens has no regrets about putting game in hands of Evan Turner

Mike Petraglia
March 23, 2015 - 7:06 am
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Brad Stevens is obviously a historian of buzzer-beaters. His Butler Bulldogs almost pulled out the most dramatic last-second shot in NCAA tournament history when Gordon Hayward's bank shot from half-court went off the front rim and out in the 2010 NCAA tournament final. More recently, he's seen Evan Turner do the trick for and against his team many times. There was the game-winner against his Celtics for the Sixers last season at TD Garden in a 95-94 Philly win. Later that season, Turner did it again against the Nets. That late-game magic may have been one of the reasons Danny Ainge wanted to bring Turner to Boston this season. It's worked pretty well. Three times this season, he's beaten the buzzer at the end of regulation. Twice it won games, and once it sent the game into overtime. Against two of the top teams in the NBA, it provided the winning margin, as the Celtics beat the Trail Blazers and Hawks this season. So naturally, with Sunday's game against the Pistons tied, 88-88, at the end of regulation, Stevens looked to ET for another otherworldly end to a game. "We just wanted to do a little misdirection for Evan to drive and let him create space," Stevens said. "I thought if he gets that shot off, that'€™s his shot. I felt good about it to be honest, it didn'€™t end well because it got knocked out of his hand or maybe it even slipped out of his hand; I haven'€™t seen the replay. I thought he had separation and I thought he was going to get a good look and when the clock was winding down I felt pretty good about our chances." As it turned out, fate was not on Boston's side Sunday night. Turner couldn't get a clean shot off because he could never get a grip. "Part of the ball just slipped out of my hand and I knew Reggie [Jackson] was going to try and contest it. I tried to put a little arc on my shot. When I came up with it, it just slipped. He drew up a good play. Kelly did what he was supposed to do down there. I felt confident but the ball slipped. I felt confident going to the right baseline and doing a pull-up. I've done that shot a million times but unfortunately the ball slipped and we couldn't [regroup]."