In a game full of bad offense, bad shooting and mistakes, the Atlanta Hawks held on to defeat the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series only after a crazy sequence to end things. Up one point and with the ball with just over 10 seconds left, the Hawks only needed to inbound the ball to feel good about themselves. Instead, Josh Smith's inbounds pass was picked off by Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics had a chance.
With no timeouts, Rondo advanced the ball into the frontcourt. In the end, Rondo dribbled the ball off his foot and the Celtics didn't even get a shot off.
Now, it's easy to get on Rondo for this, and to a certain extent, he deserves it. However, I hope more people realize just how great a play Al Horford made here. When the clock dips under five seconds, coaches tell players to switch every screen, but it's really hard for a big man to do that and slide his feet enough to stay with a speedster like Rondo. Horford not only expertly executed a switch with Josh Smith, but he crowded Rondo enough to prevent him from seeing the pass to Kevin Garnett, then stayed with Rondo as he tried to cross over.
It was an unbelievable play by a guy who came up with an unbelievable game in his second contest since early January.