I have airballed shots before on a basketball court. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm not a horrendous shooter, but it happens sometimes -- if I rush a shot or if I'm defended reasonably well or something, I'll completely miss the target I'm aiming at. Entirely.
However, I was a low-level intramural player. That means I was worse than good IM players, who are in turn worse than bad college basketball players, who are in turn worse than good college basketball players, who are in turn worse than NBA players. There is an entire spectrum of basketball skill, a spectrum of which I am near the bottom, and which any player in the NBA is near the top.
Kelly Olynyk is an NBA player. Wednesday, for the Boston Celtics, against the Clippers, he managed to miss not only the rim, but any part of the basket support which would conceivably allow his shot to go in, on not one, but two separate shots.
Shot one: a 7-foot runner in the lane which bounced off the very top of the backboard and over, giving the Clippers possession:
You'll see shots bounce over the top of the backboard from time to time, but typically after hitting the rim. Olynyk's attempt is relatively unique in that it completely missed the face of the backboard. Perhaps a foot lower, and it could have caromed off wildly and still missed the rim, but at least it would have hit the backboard.
Emboldened by his first miss, Olynyk attempted a three, and, swish! Nothing but net.
The wrong side of the net:
Olynyk is a rookie, and, yes, is shooting below average from the field and from three-point land. Perhaps later in his career, he will learn the art of hitting the rim.