A late-game situation between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs would have given Milwaukee Bucks fans a blast from the past.
With 2.7 seconds left and Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson at the free throw line, Kidd ordered Brunson to miss the second attempt with the Mavericks clinging to a 109-108 lead.
San Antonio had no timeouts left, so the theory would be that by forcing the Spurs to bounce the ball, it would leave them in a situation where a full-court push is their only option.
If Brunson hit the free throw, the Spurs would be in a more controlled situation with some time to find an exit pass that could at least get them closer to the basket.
The only problem was that Brunson couldn’t hit the rim on the free throw, giving the Spurs the ball from the baseline anyway.
The Mavericks won the game, so all is well, ends well …
“I probably screwed him up there at the end, telling him to miss the free throw, so I owe him a point,” Kidd said after the game.
While he may have inadvertently messed with Brunson’s concentration, the idea was correct, he just wasn’t confident that he would miss the rim entirely.
It’s not the first time Kidd has answered questions after the game after ordering a player to miss a free throw.
In December 2017, Kidd ordered Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton to miss a free throw with 1.4 seconds left and the Bucks led 119-116.
“We will accept the bet of someone who does it from the other side of the court”, Kidd said. “If we made that free throw, our luck puts it in bounds in the middle of the court and we fouled the three-point shooter and it’s a four-point play. We’ll take our chances with them throwing a full court shot.”
No one understood why a Milwaukee defender would contest a shot to reduce a four-point deficit to a one-point deficit, but the Bucks won, so all is well, it ends well …
Kidd is 2-0 as head coach in games that end with instructed failures in the charity band, so I guess you can’t complain about that.
However, it is worth tuning in.