The Pacers had this one. They had gotten a 30 foot three pointer, three free throws on a questionable foul, and a Ray Allen miss at the line. All they needed was 2.2 seconds of defense.
They didn't get those 2.2 seconds. What can I say about this play that hasn't already been drunkenly suggested at a bus station? About everything that could go wrong went wrong. West's defense on the inbounds pass was terrible (watch him literally turn his body away so Battier can get a passing angle to LeBron). Paul George, a typically great defender, made a terrible choice to assumably go for a steal, letting LeBron get right by him with his miscalculation. Absolutely nobody rotated or protected the basket.
Then there's the whole Roy Hibbert controversy. Why wasn't he in the game? Who can say. I've heard it theorized that they wanted a smaller, more agile defender on Chris Bosh. LeBron had just gotten to the hoop on a play where he was guarded by George Hill, with Hibbert watching from the bench. Still, this wasn't taken as a sign to have the team's best (and possibly the NBA's best) rim protector in the game.
What do you think of the decision, Roy Hibbert?
Frank Vogel had this to say afterwards:
I know everybody's saying I screwed the pooch on this one, but you gotta understand it from my perspective. Yeah, my defense might've let the greatest player in the world waltz to the front of the rim for a layup, but I personally succeeded in my ambition not to let Chris Bosh beat us. I really hate that guy. I dunno, maybe it's his face or something. Anyway, the point is, it's not whether you win or lose, it's just whether or not you thwart Chris Bosh's attempts to feel good about himself or look good, and I did that. I stand by my choices 100 percent.
The real question I have is for Roy Hibbert: which hurt more, watching that game winner from the bench, or Battier kneeing you in the nuts?
The people demand to know, Roy. The people demand to know.