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As Derrick White pivoted, looking to find a free teammate, Jaylen Brown flashed to the basket. His defender, Klay Thompson, was caught staring at the ball for a brief moment. It didn’t matter.

It’s unclear if Thompson and Draymond Green were supposed to turn on the game, which can be seen below. Clearly Thompson lost track of Brown’s whereabouts for a split second, but a hyper-alert Green slipped in to clear what would have been an easy bucket. Instead of slamming home an uncontested dunk, Brown arched a runner over Green’s outstretched arm.

The shot bounced off the front of the rim, just another empty possession for the Celtics. In five NBA Finals games, Boston scored 107.3 points per 100 possessions, an offensive efficiency that would have been tied for 27th in the regular season. Considering the Celtics have shot 41% on a high volume of 3-point attempts, the vast majority of their offensive misfortunes have come from inside the arc. From Jayson Tatum to Al Horford and beyond, they simply haven’t been able to score consistently near the hoop. Where have all the easiest stitches gone? And how can Boston find ways to start producing them against a disruptive, smart Warriors defense?

(Photo: Kyle Terada/USA Today)


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