Usually, these sorts of posts focus on entire games. But this one, about the Orlando Magic's 86-84 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at last night's final horn, will only focus on the final play, which is on everyone's mind. As you've no doubt seen by now, Smith flew in (note: this is not a pun) from the right side and dunked in Joe Johnson's missed game-winning attempt as time expired, unencumbered by defenders or resistance of any kind. So here's what everyone's saying about it.
NBA Playbook – Lack Of Fundamentals Cost Orlando
Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook applies his thorough analytical skills to last night's finish, and includes a frame-by-frame look at what transpired.
The Incredible Finish in Atlanta - TrueHoop Blog
Kevin Arnovitz of TrueHoop says, "Ask Rashard Lewis," in response to his rhetorical question about how Smith got free.
khandor’s sports blog - Assigning proper responsibility for the Magic’s inability to box out Josh Smith
khandor counters Arnovitz by pointing out that Lewis did indeed box someone out, and argues that someone else should get the blame.
the Orlando player who was most responsible for allowing Josh Smith to go unchecked during the rebounding phase of this defensive possession was actually Dwight Howard.
Hardwood Paroxysm - Human Dynamite Stick Goes Ka-Plooey
Zach Harper of Hardwood Paroxysm falls squarely in the "Blame Rashard" camp.
If Lewis boxes out Smith, the carom goes harmlessly off to the side and the players get ready for the overtime period. [....]
Instead, Lewis got lazy, the rebound got crammed home and the Hawks now have a little swagger against Orlando that was previously nonexistent. Orlando now has to face internal issues that are being immaturely aired out in the media.
Hoopinion: Hawks 86 Magic 84
Brett LaGree of Hoopinion does not attempt to assign blame for the blown box-out, but concurs with Harper regarding the Hawks' swagger. "I don't think it's possible to overstate the psychological value of the Hawks beating the Magic," he writes.