The Celtics were down three with the ball out of bounds. Knowing that a quick two and some good defense would give them an opportunity to win the game, the Celtics executed an exquisitely beautiful out-of-bounds alley oop that, as usual, had more moving parts than initially meets the eye.
Let's start with the set up. Baby on one elbow. Ray on the other flanked by Pierce. And KG looking like he's going to try to spring one of their two go-two scorers. This sets he Knicks up: "they're going to see if Ray or Paul can get a 3. If not, they'll go for 2." The trap is set.
KG sets a pick for Pierce. Pierce comes off it and instead goes down to set a pick on Baby's man (why that's important in a second). At the same time, KG flashes up clapping like he's looking for the pass. Another trap. Ronny Tuiraf doesn't want to let KG get the pass and even if he does, he's not giving KG a shot that he can hit. He's closing hard.
Back to Pierce for a second. He sets the pick not to spring Baby… but to get the defender to say "OH CRAP.. A PICK." He falls for it, and starts to fight through it… leaving the lane WIDE open. I can't stress how brilliant this is. It takes the guy who can most disrupt the alley oop by simply jumping to tip it completely out of the play. Paul Pierce, essentially, sets a pick for KG five feet away from the play.
At that exact same time, Ray sets the back pick on Turiaf, springing KG for the oop. Just in case that play isn't there, Baby has set a pick on Ray's guy… leaving Ray for 3 as a pretty damn nice "plan B".
Not necessary. Rondo pinpoints the pass to KG. You want a quick two? How about two points with half a second coming off the clock? Rondo even sells the deception by calling for KG to get closer to Ray to start the play. The Knicks never saw the alley oop coming.
This, my friends, is a brilliantly drawn play that is executed to absolute perfection. Remember when Doc referred to basketball porn? That's it right there. When I watch the play, I want to do the dramatic "slow clap while slowly rising out of my seat" thing. It's that good.