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Knicks 76ers Tom Thibodeau late-game decision burns New York worst way

Tyrese Maxey's game-tying 3-pointer in Game 5 could have been prevented by fouling. Knicks coach Thibodeau made the wrong call.

In a thrilling Game 5 between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers, Tyrese Maxey's game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds sent the game into overtime, resulting in a heartbreaking 112-106 loss for the Knicks. This pivotal moment could have been prevented if the Knicks had chosen to foul Maxey as he raced up the court, a decision that ultimately backfired and cost them the game.

The Knicks had a 3-point lead with just seconds remaining, but instead of fouling Maxey to prevent a game-tying shot, they defended the possession straight up. This allowed Maxey to pull up from deep and sink the shot, sending the game into overtime. The decision not to foul proved costly for the Knicks, as they were unable to recover in the extra period.

Coach Tom Thibodeau's reluctance to foul Maxey in the closing seconds of the game raised questions about the strategic approach to end-of-game situations. While some coaches opt to gift-wrap offenses with game-tying chances by not fouling, the statistics and logic behind fouling in these situations are clear. By fouling, the Knicks could have controlled the outcome of the game and prevented Maxey from hitting the game-tying shot.

The Knicks had an opportunity to disrupt the Sixers' offense and force them to go the full length of the court without a timeout, making it more difficult for them to score. By not fouling, the Knicks allowed Maxey to take an uncontested shot and tie the game, ultimately leading to their defeat.

Thibodeau's decision not to foul Maxey in the closing seconds of Game 5 may have cost the Knicks the game and potentially the series. The importance of strategic fouling in end-of-game situations cannot be overstated, as it gives the defending team the opportunity to control the outcome and prevent game-tying shots.

In hindsight, the Knicks will rue the missed opportunity to foul Maxey and potentially secure a win in Game 5. Thibodeau's decision not to foul Maxey highlights the importance of strategic decision-making in high-pressure situations and the impact it can have on the outcome of a game.

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