Plays of the Season: Jerryd Bayless Game-Winner vs. Chicago Bulls


The Milwaukee Bucks had their fair share of dramatic, exciting or outstanding moments throughout the season, and in this series of review pieces, we here at Behind The Buck Pass will look back at the best of them.

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First up is Jerryd Bayless’ game-winning layup against the Chicago Bulls on 25 April.

It was a play that gave Milwaukee one of the most joyous moments of the season, and would eventually lead to a rally that would allow Bucks fans to head into the Summer with a much more positive taste in their mouth.


Despite showing a little bit of fight in Game 3 and improving as the series went on, the Bucks found themselves backed into a must-win corner for Game 4 in front of their home crowd in the Bradley Center.

With the season on the line the Bucks would have to play smarter, with more intensity, and make adjustments when called upon.

Thankfully, that’s exactly what they did.


After an outstanding effort all game long, the Bucks still found themselves in an incredibly precarious position as the clock wound down.

With 1:34 remaining, O.J. Mayo made a deep three-pointer that looked like the dagger for all intents and purposes. Yet the Bucks just couldn’t put the Bulls away, first there was a Derrick Rose three-pointer, then there was a Pau Gasol and-one, and just like that we were looking at a tie game once again.

Bayless and the Bucks looked to have missed their opportunity to win the game with a missed layup with 22 seconds remaining, but as Derrick Rose took the ball towards the paint to initiate a game-winning opportunity for Chicago, Khris Middleton showed the anticipation to swipe the ball away from him.

As Middleton charged up court set on forcing up a desperation heave, coach Kidd had the wherewithal to call timeout and give Milwaukee the chance to draw up one more play before a potential overtime period.


In the game for Milwaukee: Jerryd Bayless, O.J. Mayo, Khris Middleton, Jared Dudley, John Henson

In the game for Chicago: Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah

With Khris Middleton having made two dramatic game-winners already in the regular season, and O.J. Mayo red-hot on the night, Chicago had all eyes on those two guys.

Good thing the Bucks had something else up their sleeve then.

The Play

An inbounds play is never easy to execute with so little time left on the clock. With only 1.3 remaining, realistically there was only ever going to be time for a pass, one movement/dribble, and then a shot.

That’s working off the assumption that the inbounder can even get the pass off in time.

In this case that responsibility rested with Jared Dudley, who confronted by the long arms of Joakim Noah directly in front of him had to get the ball off in time, as Milwaukee had no timeouts remaining.

As you’ll see from the photo above, Dudley starts off by looking towards the guys on the perimeter. There he’s got O.J. Mayo being guarded by the smaller Kirk Hinrich, in the game cold having sat on the bench for the previous 47 minutes.

He also has Khris Middleton trying to run around the back of John Henson, who could set a screen to create more space.

In the back of Dudley’s mind though there was something else. Just before they came out of the timeout, Bayless stopped to ask him:

"I was curious. I just wanted to know, ‘Are you going to look for this?’ Every cut is live."

By the time, Middleton passed around the back of Noah, Dudley had redirected his gaze to all of the open space around the rim. Bayless understanding the opportunity, runs toward the ball.

Bayless then noticing he’s caught Rose on his heels gets ready to slide back across to the opposite side of the rim, and Dudley gets ready to trigger the pass.

Perfect execution, and the Bucks season lived to fight another day.

Relive the moment in full speed below.

Next: NBA Draft Prospect Watch: R.J. Hunter

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