Devin Booker Goes Supernova
Unless you’re a fan of the Phoenix Suns (I’ve been assured they exist, though I’ve never met one), you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about Devin Booker. Basketball fans recognize the name, sure: he’s the sweet-shooting Klay Thompson lookalike (from their faces to their jumpers) who barely cracked 20 minutes a game at Kentucky before entering the NBA draft . But what do you actually know about him? Can you describe his game? Do you have any idea what kind of numbers he’s put up? Well, after Booker’s performance Friday night against the Celtics, people shouldn’t be asking too many of those questions anymore. The 20-year-old shooting guard scored 70 points (not a typo) against Boston, becoming just the fifth player ever to hit the mark following Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, David Thompson, David Robinson and Kobe Bryant. What’s more, he did it not in the style you might expect from a young gunslinger in 2017’s NBA, launching an absurd number of off-the-catch threes, but by slashing his way into the paint and displaying a previously unexplored midrange savviness well beyond his years. And on top of that, he got all those buckets despite being guarded most of the game by Marcus Smart, one of the very best perimeter defenders in the game. Naysayers will point out that the Suns still lost to Boston, and that they were fouling the C’s at the end of the game to get the ball back in Booker’s hands. I don’t care. This was unreal.
This is a basketball-heavy Bleacher Creature, folks. But hey, it’s March, and aside from getting drunk on break in Cabo, what else are people thinking about? I would just like to take this moment to share with you all that my NCAA tournament bracket is absolute trash, like literal dumpster fodder. My Final Four was Villanova (RIP), Arizona (come on), UCLA (el oh el) and Kansas. Other big predicted upsets of mine included Elite Eight appearances from SMU and URI (still trying to process how they lost), a first round exit for Florida (I think I read the tea leaves upside down) and a typical choke job from Gonzaga (who I guess finally got around to selling their souls to Satan). For a little perspective, I’m ranked in the 16th percentile of all brackets submitted to ESPN. This is all going to make it so much sweeter when I submit the first ever perfect bracket next year. Calling it now!
Ball Does Lie
I’m all in on Lonzo Ball. The dude is a whirling dervish of pure basketball savvy who might step into the NBA and immediately be one of its top five passers. Concerns about his defense and unconventional shot are way overblown; athletic 6’6” point guards can learn to lock people down and his shooting percentages at UCLA were phenomenal. But as much as I love Lonzo, I’m really not sure how I’d feel about the Celtics taking him. A big reason why? His father. I cannot stand Lavar Ball. The man has become a meme over the past couple weeks, hyping up his talented sons and making such sweeping declarations as “I could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one in my prime.” I know he’s blowing hot air. I know this is all just marketing for the Ball brand. Still, it reeks of a narcissistic has-been who is projecting his own failures and living out his own fantasies on his children. And good God is that the most ignorant type of person in the world.