Quantcast


If you haven't heard by now, a 20-year-old wrote his name in the record books with a 70-point outing against the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Devin Booker, a second year guard out of Kentucky joined the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, David Robinson, and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history to put up 70 in a game.

The outburst also toppled some longstanding records against the C's:


Now even through Booker's historic night, his team couldn't come away with the W... and they weren't really even close. Nonetheless, his teammates were pumped.

Seriously. Booker would pass another milestone and his teammates were acting like he hit a dagger three to win the NBA finals on the bench. It rivaled NCAA tournament style bench celebrations even though the Suns really never had a shot at winning this game.

Instead, they seemed to decide to take the small wins; getting Booker to 70 being the major one. They
cared so much about it teammates started fouling the C's to give the guard extra possessions to stuff his stat column, and head coach Earl Watson was calling timeouts to advance the ball in garbage time.

But that asks the question: how can you possibly put up 70 points and still be losing the game?

Well, he's not the only one. Of the 11 70+ point games, five were losses for the guy with the hot hand (3 of those to Wilt Chamberlain, who had six 70+ outings--seriously how do you lose half of the games where you light up for that many points?).

For Booker, he logged 45 minutes, and in addition to the big 70 in his scoring column, he also secured eight rebounds and dished out six assists. 24 of his points came at the charity stripe. But as far as advanced metrics go, it really wasn't nearly as good a night as the Suns sideline, and even fans watching, were led to believe:

For the casual fan who doesn't follow plus/minuses, basically per 100 possessions, Booker was more of a liability on the court for his team, and helped contribute to the loss more than he helped push his Suns to win.

That's quantified in defensive possessions (in addition to offensive), in which Booker had a pretty horrible night, allowing the C's to put up 130 on his squad.

Fans at the TD Garden seemed happy to see a show and still leave with the satisfaction of a win, but the Celtics themselves weren't as pleased.

Even Jae Crowder took a shot at Booker afterwards on Instagram as the Suns were posting their Wilt 100 impressions:


As far as the star of the night went, he was probably the most down-to-earth about it. After the game he talked about how he would have preferred to win rather than get the accomplishment. Meanwhile his coach, Earl Watson, said if the C's were annoyed they could "do something about it."

To me, I can't tell if that's a call to step up the defense or just take the kid out. There was obviously frustration among the Celtics. The game was essentially won, but the Suns were prolonging it just to give Booker a place in the record books.

And ultimately, even though it was an incredible performance from the 20-year-old, that's all it is. Another L for the Suns in a season where his team has given up.

Does that make it meaningless? That's for you to decide.


Follow Topher Lane on Twitter, @Topher_L. Photo credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports.

Topher Lane 3/25/2017 03:11:00 PM Edit
_________________________________________________________________________
« Prev Post Next Post »

Recent Posts
_______________________________________________________________________________________

comments powered by Disqus