by Micah Hart
Last night Nick Young exploded for 43 points in the Wizards’ 136-133 OT win over the Kings, just three points under the NBA high for the season so far (Monta Ellis had 46 against the Rockets on Oct. 28).
Although Young has become a pretty good scorer in his four-year NBA career, 43 is a pretty big number for him, and it reminds me of one of my favorite phenomena in the NBA — the unexpected scoring outburst.
The NBA is a star-driven league, but we may forget sometimes that everyone in uniform can actually play this game a little. Every now and then, a player who rarely gets the green light to take over a game finds himself in the spotlight, and sparks fly.
I like to refer to these players as Anthony Johnson All-Stars, named after the journeyman point guard who authored perhaps the most unexpected scoring explosion in league history, dropping 40 points for the Nets in Game 6 of their 2006 first-round playoff series against the Pacers.
Other members of the team include Tracy Murray (50 points for the Raptors against Golden State on Feb. 10, 1998), Tony Delk (53 points for the Suns against the Kings on Jan. 2, 2001), and of course, Ben Wallace, who shocked the world with a career-best 23 points for the Pistons earlier this season against the Raptors.
Who else would you nominate for the AJ squad?
UPDATE: Two suggestions from the Newsdesk, both of which came in the 1994-95 season — Willie Burton, who dropped 53 for Miami against the Sixers on Dec. 13, 1994, and Dana Barros, who scored 50 for the Sixers against the Rockets on March 14, 1995.