I find it difficult to REALLY inspire awe in the other sports. In football, you’ve seen practically every devastating hit, every 40-yard bomb, and every type of special teams return in the book (making The Run all that much more special when put in that awe-inspiring context). In baseball, we’ve seen every 9th inning come from behind upper deck home run, every diving catch, and a massive amount of mind-blowing pitching performances over the years as well. But, neither of those two sports have that ability to make you jump out of your seat and say, “Holy crap, how did he just do that?” Only basketball can leave you slouched in your chair, idly waiting for something to happen; then all of a sudden make you open your eyes wide and shout, “Whoa, yeah!” for the entire house to hear.
Awe. There were plenty of these moments in yesterday’s game against Stanford. Aziz N’Diaye had some power dunks and was playing inspired ball on both ends of the floor (allow me a fork and knife for the LITTLE bit of crow I’m willing to swallow). Terrence Ross had a SICK dribble drive down the baseline, around two defenders (one being walled off by MBA) for a jam. Overton used his speed to make the other team look plain silly (and his defensive peskiness seems to have returned after a season thus far with lingering injuries). But, nobody inspired more awe than Isaiah Thomas at the end of the first half.
I think he’d missed like three or four shots from downtown to that point. Then, he decided to take another crack at a shot from the top of the key, and it rattled through pretty ugly-looking. Regardless of its aesthetic value, IT went on to drain the next three 3’s he attempted – on the next three trips down the court – including a semi-buzzer-beater with a little over a second left in the half. Four shots in a row, all 3-pointers, each one further and further away from the basket, to the point where he was closer to the mid-court line than he was the 3-point line.
That was fuckin’ CRAZY! There’s nothing more amazing, more unbelievable, and more entertaining to watch than someone who’s On Fire. I mean so On Fire that he just won’t miss a shot! We could’ve had five more minutes of play and I’m pretty sure he would’ve just kept draining 3’s each and every time down the court.
It’s great because everyone knows what that feeling feels like. To be so On that you’re laying your opponent to waste in rapid succession. Maybe it’s not basketball necessarily, maybe it’s only Beer Pong (like on Friday night when I sent a friend under the bridge in one magnificent display of ball-in-cup proficiency). But it’s an amazing feeling, and if I could’ve been anyone in the world for those two minutes, I would’ve been IT, getting mobbed in front of his bench by all his teammates while the 10,000 people in Hec-Ed were roaring their thunderous applause at the feat they’d just witnessed.
Yeah, the Huskies made the Cardinal their bitch. Now it’s on to the next one.