Balls On The Table
Delon Wright has balls. Big balls. If his balls were any bigger he'd be walking aound doing the Sam Cassell dance, had it not been outlawed by the league.
Yeah, a lot of guys did that dance but Cassell made it his own. He brought into the league. It was the Sam Cassell Dance. Alas, those days are gone.
Last night in Toronto, the dance notwithstanding, Delon Wright put his balls on display just by how he played in the fourth quarter. While John Wall likes to jump on the scorers table for attention, Delon simply put his balls on the table. "Here's what I'm working with."
Game 5 of the Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors first round series was a back and forth affair that featured 17 lead changes and 10 ties. In the final quarter the Wizards took their largest lead of the night going up 5. The Raptors were desperately trying to stay in it but the game seemed to be slipping away. Another Raptors playoff disappointment at home? That was when Delon Wright pulled out his Roy Hibberts, or in this case, his Sam Cassells.
With 10 minutes remaining, the Raps were down 82-80 and trying to get a stop. They managed to guard the Wizards all the way through the shot clock, forcing Ty Lawson to launch a last second 3 pointer. Delon Wright blocked it. Shot clock violation. Momentum. With the Wizards up 84-82 and trying to extend the lead, Wright stole the ball from Bradley Beal. Trailing 87-84, Wright stole the ball from Wall, got out on the break and found DeMar DeRozan for a dunk that had the crowd in a frenzy. The tide had turned. Delon Wright was the Moon that drew the waves of Raptors crashing all over the Wizards. With under 4 minutes to play and Toronto up 1, Wright hit a no-hesitation catch and shoot 30 footer to beat the shot clock. Moments later he converted a lob from DeRozan on a fast break to put the Raptors up 6. They wouldn't look back. Wright had 11 points in the quarter and finished with 18. The Raptors took Game 5 108-98 for a 3-2 series lead.
Watching that game and the way Delon Wright played, I couldn't help but be reminded of Sam Cassell's rookie playoff performance. Wright is not a rookie, he's in his third season, but he's a young point guard getting some of his first big minutes in a high pressure situation. In his rookie season of 1993-94 Sam Cassell averaged about 20 minutes per game but by the NBA Finals, his play and more importantly his confidence, demanded that he be on the floor. That's what I saw in Delon Wright last night in particular. Wright also averaged about 20 minutes per game this season but his crunch time play kept him in the game last night and allowed the Raptors to pull off a huge home court win. Cassell had 3 double digit scoring games in the 1994 finals. Wright has 3 double digit scoring games this series.
Big balls and an alien head. If Delon Wright was bald, you'd be looking at a slightly longer Sam Cassell.