David West and his Scoring Outburst

Published: January 4, 2010

I should have written this post when David West dropped 44 and 12 on the Rockets last week.   I didn’t.  Part of it was because it happened in a loss.  Part of it was because West had been so damn disappointing to that point I had a hard time fighting past my David West-related malaise to acknowledge what had just happened:  West had just produced one of the best offensive games in Hornets history.

In fact, he had set two all-time scoring records for the Hornets:

  1. The Hornet’s regulation game scoring record. (Tying  Larry Johnson.  Glen Rice(48) and Jamal Mashburn(50) scored more, but they did it with the benefit of an overtime period.)
  2. Most points scored by a Hornet in a single quarter, with 22. (tying Peja Stojakovic, who did it against Charlotte in his first season with the Hornets)

It was an incredible effort, particularly in the third.  The Rockets tried Andersen, Hayes, Landry, Scola and even Shane Battier for a few possessions and none of them could slow West as he drilled hook shots and mid-range jumpers alike.  He even reached the rare point where he felt so hot he was spotting up at the three point line for bombs – and sinking them.  That was particularly freakish, because West doesn’t shoot threes, even though he probably could.  In fact, the Rockets were so certain he wouldn’t shoot them that it wasn’t until his fourth attempt that they bothered closing on him.

For me, when the second three went down, it spurred a fit of exultant giggling.(Yes, I was giggling.  Like a little girl.  Got a problem with that?)  It was so much fun I even debated waking up my uncaring wife to tell her about it.   It was a shame the fourth quarter ended up the way it did, because for a while, things were magical.

Happily, another good thing may have come from the game:  Since the scoring binge, it seems like David West has been more aggressive, and not just offensively, on both ends of the floor.   Yes, he still misses some rotations, but at least he seems to care and tries to cover them.  I’m hoping this is a valid observation, and not simply one driven by a bit of residual glow from the Houston game.  I’m also hoping that if it is valid, he continues to play like this for the rest of the season.

Because West playing hard again?  That would be big.  Really big.

What do you think?  Has West looked better over the past few games?  Or is it because the Rockets and Heat had no athletic forwards to bother him?  And while we are at it, is that actually Devin Brown the past few games, or did Terry Koffler entice him into those “dark rituals” we’ve “investigated” before on this blog

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