Sure, you got very wet, but look on the bright side, Brandon Knight. At least your entry to the crowd, shown above thanks to our friends from the Yahoo! Sports Minute, was more graceful than Blake Griffin's.
Howard Fendrich of The Associated Press called Knight's fourth-quarter launch "the aesthetic highlight" of the Pistons' 79-77 road win over the Washington Wizards on Monday night. That tells you a little bit about the quality of play in a game that saw the two teams post significantly-sub-Charlotte Bobcats rates of offensive efficiency, miss 94 of 154 field-goal attempts (including 23 of 30 3-point attempts) and combine for more turnovers (34) than assists (33).
In that context, a rookie knocking over like 7 billion electrolytes while trying to save a possession seems like not only a pretty representative moment, but also something of a pinnacle.
More from Fendrich:
Knight upended a jug of energy drink and about a dozen paper cups Monday night, spraying himself and some seated teammates. Play was delayed for a bit while Knight toweled off — and some of the evening's most enthusiastic applause came in response to overhead video-board replays of his valiant and athletic effort.
"I just got up drenched," Knight said. "I felt like I was sweating a lot." [...]
"Brandon's hustle play was a momentum-changing play. Guy took a shower during the game, and that doesn't happen a lot," Frank said. "I thought that really pumped our guys up."
And it didn't come at the expense of an injury for the rookie point guard out of Kentucky — Knight got drenched, but was none the worse for wear. Covering the game in D.C., PistonPowered blogger Dan Feldman writes that Knight "couldn't remember a save attempt quite like this one," but that he had one abiding principal in his dive.
"You just don't want to clip nothing to make you fall on your face," Knight said.
Words to live by.
After Knight's hustle sparked (and soaked) the Detroit bench, teammate Rodney Stuckey took the Pistons home. Twelve of Stuckey's game-high 24 points came in the fourth quarter, capped by an end-to-end jaunt culminating in a step-back jumper that found twine with 0.2 seconds remaining to give Detroit the win.
"I knew I had the step-back [jumper]," Stuckey said after the game, according to Rashad Mobley of Wiz blog Truth About It. "I wasn't going to go in there and try to force anything, I just tried to take the easy basket, and the step-back was the one."
Bullets Forever boss Mike Prada saw mental mistakes and defensive lapses, not late-game offensive failures, as the culprit behind the Wizards' third-straight defeat after holding a double-digit second-half lead. Another defeat in a very winnable affair has to frustrate Wizards fans, but if you really want to get technical about it, you might argue that in the grand scheme of things, Washington actually won on Monday.
The loss dropped the Wiz to 11-38, the second-worst mark in the NBA, six games worse than the 17-32 Pistons and four games off the league standard for futility established by the historically awful 7-40 Bobcats. In a league with a weighted lottery system that gives worse teams more ping-pong balls and a better chance of winding up with a top-of-the-draft pick, as well as one where bottoming out completely is frequently the fastest and surest way to rebuild, winning meaningless late-season games against similarly subpar competition is actually kind of a bad strategy. (This is why some people, like Ph.D. candidate Adam Gold, want to completely revamp the lottery to reward bad teams that win after being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, rather than just racing to the bottom.)
For Detroit Bad Boys blogger Brian Packey, though, the sting of a draft-position-compromising win was soothed by the joyful reaction of second-year Pistons center Greg Monroe after Stuckey drained that jumper:
I can't stay mad at that. Sure, the argument can be made that if we want to enjoy our favorite players exulting on a more consistent basis in the future, we need to lose now. But Stuckey hitting a dagger jumper and Moose jumping up and down like he's a singing kangaroo is worth the couple steps back from better draft odds ... for the moment.
The NBA: Where forcing yourself to be happy about your team winning a game happens.