I don’t know whether to be impressed or appalled by this performance by Cory Joseph. His 33 points, which totally demolished whatever meager career-high he had set previously, are certainly very impressive. Especially when you consider that they basically all came as a result of his own shot-creating ability; only two of these baskets were truly assisted by teammates.
That’s where the appalling part comes in. What made him think that he could stand at the top of the key and pound the ball into dust the way he did tonight? He has not earned the privilege to call his own number this many times. I have a narrative to push here, so I didn’t show his assists, of which he had four. This video contains only direct evidence of Joseph’s ball-pounding nature, passing only when he’s sure that he will get the ball right back.
Despite all that, I’m leaning more towards impressed on this. Not just leaning, actually. The pendulum has fully swung that way and gotten stuck at its furthest extent. 33 points for Joseph is truly remarkable, one of the most insane performances of the year. Kyle Lowry has been great this year for the Raptors, but after tonight, I consider him officially OBSOLETE. He has been OBSOLESCED by Joseph, who showed that he can score just fine by doing a bunch of funky stuff inside the arc. Threes are for wimps, except when the shot-clock is running down. Take notes, Lowry, and maybe they’ll let you play some blowout minutes in the Finals.