Karl-Anthony Towns may have scored 56 points, but let’s not forget that he got torched by Mike Muscala to the tune of a career-high 24 points on the other end of the floor. It’s great that he can score so many points so easily but damn, he needs to work on his defense this summer. Was Thibs supposed to fix this? Because he hasn’t. Maybe he needs to yell more.
Also, I’m just going to assume that Muscala wasn’t the one who was supposed to be guarding KAT. I don’t care what the footage of the game shows. KAT’s 56 is all John Collins’ fault.
Muscala is not the usual end-of-season scrub for the Hawks. Most of the guys he’s playing with right now, they’re not truly NBA players yet. They are in the sense that they are players in the NBA, but they have no history, no foothold, and only the badness of the Hawks lets them play so much. Not so with Muscala. He was a legit player for the Hawks while they were a playoff team. He contributed meaningfully in meaningful games. He was a really fringy role-player, but at least he had a role on an elite (okay, maybe not, but still) team.
This environment is much better suited to him getting big point totals, though. He gets to touch the ball and sometimes shoot, something that wasn’t as common before. Tonight, in front of the home-town crowd, he put on a show even as another show was going on at the other end. People will get hyped for KAT, but you all know I’m way more hyped for Muscala right now.