R.J. Hunter is a real-life representation of the age-old question “what good is a pure shooter who can’t really shoot?”. The answer, as represented by Hunter throughout his three-year NBA career, is “not much good at all”.
Even for most of his career in the D-League/G-League, he was a bad shooter. That’s, uh, not good. Not when that’s your calling card, the whole reason you were drafted (I guess the main reason was that buzzer-beater that sent his team to the tourney back in college, but whatever). And in the NBA, he continued that trend. Hard.
He made 0 shots this season prior to tonight. That follows last year, where he also made 0 shots, one of the very few players to not put the ball in the basket even one time. He’s lucky that the Rockets decided to dust him off for this final game, because not only did he make a shot, he made a bunch of them. 7 made buckets, 19 points in all, does it matter that he took 11 threes? Heck no.
However impressive this performance was (which was very), the Rockets commentators matched it with an equally unimpressive performance behind the mics. I don’t think they fully realized the momentousness of what they were seeing; actual Hunter buckets. Too busy jacking off Vince Carter, which is sorta understandable, but you can bet that if Zhou Qi was scoring 19, they’d be absolutely losing it. Why not Hunter? He’s probably worse at scoring than Zhou, somehow.