Big congratulations to Jake Layman for avoiding the dreaded “MCW-itis”, the condition where you peak in your first ever NBA game. Named after notorious first-game-peaker Michael Carter-Williams, players with the condition possess the unique ability to only get worse as their NBA career goes along, never better.
Layman scored 17 points in 8 minutes in his first NBA game, outscoring Klay Thompson on national TV and making everyone think he was some kind of “good player”. Certainly, he fooled me. I was so embarrassed by getting fooled so bad that I named an award for him, the “Jake Layman Award For Best Looking Jumper That Never Goes In”.
He never approached that 17-point total again. He ended up shooting under 30 percent from the field that rookie season, and then repeated the feat his sophomore year. And somehow, SOMEHOW, he got to come back to the Blazers, I guess because they got rid of Pat Connaughton and needed to keep their other deceptively bad white player (just kidding I love Patty Ice this year). A few double-figure games this year and overall better play gave hope that he would be cured of MCW-itis, but hope started to fade once Moe Harkless came back and took back his starting job, as well as pushing Layman entirely out of the rotation.
It all ended tonight. Layman dropped 15 points in the first quarter, outscoring the Suns 15-9 all by himself, and he added a few more buckets over the rest of the game to reach the insane (for him) total of 24. 24 points for Jake Layman. Theoretically, that’s not too outlandish; he has a nice shooting stroke (that never goes in) as well as decent length (mostly concentrated in his neck) and athleticism. But anyone who has seen him play the past two years would say that 24 points is an accomplishment only possible during the most intense fever dreams.
But this is no dream! Behold these highlights, and watch them knowing that you are watching a man cured of the most dreadful illness in the NBA world.