I’m pretty sure that Norman Powell saw that he was playing the Warriors with Stephen Curry, saw all the TNT equipment scattered around the arena, saw the swarms of media members, felt the raucous energy of the fans, and decided that this was game 7 of the NBA Finals and he had to ball out as hard as he could to bring another championship to the city of Toronto.
It didn’t work. Despite Powell’s heroic efforts, the Raptors failed to win a championship, because this was a regular season game in early March and not any sort of deciding Finals game.
Normally, in years past, Powell has reserved his best performances for when he plays the Bucks. Nowadays, though, he’s transitioning from being a “Bucks killer” to a “whole rest of the league killer”. The reality is, while it’s fun to particularly target one specific team and purposefully kick their butt every single time you play them, you end up with more points, more media attention, and possibly more career accolades if you extend that fury to all the other teams as well.
That’s good for me, because now when Powell kicks the Bucks’ butt to send them home early for the second year in a row, instead of being like “why does Powell hate the Bucks so much” I can think “oh, yeah, he does this to every team, him scoring 50 to sweep us out of the playoffs is a totally expected occurrence”. That’s my OFFICIAL DTB PREDICTION for how the playoffs are going to turn out, by the way. I have no confidence that the Bucks won’t screw this whole thing up.
But before he scores 50 in a game, he’s going to have to score 40, unless he wants to channel the spirit of Raptors legend Terrence Ross. He didn’t get there tonight, but he did have an exceedingly impressive scoring performance that could’ve been 40 if he had been a little more aggressive in the fourth quarter. In a close game, like this was, it’s cool to attempt to play team basketball and not just try and will your team to victory by taking horrible shots. But you know what’s even cooler? Scoring 40 while taking fadeaway midrange jimbos.