Derrick Jones Jr. apparently scored 23 points in the final game of the “real” regular season (before the “Bubb” regular season started) and I don’t remember it happening at all. That night was such a roller coaster (if a roller coaster only went down and down forever until you were TRAPPED FOREVER in the FLAMING PITS of HELL) that I totally forgot he did that. On March 11, 2020, things stopped making sense, and anything that did make sense (such as NBA players scoring integer values of points in sanctioned NBA contests) was promptly ignored. We were all trying to figure out if there would be basketball again. Heck, we were all trying to figure out of some kind of ultra-viral contagion was going to decimate humanity within the coming month.
DJJ’s success in that fateful final game, one of the last to be played in the “conventional” NBA, did not carry over into The Bubb. His scoring totals of 1, 0, 6, 12, and 2 certainly weren’t anything to get excited over. But now he’s gone and scored eighteen points on nine shots, putting him back into the conversation as a potential x-factor for the Heat as they prepare to make their push in the ‘yoffs.
Personally, I think he could be AN x-factor, but not THE x-factor. This is going to sound like a meaningless platitude, because it is a meaningless platitude, but he can help his team when he plays well, and he can hurt his team when he plays poorly. If he plays well, then the Heat’s semi-serious championship aspirations are just that much more realistic.