Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s rookie season comes to an end with a point-scoring bonanza that sort of makes sense, but mostly doesn’t make sense. NAW (AKA “Hell NAW”) is a bigtime shot-taker, but he’s not a bigtime shot-maker, as his 35% shooting from the field would indicate. So, in the final game of the season, when nothing means anything, I would expect him to shoot even more shots than normal, but I would not expect him to make any more shots than normal. In fact, I would expect him to shoot a lower percentage than normal, due to the expected degradation of his shot-selection.
Hell NAW is making Pelicans fans say “Hell YEAH” (sorry bad joke) with this performance. Eleven of eighteen from the field with some nifty playmaking ability thrown in there as well?
This game doesn’t change the overall fact that Hell NAW didn’t have a good rookie season in terms of shooting. He scored in double-digits nine times but took five or more shots 23 times. He had multiple games where he took ten shots but didn’t hit double figures. Of 56 rookies who played at least 200 minutes, he was 7th in FGA per 36 minutes, but 52nd in effective field goal percentage. That’s a deadly combination of chuckage and inefficiency that makes Dillon Brooks look like Brandan Wright. We can appreciate that Hell NAW had the game of his life while also acknowledging that he had a large amount of games this season that were definitely not the game of his life.