Recently, the NBA announced that they are currently looking to suspend play for about a month in order to properly address the coronavirus pandemic. There is indeed hope that we will all get to enjoy the spectacle that is the NBA again soon, but the stark reality is that there are no guarantees at this point. As a matter of fact, there is even some belief that the season is already over as we know it.
That being said, we would like to take a step back to have a quick look at some of the memorable performances we’ve seen this season prior to this unexpected hiatus. We have had more than a handful of the same, but today, we take a look at five of the best.
Damian Lillard (Jan 20, vs. Golden State Warriors)
We are obliged to kick things off with Damian Lillard’s outstanding performance against the Golden State Warriors on MLK Day. The Portland Trail Blazers superstar point guard dropped 61 points against the Dubs — the most points scored this season by any player — in a thrilling overtime victory. Sure, this was against a hapless Warriors side, but this game was actually part of Lillard’s jaw-dropping, record-breaking scoring outburst that lasted a good couple of weeks. The 29-year-old carried his side to victory in this one, going 17-of-37 form the field, 11-of-20 from distance, and a pristine 16-of-16 from the line, along with 10 rebounds, seven assists, a steal, and just two turnovers.
James Harden (Nov 30, vs. Atlanta Hawks)
Houston Rockets former MVP winner James Harden has a fair amount of entries for this list, but perhaps none stands out more than his 60-point gem against the Atlanta Hawks on November 30 of last year. The 6-foot-5 guard led the charge for the Rockets as they pummeled the Hawks, en route to a 158-111 blowout victory. Harden also capped off his tremendous evening with eight triples, three rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and a block.
Bradley Beal (Feb 24, vs. Milwaukee Bucks)
We just had to throw this in here for the simple fact that Bradley Beal brought his A-game against the league-best Milwaukee Bucks late last month. There’s no denying that the Washington Wizards were having another forgettable season, but when the top-seeded Bucks came to town, Beal knew that the stakes were high.
The two-time NBA All-Star did his best to try and defend their home turf against a raging Milwaukee side, and the Wizards almost escaped with an unlikely overtime victory. Giannis Antetokounmpo and company were eventually able to hold off Washington, 137-134, with Beal finishing with a career-best 55 points (19-of-33 from the field, 9-of-10 from the line), eight triples, two rebounds, three assists, and nine turnovers (ouch).
Caris LeVert (Mar 3, @ Boston Celtics)
Brooklyn Nets swingman Caris LeVert is not exactly what you’d call a household name, so for some who may have missed out on his remarkable outing against the Boston Celtics a few weeks ago, his inclusion on this list might come as a bit of a surprise. That’s until you see the highlights of his career-best 51-point performance, though. Not only did he do this in Boston’s infamous TD Garden, but what makes this special is how the 25-year-old scored 37 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead the Nets to a memorable comeback victory against the C’s.
LeBron James (Mar 6/8, vs. Milwaukee Bucks/@ Los Angeles Clippers)
Last but not least is a double whammy from Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James who took down the league-best Milwaukee Bucks and their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers in two days. LeBron knew what the implications were as they went against two of the top contenders for this season’s championship, and The King certainly laid claim to his throne. The three-time NBA champ dropped 37-8-8 against the Bucks, and followed it up with a 28-8-9 gem against the Clippers.
If the NBA season does end up being cancelled completely, then at least we would have these outstanding performances to look back on.