Reinis Lacis's Basketball Blog

Elvin Hayes (43pts) Battles Ray Williams (38pts) and Micheal Sugar Ray (17asts)

The last 40-point game Elvin Hayes ever recorded. Yet judging just by this clip you would have figured that the 34-year-old had plenty of those left in him. Thing is that there wasn’t much one could do if the jumper was falling for The Big E. Like, he’s dropping fade-away bankers over you. Close out too aggressively, and he finishes at the rim. Terrific performance which must have had a pretty darn good field goal percentage, I might add. March 16, 1980.

Statistically speaking this was peak Ray Williams who averaged 20.9 on 49.6% shooting as a 6-3 guard. The night before he had dropped 34 on the Celtics, then he put up 38 on the Bullets and had 33, 35 and 37 in his bag during the next seven games to close out the season. Just not much that Washington had to offer against him. Do note that he put up the 38 by driving in to the paint of Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes and Greg Ballard.

This might be my favorite Sugar Ray game that I have ever watched. He starts off by dishing out eight assists in the first quarter and throughout the game is a huge part of the 38 points that Ray Williams scores. At a certain moment he decides that he can attack the rim at will with that huge body of his. And he also made more than a handful of awesome defensive plays to help on that end of the court. Such an all-around talent.

Toby Knight was a big, 6-9 lefty forward with a smooth touch who averaged 19.1 points per game in his third season for the Knicks. Then he blew out his ACL, PCL and meniscus in a 1980-81 preseason game. Huge props to him for returning from that for even 40 games. Too bad this second round gem didn’t get to have a full career.

I must say that the New York Knicks did indeed go away from Bill Cartwright in this one as he picked up an easy nine points to start the game. However, it’s not like Ray Williams (38), Toby Knight (27) or Micheal Ray Richardson (25) were less efficient. One ball for a whole lot of great offensive players.

Only Isiah Thomas (once) and John Stockton (five times) have averaged more assists per game in a season than Kevin Porter did (13.4) in 1978-79 with the Detroit Pistons. He was signed by the NBA finalists Washington Bullets, but soon fell out favor with coach Dick Motta, who opted to play Jim Cleamons as the starting point guard. So, yes, Porter did record this statline while coming off the bench (only Eddie Johnson, Spud Webb, Kevin Johnson, Brevin Knight, Chucky Atkins and Chris Duhon have repeated it after 83-84, per basketball-reference). And you also get to see his signature flash, which probably did affect Motta’s decision, especially when there wasn’t a plan for the jumps in the air. The good decisions outweighed the bad ones by a lot, though.

Super John Williamson goes to work off the bench in his last full NBA season. Close to no signs here that the super sub would be out of the league by 29.

Typical Wes Unseld play on the defensive end and an atypical one on offense. Unseld went 3-for-6 from long range in the two seasons of his career that there was a 3-point line.

Dick Motta shares some praise for Super John Williamson and talks about his front-court depth problems that had the team signing Lawrence Boston.

Nothing like a Kent Benson dunk to drive a point home.


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