Austin Daye’s big night

Austin Daye scored a career-high 28 points against the Heat last night, and calling that unlikely would be an understatement.

This season, 131 other players have scored more than 20 points in a game. All of them are averaging more points per game in their non-season-high-games than Daye is (3.5 points per game).

By scoring 28 points, Daye joined even more elite company. This season, 50 players have a season-high of at least 28 points. They’ve all scored at least 5.9 points per game more than Daye has in their other games.

Sheet 1

Entering yesterday, the two players directly above (Kenneth Faried

and Kurt Thomas) and below (Reggie Jackson and Kosta Koufos) Daye in the NBA scoring-average rankings had a season-high of 11 points, a total Daye matched against the Celtics.

Daye’s game could be a total fluke, or he could play the rest of the season less like Reggie Jackson and more like the typical player who’s scored 28 points in a game. Given that Daye played so well a day after a late-night shooting session with his personal trainer, I’m hopeful the third-year player has found his way.

Lost in his slump was the fact that Daye appears to be a hard worker. His confidence might be shaky, and his defense might leave a lot to be desired, but I think Daye works hard.

Daye’s big night puts him in elite company, and I hope he spends the rest of the season proving he belongs there.

Tags: Austin Daye