As the majority of basketball fans centered their eyes on the NCAA for Selection Sunday, UNLV alum and current Delaware 87ers forward Christian Wood undoubtedly had the best game in his basketball career. In a matchup against the Long Island Nets, the 6’11 forward just went off as he put up 46 points, 19 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks on 17-25 from the field, 2-5 from beyond the arc and 10-10 from the free-throw line. His great play pushed the 87ers to a 123-115 victory over the Nets.
That Sunday afternoon performance from Wood is just a jaw-dropping example of the kind of brilliance that he’s been capable of since he joined the 87ers in mid-November. From the opening tip, he was just electric as his quickness, athleticism and terrific work-ethic was just too much for a solid Nets front-court to handle. A prime example of that was evident when the 87ers were working in half-court sets as Wood was just too long and quick for the opposition to stop when he was working as the roll man.
Long Island’s troubles only escalated when Wood was actually in control of the ball. A huge example of that is seen in the clip below as he captures the ball while positioned by the 3-point line where he’s guarded by Nets forward Kamari Murphy. Unfortunately, that defender never had much of a chance as a combination of bad positioning and just great footwork from Wood. After making a strong drive to the restricted area, he hits the Nets with a solid side-step before laying down a one-handed slam right on Murphy.
Those kinds of drives from Wood have become commonplace this season as he’s extremely comfortable with handling the ball and driving to the paint. Considering his status as a 6’11, 220 pound forward, those skills make him into a special player in the G League. That status is also evident from how he’s played throughtout the season. In 41 games, he’s averaged 22.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.9 blocks per game on 54% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc.
For a player that entered the NBA as a stretch 4, his lackluster perimeter shooting percentage has pretty disappointing. However, its impressive to see how he’s grown as a player over the course of this G League season. That fantastic 2017-18 campaign will soon come to an end as the 87ers are out of playoff contention and there’s only a handful games left in the regular season.
Despite the disappointment that comes with a premature end to the season, Wood should leave Delaware with his head held high. For one, this has probably been his best season of basketball since he was in high school. Alongside that, that great play will probably push some NBA teams to take an extensive look at Christian Wood when the offseason starts in July.