Noah Vonleh’s career, even dating back to his time in Bloomington, has been, well, weird. His one season at IU was underwhelming and his career in both Charlotte and Portland has been much of the same.
All that makes his game-winner on Monday night the most fitting of game-winning shots in history.
Yes, that’s Shabazz Napier on point guard (he dropped 32). Yes, that’s Meyers Leonard being in the worst spot possible and kicking the ball out of his teammate’s hands. Yes, that is Pat Connaughton and Jake Layman celebrating with Vonleh. No, those players do not normally play in crunch time for Portland.
The Blazers, like most of the NBA at this point in the year, rested their big players in Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Mo Harkless and Allen Crabbe, giving way for big minutes for the rest of the team.
Vonleh played 37 minutes on the night and finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Also of note in the game is that Jonathan Simmons nearly ended Meyers Leonard’s career.
Most importantly, Vonleh made Gregg Popovich laugh and that might be the best accomplishment of his pro career.