On one hand, it is reasonable to think that Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie made an odd and perhaps foolish decision by shipping promising rookie swingman K.J. McDaniels to the Houston Rockets at last Thursday’s wild and wooly trade deadline. On the other, though, the guy Hinkie got for McDaniels — former Murray State Racers standout Isaiah Canaan — apparently consists primarily of magic:
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
With the clock ticking down in the second quarter of a competitive contest between the Sixers and Miami Heat, Philly wing Luc Richard Mbah a Moute drove to the basket but lost the ball as he approached the rim. Teammate Hollis Thompson grabbed the ball out of the air in the right corner and tossed it in Canaan’s direction as he sailed out of bounds.
Heat star Dwyane Wade tipped the pass intended for the former Rockets point guard, and with less than one second remaining on the 24-second shot clock, Canaan leapt into the air, caught the ball and heaved up a prayer … which, of course, was answered. Off the window. (It remains unclear if Canaan called “bank.”)
Here’s a closer look at the replay angle, courtesy of friend of the program @its_whitney:
What initially looked like a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, which would have been Canaan’s third of the first half, was eventually ruled a 2-pointer, because the point guard’s left foot was inside the arc when he took flight to try his brilliant bit of nonsense. That’s a bit sad, but you’d have to imagine coach Brett Brown and company aren’t too mad; two points is better than the zero points Philly should have gotten out of that trip, after all.
In many other seasons, Canaan’s catch-and-release mid-air chuck would rank as the craziest shot of the season. In this season, though, that honor still belongs to Trevor Booker and his no-look tip drill. Everybody else — even pint-sized point men redirecting tipped passes off the window — is just shooting for second, stylishly though they may be.
Alas, Canaan and his fellow Sixers didn’t have quite enough magic on Monday, falling to the Heat, 119-108. Luol Deng scored a game-high 29 points on 11-for-14 shooting, while trade-deadline acquisition Goran Dragic added 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting to go with 10 assists in 33 minutes of play as Miami improved to 24-31 on the season.
Thompson (22 points, 7-for-10 from the field, 6-for-9 from 3) led the way for the Sixers, who have lost seven straight to fall to 12-44. Canaan finished with 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting with three assists and three turnovers in 29 1/2 minutes.
More NBA coverage:
– – – – – – –