Basketball is a team sport. It takes a group of people who complement each other's strengths and weaknesses working together to achieve a common goal.
Nah, jk. That's some bullshit. Basketball is about getting buckets.
The above is a list of times players have shot 20 or more times in a game their team lost, while also contributing basically nothing else. No assists, no rebounds, just a whole bunch of chucking. They may not have carried their teams to victory, but any coach will tell you the key to getting better is practice. These are just examples of forward-thinking players trying to get shots up in game situations to allow themselves to be better when it really matters.
Let's now rank the performances on this list:
10. Terry Teagle @ Dallas (12-of-20, 24 pts)
All things considered, this wasn't exactly a terrible game. Teagle didn't exactly contribute much elsewhere, but he wasn't a hindrance offensively. Sixty percent shooting from the field is perfectly fine and the team was 13-34 going into this game so who really cares?
9. Reggie Miller @ New Jersey (11-of-21, 34 pts)
If you want to complain about one of the best shooters in NBA history hoisting up shots on a night he had a true shooting percentage of 72 percent, that's your prerogative. You're an idiot, but that's your prerogative.
8. Calbert Cheaney vs. Phoenix (12-of-21, 29 pts)
First and foremost, yet again the numbers aren't that bad. Furthermore, Gheorghe Muresan was on his team. Gheorghe Muresan was literally 7'7 tall. If you're wasting your time trying to get rebounds with him on your team then you are just not a smart basketball player.
7. Latrell Sprewell vs. Phoenix (12-of-22, 26 pts)
Only two other players on the team finished in double figures, so Latrell had to do something. He also had a steal! And he didn't choke anyone! This was a decent performance from Mr. Sprewell.
6. Terry Teagle @ Utah (10-of-20, 22 pts)
Wait, haven't we seen this name on here already? Yes we have! Teagle is the epitome of the "Get Buckets" motto, apparently. This time he did it as a starter, but it was again on a terrible team. These Warriors teams may not done a lot of winning, but Teagle got his numbers. That's what matters. We should all look up to Terry Teagle.
5. Kyrie Irving vs. Dallas (11-of-21, 26 pts)
Irving's second year in the NBA saw him playing with Alonzo Gee and Dion Waiters. Both of these players shot 16 times in this game. They scored 15 and 16 points, respectively. No one on that team can say anything to Kyrie.
4. Ryan Anderson @ Golden State (8-of-22, 28 pts)
Okay, this is where things kind of start to get ugly. Anderson got 40 minutes off the bench for a team that was 5-18 at the time. I'd put up 22 shots and not give a shit, too. I would hope you'd do the exact same thing. Believe in yourself.
But yeah, 14 shots is a lot of shots to miss when you aren't really contributing anything else.
3. Jamal Crawford @ Golden State (9-of-21, 19 pts)
The Clippers played a solid Golden State team tough on the road on Christmas Day. Fine. Crawford shot 1-of-5 from three. Not that fine. Crawford put up 21 total shots and scored 19 points. Even less fine. Crawford probably didn't care all that much. Very cool.
2. Trey Burke vs. Boston (7-of-20, 18 pts)
YES. 20 SHOTS. OFF THE BENCH. 18 POINTS. BOTH THE JAZZ AND THE CELTICS HAD INCREDIBLY ASS RECORDS AT THIS POINT OF THE SEASON AND TREY BURKE DECIDED THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE TREY BURKE GAME. GOOD FOR YOU, TREY.
1. Allen Iverson vs. Houston (6-of-22, 32 pts)
When entering the search for this into Basketball Reference's Play Index, there wasn't a doubt in my mind Allen Iverson would find himself on the list. The only question was "How Allen Iverson would his performance be?" The answer was "Very Allen Iverson."
Iverson posted an eFG% of 27.3 percent. For reference, the closest player to that in the NBA this year is Aaron Harrison. Aaron Harrison has been allowed to play 74 total minutes of NBA basketball.
It was all made even better by Iverson still putting up thirty-freaking-two points because he hit 20 of 24 free throws. Iverson may not have always gotten you assists. He may not have always gotten you rebounds. He may not have always gotten you effective offense. But Iverson always got you points.
So while the award may be named after Terry Teagle, the only man to do it twice, I think Terry would agree that Allen Iverson was the epitome of a bucket getter, and turned in the most Teagle of performances.