Brendan Haywood isn't known as an offensive dynamo, but when points need scored, he can Hay the Wood with the best of them (HA!).
That's a lie. He scores though. In fact, he made exactly 14 baskets this season, and I watched every single one of them. I ranked them too, because the world needs to know.
14.) 1/7/15 against Houston: After a missed shot, The Haywood was credited for a tip back, but three people touched the ball. It was truly lame.
13.) 11/15/14 against Atlanta: In a Cavs 40 point blowout, The Haywood hit a turning hook over what I'm fairly certain was Elton Brand.
12.) 12/23/14 against Minnesota: The Haywood received the ball against Jeff Adrien. Maybe it was Gorgui Dieng. One awkward twist later the Cavs put two points on the board.
11.) 12/8/14 against Brooklyn: There are a lot of hook shots in here. This is another. Mason Plumlee made a minimal effort to stop it. The Haywood ran back solemnly, but in his mind he was screaming "KOBE!" I'm sure.
10.) 12/28/14 against Detroit: Andre Drummond was on deck this time, with little more than a prayer of keeping The Haywood from the rack. It wasn't answered. Ring up another hook shot.
9.) 12/28/14 against Detroit: The Haywood was beating him like a Drummond. Another hook. 2 more points.
8.) 12/31/14 against Milwaukee: ZaZa Pachulia dug in, but The Haywood's patented Wild Whacky Waving Arm Inflatable Tube Man hook cannot be stopped by mere mortals. 2 more. COUNT IT!
7.) 12/31/14 against Milwaukee: Fueled by his teammates' utter failure, John Henson wasn't going to just watch The Haywood score. He wasn't going to stop him either. Brendan summoned his inner Hakeem (present day) and finished through a foul for an And 1. I don't need to tell you it was a turning hook.
6.) 1/11/15 against Sacramento: The Haywood got a dunk with nobody near him. Ryan Hollins got lost in pick and roll coverage.
5.) 11/15/14 against Atlanta: Choked for space, the Cavs turned to the only man they could trust. Like a young Dirk, The Haywood effortlessly drained a 15 foot jumper, proving that trading for the similarly talented Kevin Love was a mistake.
4.) 12/28/14 against Detroit: LeBron was out of the game, but someone has to put it on the floor. Catching at the left elbow, The Haywood put a 2 dribble masterpiece on Andre Drummond, dropping a righty layup passed his outstretched arms.
3.) 1/23/15 against Charlotte: After helping a bit too high on a pick, Al Jefferson had no choice but to foul the dunking Haywood. This would be Haywood's second, and last, dunk of the season.
2.) 4/15/15 against Washington: After taking 2 months of calendar time off, The Haywood was prepared. Trailing in OT, he would connect on an 8 foot jumper while being fouled by Kevin Seraphin.
That brings us to......
THE BEST SHOT OF BRENDAN HAYWOOD'S SEASON
Down 1, in overtime, with a mere 35 seconds left, the Cavs ran a PICK AND POP with Haywood and Matthew Dellavedova. That's not a typo. Although it may have been a declined pick, but Dellavedova was just kind of having a confused dance session with the ball, so it's hard to say. The game was bananas. Haywood and Kendrick Perkins played extended minutes as the 4 and 5. Dellavedova tried like 3 game winning shots. It was the best thing I've seen in person in a while.
ANYWAY, The Haywood catches the ball 10 feet out on the aforementioned pop (we're sticking with pop), and nails the jumper over an outstretched DeJuan Blair. It was incredible.
I don't know if Brendan Haywood will play in the playoffs, but even if he doesn't, his season was wonderful, if only for hitting a game winning shot against the Wizards.
In all seriousness though, he was a great guy in the locker room all year. Never stirred or complained. Did everything that was asked, and came into each day prepared even though he was rarely called upon. Thank you Brendan, for bringing this light into my life.