Welcome to PokuWatch, formerly BaynesWatch, a special Defector segment dedicated to the NBA’s most baffling ongoing statistical mystery.
Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Aleksej Pokusevski has done it. In the third quarter of a Thursday night win over the Dallas Mavericks, the Serbian 19-year-old caught a pass on the left wing. He looked briefly as if he’d shoot the three, then took two hard dribbles past his defender, Dwight Powell, who shuffled back to keep pace and placed a fateful hand on Poku’s hip. The 7-foot, 190-pound frame was redirected mid-flight. The layup bonked off the side of the backboard. The whistle was blown. And the quest was completed: Poku took his premiere NBA free throw. Immediately thereafter he took his second NBA free throw. Intentionally fouled with just under 18 seconds to go in the game, he even took his third and fourth. After offering proof of concept in the G League, and playing north of 300 minutes in the big league, the rookie made all four of these pioneering free throws. The NBA’s youngest player finished his first-ever start with 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. He remains very cool. And now our PokuWatch has ended. честитамо!
We turn our attention now to Tony Snell of the Atlanta Hawks, who has not attempted a free throw in 447 minutes of burn. Stay tuned for future editions of SnellWatch, formerly PokuWatch, formerly BaynesWatch, a special Defector segment dedicated to the NBA’s most baffling ongoing statistical mystery.