Taylor scored a career-high 14 points, including a career-high three three-point field goals. None of which showed Taylor’s progression more than the final three-pointer he sank to put the game out of reach at 106-101.
Taylor used an in-and-out dribble to create space on a pick-and-roll before backing the ball out. Once Wizards forward Trevor Booker switched on the pick-and-roll Taylor had the confidence to hoist one final three-pointer that sealed the win.
“I knew it the whole time,” said Taylor. “They called a timeout and I shot it after the timeout. It went in and I told myself I’m shooting it again. Then I got the switch with Trevor Booker so I was just like, yeah, I’m going to let it go.”
As the ball hung in the air, Taylor leaned back on one leg while maintaining the flick of his wrist behind his back to guide the ball in, but it wasn’t necessary. The ball swished through the hoop, just like it has done numerous times during warm-up routines with Overton. This time, the major difference was Taylor heard the thunderous roar of a nearly capacity crowd at Barclays Center cheering him on along with his teammates.
Coach P.J. Carlesimo felt comfortable putting the ball in Taylor’s hands in a position where he has seen his most success when called upon.
“Tyshawn, as he showed, he’s showed it a number of times, he runs the pick-and-roll so well,” said Carlesimo. “He’s got a good rhythm. He knows when to wait and when to probe. You can’t teach the way he runs pick-and-rolls. He really played well. The bonus on top of that is he knocks down three threes. He’s been spending a lot of time with Doug (Overton) shooting threes and he made a couple that helped us, but he made the biggest one as well.”
Taylor spoke to SNY.tv before the game and praised the job assistant coach Doug Overton has done helping him prepare for that type of moment.
“Coach Overton has been great with me just working on my individual improvement, making sure I’m in shape, and making sure I’m right,” Taylor told SNY.tv.
One of the first players to greet Taylor after his clutch shot was Deron Williams who has been a mentor to the rookie all season.
“I think what Deron (Williams) taught me was just to go out there and play aggressive every time you’re out there,” Taylor told SNY.tv. “He’s one of those guys that could be a shooting guard or a point guard and I kind of feel like I’m in that same kind of situation.”
Taylor made Williams proud with his aggressive play and rose to the occasion as he promised to do so before the game.
“I’m going to take full advantage of these last couple of games before this playoffs and just be ready in case my number gets called,” Taylor told SNY.tv.
As Taylor continues to hone his craft as a point guard, he believes he’s found his niche in the league and will look to strengthen it.
“I’m working on pick-and-roll because I feel like that’s a lot of the NBA game and I think I’m a pretty good pick-and-roll player,” Taylor told SNY.tv. “But I think that’s it’s just a different level. So just working on that and just trying to get stronger and be a more consistent shooter.”
Michael Scotto is an Analyst for SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest news from Brooklyn and the NBA: @MikeAScotto