(NOTE: He didn't miss them all. See the video above!)
With the Celtics season a thing of the past, it’s time to reflect on the year that was . . . and hand out meaningless awards we just made up! First up: The PETA Player of the Year Award, which is given to the Celtics player who humanely refused to hit the most bunnies.
While Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier missed a fair share of bunnies this season, their ability to teleport to the rim was just too impressive for them to qualify for this award. So the obvious choice is: Tyler Zeller.
The Celtics 7-foot center managed to miss 32 layups this past season, although 12 of them were blocked. Of the 20 misses that weren’t turned away by a defender, four stood out as the most egregious (heroic?) missed bunnies. Here they are, numbered but in no particular order:
Zeller really set the tone with this beauty from the first game of the season. The Celtics were up 14 points at the time, so NBD; plus, he gets bonus points for the disappointed hop after the miss. (More like TODDLER Zeller, am I right?!)
GodZeller once again burned by the unnecessary reverse attempt in this one. He seems to be trying to avoid the menacing help defense of Emmanuel Mudiay, who did block a total of 13 shots this season … the same amount as Isaiah Thomas. I could go on, but his reaction is way too sad.
Fun fact: Tyer Zeller was the sixth-oldest Celtic this season, and his veteran leadership really showed up in this missed bunny. At this point in the season, Al Horford had already taken a beating by the well-informed and completely rational local talk radio horde, and Zeller essentially nullified Big Al’s big miss by whiffing an even easier attempt on the putback. You’re a freaking hero, Tyler Zeller. A HERO.
Zeller really takes a stand for animal rights on this last one. His defender, Mirza Teletovic, actually stops moving. (Another fun fact: He, too, had 13 total blocks this season.) Now in Zeller’s defense, Greg Monroe was standing right there and, although he didn’t even raise a finger to contest the shot, he was the 55th-ranked center in Defensive Real Plus-Minus this season.
So congratulations, Tyer Zeller, for standing up for all those helpless bunnies out there. Your efforts won’t soon be forgotten. (Also, maybe try dunking next season?)