Denver Nuggets rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay has had a steady whilst unspectacular debut season in the NBA.
The 20-year-old was the seventh pick in last summer's draft and had the challenge of filling the boots of former franchise star Ty Lawson, who departed for what turned out to be a fruitless spell in Houston.
However, on Wednesday night, the Congo-born star delivered the standout moment of his NBA career thus far.
Article continues below
Mudiay dropped in a buzzer-beating 35-foot field goal to secure the win for his Denver Nuggets over the Philadelphia 76ers.
What makes the shot even more remarkable, is that Mudiay is travelling in traffic and appears off balance as he chucks up the last second release.
Article continues below
Whilst it might have appeared to have been a chuck and hope effort on the surface, Mudiay got drained it in from distance with his half-court jumper and the Nuggets broke the hearts of the struggling Sixers, who just can't seem to catch a break this season.
When the ball drops to secure the Nuggets the win, even Mudiay looks surprised that he's made the shot.
Nuggets playoff dreams fading
Mudiay's last-second heroics leaves Denver six-and-a-half games behind the trio of Houston, Utah and Dallas who currently inhabit spots nine to seven.
Whilst those three are in a tight-knight battle to fill the final two playoff spots, and Portland are only just ahead of that pack, Denver know it would take a miracle run to usurp any of those franchises with 10 games remaining.
Still, it's been a promising season for Denver's young core and Mudiay displayed far more than his clutch skills on Wednesday night. The point guard tallied 27 points and collected 11 rebounds to steal the show at the Pepsi Center.
Back in November of 2015, Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd somewhat foresaw Mudiay's ability to hit game-winning shots. He told Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post: “At 19 years old, he’s very talented,” Kidd said. “He’s running the team, he’s not afraid to take a big shot. Some people have said that he can’t shoot, but he finds a way to put the ball in the basket.
"I think he enjoys to play the game, and I think for me, watching the tape on him is exciting. To see a 19-year old being able to run a team with his poise, and then also his skills. He has skills at the age of 19.
Kidd, himself a decorated point guard with 10 All-Star appearances and a five-time Assists Leader, insisted Mudiay can surpass his achievements.
He’ll be better,” Kidd said. “He’s better already. Being able to run an NBA team at 19 is not easy. You look at some of the greats — Magic (Johnson) was able to do it. And you’re looking at this kid Mudiay, who has the opportunity to do something special. So, I would encourage him to be better than me, and I think he will be at the end of the day.”