NBA Best of the Week Awards
It is time for HoopsHabit’s NBA Best of the Week Awards. Each week we’ll take a look back at the week that was to determine the best players, teams and performances in the NBA. Another great week of basketball led to several close races this week.
Stars of the Week:
Gold Medal: LeBron James
Is it possible to underappreciate what LeBron James does? He consistently plays at such a high level that it almost seems too easy. He is so strong in every facet of the game.
This week he averaged 28.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.0 steals. He is the best all-around player in the game right now. Although his team did not fare that well this week as they went 1-2, James did everything he could to help his team succeed.
Silver Medal: Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant continues to lead the league in scoring. This week he averaged 31 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists. His team has dropped to the second best record in the league but Durant has continued to play very well.
Bronze Medal: David Lee
David Lee was close to a triple-double in all three games this week. Lee has stepped in to fill the void left by the injury to Golden State’s leading scorer, Stephen Curry.
He averaged 18.6 points, 15.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists over three games this week. The team won all three games. He has also helped his team climb to within four games of the division leading Los Angeles Clippers.
Performance of the Week: (Tie) Al Horford and Brandon Jennings
This is the first time we have a tie in a category. Both of these performances were just too good to pass over.
Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks had a pretty good stat line against Toronto. He had 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots. A very good all-around game that helped his team win.
In the final 21 seconds, he went from helping his team to taking control and willing his team to victory. His dunk with 21 seconds left gave his team a one point lead.
On the defensive end, he then blocked two shots in the final 12 seconds to ensure the win.
Brandon Jennings found “the zone” against the Detroit Pistons. In the third quarter he went on his own 16-0 run to blow the game wide open for the Milwaukee Bucks. He hit four straight three pointers during his run.
He would finish the game with 30 points in just under 30 minutes. The Pistons had been leading in the second quarter only to see a run by the Bucks take the lead going into the second half. Jennings’ run put the game out of reach in a hurry and helped the Bucks take an easy win.
Lillard takes the top rookie honors yet again. He averaged 18 points and five assists for the week. He has his team battling for a playoff spot as they went 3-1 this week.
For the season, Lillard leads all rookies in scoring and assists. He is the easy choice for Rookie of the Year at this point in the season.
Player to Watch
Klay Thompson of Golden State narrowly edges out Danilo Gallinari for this week’s honor. With leading scorer Stephen Curry out, Thompson had plenty of opportunities to score. He had a career high 32 points against Cleveland then followed it up with 27 points against Dallas.
He averaged 24.2 points for the week as the team went 4-0. His play all season has been one of the main reasons Golden State is having such a good season. With Curry out, he showed just how valuable he can be.
Game of the Week: Portland over Dallas
This is one of those games that fans regret leaving early. Portland only scored 14 points in the second quarter and fell behind by 21 points in the third quarter. The game looked like it was over. They fought back but were still down seven points with only two minutes to go.
With 4.5 seconds left LaMarcus Aldridge hit three-point shot to tie the game. Dallas had a chance to win but OJ Mayo was called for a charge with 1.5 seconds left. Aldridge got the ball on the inbound pass, quickly turned and shot the game winner over Brandan Wright.
Aldridge would score 29 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. His teammate J.J. Hickson was just as impressive with 26 points and 15 rebounds.
Team of the Week: Boston Celtics.
When their All-Star point guard and best player Rajon Rondo went down with a season ending knee injury, many expected the bottom to fall out for the Celtics. They were already having a rough season and it appeared that they couldn’t survive such a blow.
In fact, the doom and gloom predictions had Coach Doc Rivers saying “You can write the obituary. I’m not. You can go ahead, but I’m not. We won tonight, so, the way I look at is, we’re going to stay in there.”
As Rivers predicted, they have stayed in there. The Celtics have gone 3-0 this week. They started off with a hard-fought double overtime win over the Miami Heat. Paul Pierce had a triple-double in the game to lead the way.
They then beat Sacramento and Orlando in a true team effort. In both games, six players scored in double figures. The winning streak has allowed them to get back to the .500 mark.
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Monday – NBA Awards Watch
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Started writing for Bleacher Report in 2010. In 2012 started to write for yahoo voices as well. Coach for Special Olympics, play whatever sports I can(right now I am a soccer junkie). I am addicted to mud runs (tough mudder, warrior dash and such). I am also training for my first marathon, which I am running with one of my Special Olympics athletes. Follow him on twitter @pjsapi