NBA Best of the Week Awards
James Harden has a monster game against his former team and takes home a weekly award. (Photo Credit: Angel Blue, Flickr.com)
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.
Gold Medal: James Harden
James Harden shows up in a few places in this week’s weekly award. He gets the top spot of the week as well as the performance of the week. His Houston Rockets took on his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on Wednesday.
Harden led his team to a 122-119 win. In the game he scored a career-high 46 points. He scored 16 of his points in the fourth quarter and also added eight rebounds and six assists. His performance earns him both awards this week.
Silver Medal: Tony Parker
Tony Parker is playing some of the best basketball of his career lately.
His San Antonio Spurs played the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. Parker was matched up against fellow All-Star Chris Paul and outplayed him.
Parker had 31 points and seven assists to Paul’s four points and three assists. With the game in hand, Parker only played 28 minutes–which makes those stats even more impressive.
He broke 30 points in both games this week and averaged 30.5 points with nine assists over those two games.
Kyrie Irving is proving to be a late-game hero. (Photo by slimm978/Flickr.com)
Bronze Medal: Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is having a great season. He seems to be getting stronger as the season progresses. He is being mentioned as one of the better players in the league now and his game against the New Orleans Hornets shows why. He scored 35 points, had five rebounds and seven assists.
What was more impressive was that he scored 20 points in the final seven minutes to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-100 win.
Rookie of the Week: Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards wins the Rookie of the Week honors. On Friday, he had a double-double with 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in a win over the Denver Nuggets.
On Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors he scored 25 points. This gives him an average of 21 points and eight rebounds for the week.
Player to Watch: Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters, the Cavalier rookie, has been playing very well of late. While he has been a little inconsistent this season, he has proven that he can score. Over the season he is averaging 14.2 points per game. He earns this recognition though for his new-found efficiency.
Over the last six games, he is shooting 59 percent shooting from the field and 65 percent over the past three games. In those three games he has averaged 16 points. While his points have not made a big jump, his efficiency is great news for the team.
If he can continue this growth then the Cavaliers will have the makings of a good young core with him and Irving.
Game of the Week: Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder
In what could be a first found playoff preview, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder faced off on Wednesday. The Rockets dressed only nine players as they had traded several players earlier in the day.
Harden was playing against his former team and was up to the challenge. He scored 46 points, 16 of which came in the fourth quarter as the Rockets fought back from a 14-point deficit. Jeremy Lin chipped in with 29 points and Chandler Parsons added 17. Despite scoring 122 points, these were the only three Rockets that scored in double digits.
The Thunder had five players in double figures, led by Russell Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha, who each had 28. Kevin Durant had his second career triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. It was not enough, though; they could not stop the fourth quarter rally by the Rockets. The Rockets would win 122-119.
Team of the Week: Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies take home Team of the Week honors. After trading Rudy Gay, it was uncertain if this team would stay in the playoff chase. They are currently on a six-game winning streak and won all three contests this week.
Their calling card is defense. Only twice this month has a team broken the 100-point barrier against them. This week, opponents averaged only 85 points against them.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol lead the way for the team. Mike Conley has stepped up to help fill the void from the Gay trade. He has averaged 13.5 points this season but, over the last five games, is averaging 17.6 per game.
The winning streak has them holding onto the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
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