NBA: Best of the Week Awards
It is time for HoopsHabit’s 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.
Stars of the Week
Gold: LeBron James
James holds on to the top spot for the second week in a row. Despite his team going 2-2 in the week, James played his A-game. He averaged 32.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists and three steals over the three games.
He was one assist shy of a triple-double in a win against the Dallas Mavericks when he had 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
Silver: J.R. Smith
Smith makes his first appearance of the season in the weekly awards. His team, the New York Knicks, went 0-2 this week but he scored 28 points in both games. He also averaged 9.0 rebounds and five assists.
His best game came against the Portland Trailblazers. Along with his 28 points he had 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Bronze: Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is another new entry in the awards. He had a great week in which his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, went 3-0. He averaged 23.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
His best game was against the Dallas Mavericks. While he only scored 16 points in that game, eight of them came in overtime when he led his team to the win. He also chipped in 10 assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Game of the Week: Charlotte Bobcats and Chicago Bulls
The Bobcats earn game of the week honors simply for ending their horrific 18-game losing streak. Before the streak, they actually had a winning record at 7-5. They now sit at 8-23 and are 13th in the Eastern Conference.
In their game against the Bulls, they were able to survive a third quarter rally. During the losing streak, rallies like this would have made too much for the team to handle. Instead they responded by scoring the first 10 points of the fourth quarter and never looked back.
Four players scored double figures and two were able to grab double-digit rebounds. Their uncharacteristically good shooting–47.1% field goal and 40% 3-point– helped them secure a 91-81 win.
Terrence Ross just beats out Damian Lillard for the top rookie spot of the week. Ross helped the Toronto Raptors to a 3-0 week and had his best week as a pro.
In a win over Portland he was able to score a career high 26 points. This came on the heels of a 16 point outburst against Orlando. He was an impressive 10-14 from the 3-point line in those two games.
This season he has only averaged 7.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Over this week though, those numbers numbed jumped to 15.3 and 4.3 respectively.
Jrue Holiday is having a career year already. This week he stepped up his game even more. Over the Philadelphia 76’ers four game week, he averaged 23 points, 5.7 rebounds and 9.7 assists.
He had a double-double in three of the games. Against the Phoenix Suns he would have his second triple-double of his career when he went for 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Anytime you can break Shaquille O’Neal’s rebounding record, you have had a career game. Vucevic scored 20 points and grabbed 29 rebounds against the Miami Heat. His rebounding total broke the Orlando Magic team record that O’Neal set 19 years ago. He also added three steals and two blocks in the game.
The Magic lost a heart breaker in the end but Vucevic played his best game of the season. He doubled his scoring average on the season and nearly tripled his rebounding average.
Team of the Week: Detroit Pistons
The Pistons started the week with a surprising 10-point win over the Miami Heat. They did not let up as they beat the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings to end the week. This has been part of a bigger stretch of five wins in six games.
During the three-game win streak, they have shot 52.4% from the field. The team has had a different hero each game. Against Miami, their bench led the way as several starters struggled. Four bench players hit double figures with Will Bynum’s 25 points and Charlie Vilanueva’s 18 points, leading the way. In their other two games Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight stepped up to lead the way.
Two interesting notes about the streak. The first is Austin Daye’s contribution. The usually under-whelming player hit the double-digit mark twice and has finally shot well.
The second is that the bench has played so well despite missing the sixth man, Rodney Stuckey. He has missed three games with an injured ankle. Their recent surge without him may spark up the trade rumors that have surrounded him the past two seasons.
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HoopsHabit’s Regular Column Schedule:
Monday – NBA Awards Watch
Wednesday – NBA Power Rankings
Friday – NBA Stat Central
Sunday – Your NBA Fix Podcast
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