Every Sunday, the CC staff will get together to present our plays and players of the week.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
3 Games (3-0)
Kyle Boenitz: The reigning MVP is looking like the Derrick Rose we’ve come to expect. He’s got the Bulls on a 5-game win streak including the 3 games they had this week after the All-Star break. Rose dropped 32 on New Orleans to help them squeak out a close one when they were caught looking ahead to the next night’s game against the Spurs. He showed up for that game in a big way. Rolling into San Antonio, one of the toughest places to play in the league, Rose scored 29 against the Spurs and came out with a win. Then he finished off the week with a 19 point, 9 assist performance against the Cavs. Rose has the Bulls sitting atop the Eastern Conference right now, on a collision course to battle for the conference title with the Heat. If Rose keeps playing this way, the Bulls might give the Heat a real solid run.
Brendan Bowers: Derrick Rose emerged from of the All Star Break looking like he intends to close this second half of the season out with authority. He helped his Bulls team win three games this week, turning a two game winning streak into a 5-game run, and he shows no signs of that injury that hampered him earlier on this season. In those three wins, Rose averaged 27 points and 7 assists, and that’s with only playing 28 minutes in a route at Cleveland on Friday. He played like the MVP all week, and has his Bulls back looking like a team with a real shot of winning this whole thing this summer.
Also receiving votes:
Kobe Bryant: 2 games (2-0) 34.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.0 spg
Philip Rossman-Rich: If you have ever had to wear a protective mask after breaking your nose (I haven’t), you probably know that it is really uncomfortable and weird. Unless you are Richard Hamilton, you don’t see many players continue to wear that thing. They hate it. Throw on top of that fractured nose, but you also get the concussion on top of that. You would think Kobe would have had a bad week while he adjusts… No, this is Kobe Bryant though. He doesn’t adjust. He attacks. Bryant scored 69 points this week with two 30-point games. More than that, he shot 24 for 47 from the floor. Kobe is in his dastardly mood again.
LeBron James: 2 games (1-1). 36.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 6.0 apg, 2.5 spg
Trevor Zickgraf: According to ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh, LeBron’s 37 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, five steals & zero turnovers against Portland hadn’t been done in over 25 years. The next night the Heat were playing probably their worst game of the year until LeBron went NBA Jam on the Jazz in the 4th quarter. I really can’t fault James for passing the ball at the end of the game because A: This is the kinda guy he is for better or worse and B: Udonis Haslem was WIDE OPEN for a shot he always makes. Maybe I wish he would’ve taken the ball to the rack, but passing it out of a double team to a guy wide open for a 15 foot jumper was the right move.
John Karalis: LeBron is a statistical monster. I disagree about the pass to Haslem, considering the double team both came from his right side and he had 2.5 seconds to still dribble left and get himself an open shot. But that moment not withstanding, those number are insanity. The moment did cost him our prestigious award… which I’m sure will kill him all week long.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
Josh Smith puts Serge Ibaka on a poster
Trevor: Kudos to these Thunder bigs who aren’t afraid to get dunked on, but damn do they get dunked on.
Also receiving votes:
Devin Harris beats the Heat
Kyle: While I was watching the Heat-Jazz game on Friday night, I thought LeBron’s ridiculous, off-balance swish from just inside the 3-point arc was going to be the play of the week, but it was topped a few seconds later. With the Jazz down 2 and under 10 seconds to go, Harris gets the ball straight-away outside the arc, pump fakes and blows by LeBron, then teardrops over Dwyane Wade, getting the bucket and the foul. He hit the free throw to go up 1, and that was the last point in the game. A huge win for the Jazz as they take down the hottest team in the league at home.
Durant beats the buzzer in Orlando
Phil: On a night where the Magic couldn’t defend at all in the fourth quarter (I calculated a 145.8 offensive rating for the quarter), the one play they did a decent job contesting and closing out, Durant just ripped the heart out of the Magic. The comeback was completed and finished and the air in the Amway Center was gone after this one. You could go with that or his third quarter dunk. Just an overall impressive performance from Durant on Thursday night.