1. Xavier Henry (LA Lakers) (Last Week: 7):
The two games this week for Xavier were about as polar opposite as they could get. In the Laker's first contest of the week he played 14 minutes, going 1-3 from both the field and the line. In the second contest he was an animal, hitting 9-12 shots from the field, getting to the line 11 times (making 7), and making 2 of his 4 shots from behind the arc. His final stat line: 27 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover. Alas, it wasn't enough to stop the juggernaut Trailblazers as the Lakeshow lost by 6 at home to go 1-1 for the week.
2. Darrell Arthur (Denver Nuggets) (LW: 4):
A great week for Darrell Arthur as the Nuggets went 2-1. In 14 and 24 point wins against the Raptors and Nets Arthur went 7-7 and 4-5 from the field for 14 and 10 points, respectively. In each game he also averaged 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in around 20 minutes of playing time. As for Wednesday's game against the Cavs, it was another solid performance; in 26 minutes Shady went 4-11 for 8 points, snagged 8 rebounds, dished 3 assists, and was also able to pick up a steal and block a shot. Sadly it wasn't enough to catch the Cavs as the Nuggets had their win streak snapped at 7 in a 10 point loss in Cleveland.
3. Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) (LW: 1):
It's pretty incredible how similar the Twins' statlines have been of late... Markieff put up 47 points in his 4 contests on 38 shots in about 24 minutes per game. Good work, if not quite up to his soaring heights of the early-season.
4. Marcus Morris (Phoenix Suns) (LW: 2):
The Suns went 2-2 on the week after being surprised by a Utah Jazz team that looked like an actual NBA squad after bringing Trey Burke back from injury. Marcus has been productive on the week, shooting 16-36 from the floor for 39 total points in around 20 minutes per game.
5. Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) (LW: 11):
After struggling last week with a nagging groin injury, Mario came back a bit stronger this week. The FG% for the week probably isn't where he'd want it after going 9-24 from the field, but his assist totals have improved with 22 in the 3 games on the week, and along with the expected 4 steals, he added 3 blocks. The Heat went 2-1, with their lone loss Wednesday coming against the Pistons and Andre Drummond, who, beyond absolutely killing it in his second NBA season, will likely help Embiid go incredibly high(ly?) in the upcoming draft as General Managers lament Andre's fall to the 8th pick last year.
6. Ben McLemore (Sacramento Kings) (LW: 3):
Congratulations to Ben as he was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month! He'll certainly hope to improve his efficiency from the field, but his scoring statistics are the best in the West as far as rookies are concerned and 3rd overall, and he clearly has the highlight-machine footage for the award tape. Michael Carter Williams won the award in the East after his blazing hot start. Ben went for 14, 4, and 14 points in three close losses to the Clippers, Warriors, and Thunder, respectively on about a point per field goal attempt, which isn't too shabby for the 20 year old, especially seeing as the game hasn't quite slowed down for him yet.
7. Thomas Robinson (Portland Trailblazers) (LW: 5):
The Blazers went into the week knowing it'd be a rough one with games against the Lakers in LA, followed by games against two of the best teams in the league back at home in the Moda Center against the Pacers and Thunder. In three incredibly entertaining games the Blazers silenced any doubters by going 3-3. Thomas' role in each game was nearly identical, going for 4 points and 5 rebounds in between 11 and 13 minutes in each game while picking up an assist in two of the three games. In what has become a familiar refrain, there is no way Thomas be getting much more floor-time while LaMarcus is playing at the level he has been. The best thing Robinson can do is to just continue to produce in the minutes he has and keep helping the team win from the bench (and keep practicing those FTs).
8. Tyshawn Taylor (Brooklyn Nets) (LW: 8):
36, 21, and 34 minutes played in the Nets' three contests this week means Tyshawn is getting a chance to show what he can do in The League. He has struggled a bit with his shooting percentages in that time, but he has gotten to the line a bit and shot well there, going 9-10 this week. The three point shot isn't really a part of his game right now, having only attempted 11 on the season, making three, but he went 1-5 in what was otherwise a great performance against Houston in a loss on Friday. Ty totaled 16 points and 12 assists against only 3 turnovers that game, and has been on the receiving end of quite a few more minutes because of it. How his playing time will be affected when Deron Williams is healthy only Jason Kidd knows, but as long as Tyshawn continues to score about a point per shot and assist well, he'll continue to have a place in this Nets team. With his ability to get to the rim, even in the NBA, I wouldn't be surprised to see his percentages go up and become a truly valuable player in the coming months.
9. Kirk Hinrich (Chicago Bulls) (LW: 9):
With Rose gone, Kirk is back to doing exactly what he did last year in facilitating and trying to bring some selective scoring to this demoralized Bulls team. He's given the Bulls 13, 12, and 13 points in their three games on the week along with 20 assists, but also 8 TOs. In their 3OT loss against the Pelicans on Monday he played a ridiculous 53 minutes, and it showed in his legs being absolutely gone, shooting 0-8 from three point range in the game, with a disproportionate number of those misses coming in the extra 15 minutes of play.
10. Nick Collison (OKC Thunder) (LW: 10):
The Thunder had a 3-1 week, and Nick continues to take his 16 minutes, get his 4-6 points on good shooting numbers, and fill up the statsheet wherever possible, when he's not setting pristine screens, that is.
11. Paul Pierce (Brooklyn Nets) (LW: 6):
Paul played 15 uninspired minutes in the Nets' loss to Houston on Friday before a hand injury struck that will likely keep him out 2-4 weeks. I don't know how Brooklyn deals with this on top of everything, but it might be that some rest for Pierce and a bit of a shakeup could help this team find their groove... or they could just bottom out and give Atlanta a great pick in a loaded draft.
12. Jeff Withey (New Orleans Pelicans) (LW: 12):
Jeff got token minutes in a win at Chicago on Monday in triple-overtime, and put up his customary 1-2 from the field in a bit over 4 minutes. It'll be interesting to see what happens with his minutes as Anthony Davis has been ruled out for 4-6 weeks with a hand injury. He didn't get into the game on Wednesday as the Pelicans lost to the Mavs in another tight game. The starters all played big minutes, and the only backup "big" that entered the game played 12 minutes and didn't take a shot.
13. Cole Aldrich (New York Knicks) (LW: 13):
Did Not Play-- Coach's Decision (The Knicks are terrible and have lost 9 in a row now, meanwhile, Cole hasn't been in a game since the 20th of November. I don't think anyone on the Knicks knows where they are, much less what they're doing...)
14. Brandon Rush (Utah Jazz) (LW: 14):
Did Not Play-- Coach's Decision. Again.