1. Kirk Hinrich (Chicago Bulls) (Last Week: 9):
The Bulls lost to the Warriors before taking care of business this week against both the Lakers and the Hawks. Hinrich put together three solid statistical games (15p 3s, 17p 5a 4r 3s, and 10p 6a 2r 2s respectively) with sterling +/- numbers as well (+2,+18, and +21). I realize that a +2 doesn't look great, but when you can stay positive in a 15 point loss it usually means you were doing something right... I'd say this has been Hinrich's best week of the season.
2. Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) (LW: 2):
Consistency was the buzzword for the week for Mario. 12 points, 13 points, and 12 points on 6, 7, and 7 shots, respectively while putting up 7 assists in two games, but lagging behind with just 1 assist in the Heat's lone loss this week against the lowly Jazz.
3. Paul Pierce (Brooklyn Nets) (LW: 1):
Two nondescript games to start the week, then a vintage 9-for-11 outing for 25 points in just 22 minutes. He's now hit 25 in 3 of his last 8 games despite (or due to?) a reduced minutes load. This is the type of management of an aging player that pays dividends at season's end.
4. Nick Collison (OKC Thunder) (LW: 5):
Nick only missed one of the seven field goals he attempted this week, and contributed all over the court, as usual. The Thunder went 2-1 this week, with a shocking loss to the Magic the blemish on the record.
5.5 Marcus Morris (Phoenix Suns) (LW: 3):
5.5 Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) (LW: 4):
This week Marcus and Markieff get a joint write-up as they completely flipped roles in each of the Suns' games this week. In the first game Marcus had a solid outing with 14 points on 8 shots as Markieff went an anonymous 0-3 from the field. The Suns beat the Warriors in that game by 13. In the second game of the week it was Markieff with 12 points, 2 blocks, and a steal while it was Marcus' turn to go 0-for-3. The suns lost that one to the Heat by 6.
BONUS GIF: Markieff swat
7. Ben McLemore (Sacramento Kings) (LW: 6):
About 20 minutes per-game in 4 contests for Ben this week. His aggressiveness ebbed as the week progressed, taking 11 and 12 shots in the early week contests, but then just 6 and 2 in the back-to-back to end the week. Oddly enough, his +/- was a team high +17 in the game Wednesday in which he missed both his shot attempts.
8. Jeff Withey (New Orleans Pelicans) (LW: 8):
Jeff is a bit ahead of where the Pelicans front office and coaching staff thought he'd be, as he's seeing the floor in spurts and has been a valuable contributor (or at least not a detriment like the team's other C's) when on the floor. The problem from Withey's minutes standpoint is that the team seems not to trust him to be on the floor in certain matchup situations against large opposition centers. Perhaps that's the right approach with a young player, but when you're a team in the odd position the Pelicans find themselves in, with a 1st rounder headed away conditionally, but a weak conference, I'd think gaining the young, controlled players some time and experience and letting the cards fall where they may might not be a bad play.
9. Thomas Robinson (Portland Trailblazers) (LW: 7):
Some minutes may be opening up for Thomas as the first big off the bench in Portland after Joel Freeland's injury on Tuesday night that will keep him out for somewhere between 4 and 8 weeks... So long as matchups will allow Thomas to play, as Freeland was the center of the bench unit meaning it's no 1-for-1 swap. The other possibility is that Thomas could be moved (again) in an effort to get another piece for Portland to contend this year, you never know. I would expect that the Blazers would look into trading Meyers Leonard and Allen Crabbe or another young bench guy if the opportunity arose, but perhaps Leonard and Thomas can perform well enough in Freeland's absence that no deals will be done at all.
So, I wrote that blurb prior to last night's game, and then a big DNP was all Thomas saw... Not that he deserved many minutes after three completely anonymous games, but I can also acknowledge that it's hard for a guy like T-Rob to get going in 8 minutes a game or so.
10. Brandon Rush (Utah Jazz) (LW: 10):
The Jazz are winning games (that's bad). Brandon Rush is playing very few minutes (that's bad). Brandon Rush isn't getting injured (that's good). Life's full of ups and downs, isn't it?
11. Darrell Arthur (Denver Nuggets) (LW: 11):
10-20 minutes per game, but with a shot that's As Cold as the Rockies (Rights Reserved: Coors Light).
12. Cole Aldrich (New York Knicks) (LW: 12):
Count the minutezzzzz: 7. Bam. 1.000 FG%. 2 Points.
13. Xavier Henry (LA Lakers) (LW: 13):
The Lakers are in freefall, gunning for a top lottery pick, and Xavier's minutes are still sitting at zero since the injury a while back... With no reason to rush solid players back onto the floor who knows when he'll see minutes again.
Not Ranked. Tyshawn Taylor (FA) (LW: 14ish):
Tyshawn is in Maine.