1. Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) (LW: 3):
A week of W's for the Suns as they dispatched Toronto, and L.A. (the Laker variety) this week. Markieff exploded with a 25 and 11 line on just 14 shots against the Raptors in the first game of the week. He followed that up by shooting 6-10 from the field while adding 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block against the Lakers in a very complete performance which looked even better than it was, he shredded their interior defense all night and the twin connection was strong.
2. Marcus Morris (Phoenix Suns) (LW: 4):
Ten points in the first game of the week was solid production for the elder twin, but Marcus absolutely killed it against the Lakers, going 10-13 from the field and 2-2 from 3 on the day for his 22 points. The twins were absolutely devastating this week... If they can play like this regularly then look out NBA. By the way, the Suns are sitting in the 8th seed spot in the West right now, how about that?
3. Thomas Robinson (Portland Trailblazers) (LW: 7):
Three really consistent games for Thomas this week as the Blazers went 2-1. On Friday against the Jazz TRob went 4-8 in 19 minutes while hitting 5 of 6 free throws (crossing my fingers that this is part of a FT% renaissance...) with 6 rebounds, an assist, and two steals in a Portland landslide win. 10 minutes in a crushing last-shot loss against Dallas meant a 3 for 4 outing for 6 points with 3 rebounds. And, finally, 8 points on 80% shooting in 14 minutes against the Jazz (again) with another 2 (but more like 3 or 4, I don't know who does the box score) blocks. If Thomas can keep putting up performances like these Terry Stotts may actually give LaMarcus Aldridge some days off later this season... Also, Thomas was not a fan of something Richard Jefferson said:
4. Ben McLemore (Sacramento Kings) (LW: 6):
Ben rode the momentum from being named Western Conference Rookie of the Month to good performances in the first two games of the week, putting up a 20-6 with 2 steals followed by a 15-9 effort with another 2 steals added. He couldn't keep it going as he only scored 3 on 7 shots in the next game against the Mavs, but did at least contribute 3 assists in that one, a couple of which were really clever cross-court passes. Wednesday against the Jazz the Kings had absolutely nothing and Ben was right along with them, scoring 4 on eight shots with only a couple of rebounds to redeem the performance as the Jazz ran the Kings out of the gym.
5. Xavier Henry (LA Lakers) (Last Week: 1):
"Kobe is back. Kobe. Kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe. Kobe, kobe kobe kobe kobe kobeish kobely kob'e. Kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobe kobetastic." -Sportsnet Los Angeles
Sorry about that, in case you haven't heard Kobe Bryant is back from his achilles injury, so that's all that's mattered to anyone about the Lakers this week. You'll be surprised to hear, I think, that despite the blinding brilliance of the 5-ringed snake, Henry continued his solid play, putting up 4 points on 4 shots, 17 on 8 shots, and 12 on 13 shots in a win and two losses, respectively, for the Lakeshow... You'll be sad to note, however, that on that night where Xavier went for 17 on 75% shooting, he was only allowed 14 minutes on the floor due to his majesty, who went a cool 2-9 in 28 minutes. If you're curious how that looks statistically, it's a 180 ORtg on 30% usage for X and a 58 ORtg on 32% usage for Bean... The Lakers lost by 12.
6. Nick Collison (OKC Thunder) (LW: 10):
Four comfortable wins for the Thunder as they dispatched the Pelicans, Pacers, Hawks, and Grizzlies this week. Nick was clinical in his 20 minutes per game, with absolutely nothing notable whatsoever for me to point out to you, the reader. Man, isn't Collison the best least notable player on a great team there ever was? I see no objections, so let it be written in the basketball history books.
7. Darrell Arthur (Denver Nuggets) (LW: 2):
A bit of a letdown after a banner week last week for Shady as he went 1-6 on Friday and a quiet 2-3 on Monday, but Arthur really filled up the right side of the stat-sheet on Saturday, with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block in 20 minutes in a win against the Sixers (he also had 4 points). The Nuggets have now (quietly) won 9 of their last 11.
8. Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) (LW: 5):
An uncharacteristic 2-2 week for the Heat as they lost to Chicago and Indiana. Mario did nothing out of the ordinary as whatsoever, however he did keep his steal rate up with 7 on the week, and sits at 6th in the NBA in steal percentage.
9. Kirk Hinrich (Chicago Bulls) (LW: 9):
So much blood. 8-38 from the field on the week for Kirk. I should probably just leave it at that, but I think I'm obligated to mention the 11-4-4-3 game for Kirk to end the week, even if it comes in a loss against the lowly Knicks...
Sometimes it just isn't your week: https://vine.co/v/h2aiuM2d7X0
10. Brandon Rush (Utah Jazz) (LW: 14):
I don't know what's up here as Rush played 23 minutes last Friday, totaling 5 points on 6 shots with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal to boot. After that game he didn't see the floor again for the Jazz until Wednesday, when he made three of his four triples on the day for his 9 total points while adding a couple blocks and a couple assists... Why didn't he play two of their games? Who makes the decisions in Utah? Did his previous injuries flare-up? Is he just TOO GOOD? Is it all part of their elaborate quest to conquer all of Tankonia? Find out next week on NBAHawks.
11. Paul Pierce (Brooklyn Nets) (LW: 11):
So much for 2-4 weeks out for Paul... He came back to play against Boston on Tuesday, but didn't exactly set the world on fire. He missed all three of his shots from the field in 22 minutes, but hit all four of his foul shots, and contributed 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. The Net's did win that game, however, which hasn't been something I can write all that often. Bully for him.
12. Tyshawn Taylor (Brooklyn Nets) (LW: 8):
A large downswing in minutes was the story for Tyshawn this week, going from 25 on Thursday down to a mere 34 seconds on Tuesday... With the return of Deron Williams this should be the expectation for Ty moving forward, with nothing more than spot minutes unless he shows a massive increase in scoring efficiency at the rim and can supplant Shaun Livingston at backup PG.
13. Cole Aldrich (New York Knicks) (LW: 13):
Five games. Four blowouts to start the week, two of the good variety followed by two to forget for the Knicks. Cole, naturally, got minutes in the first four of this week's games after having a big ol' DNP last week. 21 minutes in the frame more than doubles his season total, which now resides at a harrowing 35 minutes (Pssch, Kobe could do that in ONE GAME says a Laker fan somewhere on the internet). Cole's contributions were minimal, totaling 4 points on 3 shots, with 10 rebounds, a block, an assist, and a steal thrown in over the course of the four games. At least he has proven that he does indeed exist and isn't some figment of my imagination. I had started to wonder...
14. Jeff Withey (New Orleans Pelicans) (LW: 12):
Since we need to have someone take the mantle of "Tall White Guy Who Doesn't Get Off the Bench" Withey will selflessly serve as that guidepost. Jeff got 9 minutes on Friday as the Pelicans took the L against the Thunder, missing his only shot, but hitting two free throws, grabbing 3 boards, all of the offensive variety, and dishing out an assist, making his nine minutes surprisingly productive... So naturally he wouldn't see the floor again for the remainder of the week other than a classic 3 bajillion against the Pistons, registering no stats whatsoever.