Video | NBA Week’s Highlights: Westbrook’s Dominance and More
The Quint takes a look at last week’s highlights from the NBA.
Houston Rockets’ James Harden dropped two 40-point triple-doubles, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook had another (18th) triple-double, Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas owns the fourth quarter, New York Knicks’ Derrick Rose goes missing (what?), and the Philadelphia 76ers had a winning week (Really?).
Read all about it in the week that was in the NBA.
Philadelphia’s Near-Perfect Week
Are Philadelphia 76ers underrated? This was a real segment on The Jump which airs on ESPN. Just for the record, no they aren’t. They are ranked 13th in the East, and are seven games behind 8th place Charlotte Hornets.
Sure, they are an exciting team to watch, and Joel Embiid is making a strong case for Rookie Of The Year honors. The week was also fairly solid with Philly winning 2 of 3 (5 of the last 7 if you include last week as well) including games against New York and Charlotte. To suggest, however, that the 76ers are going to be anything but a below average team with the current roster this season, is pushing it.
Russell Westbrook’s 18th Triple-Double
This has become so routine, we should just give Westbrook a permanent spot on this list throughout the season. He had an average night against the Memphis Grizzlies. How average? 24 points / 12 assists / 13 rebounds.
He now has 18 triple doubles in just 41 games. That leaves him with 41 games more to go.
Nikola Jokic Can Do-It-All
Let’s not be hasty and count out Nikola Jokic for Rookie Of The Year honors. The Denver Nuggets’ Serbian forward is averaging 13.3 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game.
While he was expected to be effective as a scoring big man, the assists are a welcome surprise. He dished out 8 assists against a stingy Pacers’ defense, no less. At 6’10” he throws some of the deftest bounce passes you will ever see in an NBA game. Dare I compare him to another European legend, Arvydas Sabonis?
Pope Gives Coach Van Gundy A Breather
Though the Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks slugfest came close, it is hard to top off a competitive double overtime games like the one between Detroit Pistons and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Coming out of a timeout down two and with eleven seconds left in the second overtime, Detroit Pistons’ coach Stan van Gundy called for a play to score a quick two. The play didn’t turn out the way van Gundy wanted, but somehow left Kentavious Caldwell-Pope open for a three which he nailed to seal the game.
I’m damn glad it was a 3, to be quite honest. I wasn’t looking forward to another overtime.Stan van Gundy
DeRozan Shows Who is the Boss
After stamping his mark all over the record books to being the season, DeMar DeRozan has settled into his superstar leader role in Toronto Raptors. Once in a while though, he reminds us of what he is capable of.
Like this 41-point outing against potential Eastern Conference Finals opponent Boston Celtics. He made just one 3-pointer on route 41 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to go with his scoring outburst.
Anthony Davis Dominates As The New York Knicks Could Not Find Rose
The bigger story here was Derrick Rose going missing before the game. Where did he go? Even the Knicks don’t know. And that didn’t help things on court either.
New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis had 40 points and 18 rebounds in just 29 minutes of play, and probably would have got to 50 had New York Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn not shoved him into the stands late in the third quarter. Quinn earned a flagrant-2 foul and an ejection further depleting a thin Knicks team that lost Carmelo Anthony to technical fouls and was missing Derrick Rose.
James Harden Score 40 In Yet Another Triple-Double. Twice.
In any other season, Houston Rockets’ Harden’s numbers would have taken all the attention. HIs former teammate Westbrook is making sure that does not happen.
Not like Harden’s season is any less. Fresh off a week where he put up a 53-point triple-double, Harden continued to wreak havoc on defenses, racking up two 40-point triple-doubles back-to-back against Charlotte Hornets. Is this guy for real?
Devon Booker Lights Up Mexico for 39 Points, Twice
Touted by many as the superstar of the future, Phoenix Suns’ Devon Booker’s calm yet fierce demeanour on court, his smooth touch around the basket and fluid shot, and most importantly his incredible basketball mind make him a delight to watch.
He sees the game far slower than most of his counterparts, helping him drop 39 on the elite San Antonio Spurs’ defense. He still makes rookie mistakes, but well, he is a rookie. Also, let’s remind ourselves that this kid turned 20 less than three months ago. That’s at least 20 years more of Booker Ball.
Isaiah Thomas Owns The Fourth Quarter
Thomas is the undisputed king of the fourth quarter this season. First he drops 20 points in the fourth quarter (he has 38 for the game) on a stunned Washington Wizards defense, who were so frustrated they picked a fight with the Boston Celtics just after the game. It was so serious the cops had to be called in.
It also impressed Floyd Mayweather enough to ask for his jersey. Then if that wasn’t enough, Thomas scored 13 point in the fourth quarter (he had 28 for the game) against Atlanta Hawks including the cold-blooded game-winning dagger. Until further notice the fourth quarter shall be called Thomas Time.
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