Week in Review (Jan 29-4) Part I
*--I decided to split this up this week into 2 parts--Part I deals with the players, Part II with the teams & upcoming games.
Players of the Week:
Kobe--Tri-MVP. To me, Kobe & Wade are starting to pull ahead of Arenas & Bron in the MVP race, and Kobe is making a push on Nash & Dirk. 34.7, 6 rpg, 6 apg, 2.3 spg & 11/21 from 3pt. 43, 8 rbs, 8 assts & 7/9 from deep in a win in Boston. Also, 39, 6, & 6 in a pounding of the Wizards in D.C. where he seemed to never force the action like his counterpart Arenas.
Okur--Tri-MVP-o-week. With Booze out, Memo took the reins of the club & led Utah to 2 huge victories over some Western heavyweights. First, he dropped 31 & 11 on 10/14 shooting to hold off the Spurs at home. Then on Saturday, he was huge down the stretch vs. the Suns, hitting tough jumpers from all over to seal a big win on the road (Memo had 29 & 12).
G. Wallace--Tri-MVP. Someone who's sneaking under the radar, but has been superb the last 2-3 weeks. Gerald was vital toward the Bobcats' 3-1 week averaging 26, 10.8 rpg, 3 apg, 2 spg, 2 bpg & 55.4% shooting. He's sort of a poor man's Marion for his ability to fill every stat catergory & shoot a good percentage. A fantasy owner's dream. Dropped 42, 8 rbs, & 3blks in a win vs. the Knicks. Also, was huge in a mini-upset on the road vs Denver--25, 13, 2 stls, & 2 blks.
Bosh--Led the Raps to a 3-0 week & a big victory over the Wiz. Chris laid down 34 & 8 on 15/19 shooting in the 10-point win vs. the Wiz. Bosh averaged 28.3, 8.3, 3.7 apg & shot 62%.
Joe Johnson--Joe led the way for the Hawks' 3-1 week with 33, 5 rpg, 4.8 apg, 16/35 from 3pt. & 50% overall for the week. I picked him as one of my All-Star reserves over Rip, but can't really quibble with the Coaches' selection of Rip since not much separates Rip & Joe in my mind.
Iggy--Was the most natural fit to step in as the Sixers' main option, and has taken to the role quite nicely the last month. Has Pippen-like potential with his ball-handling & physical gifts. 22, 8 apg, 7 rpg, 1.7 spg on 50% for the week. 25, 13 assts, 10 rbs, & 3 stls in a tough 1-point loss to the Warriors. Still needs to tweak his jumper if he wants to take his game to the next level.
Artest--Ronnie has seemed to turn on the "focus" switch in his head for the month of January. After being the usual mercurial Ron for the first 2 months of the season, Ron has been tuned in the last few weeks--averaging 22.3, 7.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.4 spg over the last 2 weeks. Also, did a tremendous job smothering Melo on Sat. But Ron still loiters around the perimeter too much on offense looking to shoot perimeter jumpers. He needs to get his posterior down low where no SF in league can stop him (a fair amount of PF have trouble with him, as well) & he can draw fouls like crazy. I think he should be getting to the foul line much more.
R. Allen--You can't blame the Sonics' failures on Ray because he's producing as well as he can. Ray continues to make a strong case for a Western All-Star replacement bid (and maybe should be on the team instead of Parker)--Ray averaged 33.3, 5.3 apg, 4.3 rpg, 2.3 spg on 47% for the week, which pretty much mirrors his production for the last few weeks.
Arenas--33.3, 6.7 apg, 5.3 rpg for the week & 36, 11, 7 rbs in a big win vs. the Pistons was the good part. But showcased his patented dubious shot selection this week which led to 39% overall, including 9/29 (3/15 from 3pt) in a misguided attempt to show Kobe who's the man vs. the Lakers.
M. Miller--Probably could have put Mike on here earlier, but really made my job easy this week by averaging 28.3 ppg, 3.3 apg, 3.7 rpg, 17/33 from 3pt, & a blazing 57% overall. Colangelo needs to be giving Miller a call for Team USA before J. Kidd.
Garnett--Typical KG this week--26, 11.5, & 3.5 apg. But really gets high praise for the 44 & 11 in a big win vs. the Suns, which snapped their 15-game winning streak.
J. Calderon--Has been one of the more valuable back-up PG in the NBA this year, and has really delivered the goods since being inserted into the starting lineup after Ford went down with injury. Always loved his savvy play in int'l play, and has adjusted to the NBA slightly better than I expected. Finishs at the rim surprisingly well. Showed Arenas a thing about steady decision making in the Raps win vs. the Wiz--Jose put up 24 pts, 11 assts to only 1 TO, & shot 10/13 overall. This is one thing that is pleasing about Jose's game, low turnovers. He has a 5/1.4 asst-TO ratio & only averages 21 mins a game. Maybe it is something about Spanish coaching, because Sergio Rodriguez keeps his TOs low & has a nice asst/TO ratio in limited minutes. Jose averaged 16, 9.3 apg, 1.7 TOpg & shot a sizzling 64.3% from the field. One area where Calderon has made significant strides in is shooting percentage--52.4% for the year, basically 10% points higher than last year.
Honor Mention: Amare; Baron; Wade; Brand; K. Martin; Jermaine; Felton; D. Williams; Vince; Mo Williams; Josh Smith; Curry; Gasol