Monster individual scoring nights have characterized much of the early 2016-2017 NBA season, as DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, and many others have started the year off well. For the latest NBA news, read below:
LeBron James and George Hill named NBA Players of the Week
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Utah Jazz’s George Hill were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Oct. 31 through Sunday, Nov. 6.
James led the unbeaten Cavaliers to a 3-0 week, averaging 24.7 points (fourth in the East), 11.3 assists (first in the East) and 9.3 rebounds. On Nov. 3, he scored a season-high 30 points and added 12 assists and seven rebounds in a 128-122 win over the Boston Celtics. He followed that performance with 25 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds and two steals in a 102-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 5. During the game, James passed Hakeem Olajuwon for 10th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Hill helped the Jazz to a 3-1 week behind averages of 20.8 points, 5.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds. He connected on 31-of-53 (58.5 percent) shots from the field, including 11-of-20 (55.0 percent) from three-point range. On Nov. 2, he scored a season-high 25 points to go with six rebounds and four assists in a 97-81 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Hill capped his week by recording 23 points and a season-high nine assists in a 114-109 win over the New York Knicks on Nov. 6. Utah improved to 4-0 when Hill scores at least 20 points.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Dwight Howard, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Houston’s James Harden, the LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Orlando’s Evan Fournier, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.
Michael Malone, Nuggets coach: “A lot of teams play small; we play big. We don’t follow the trends of the NBA; we do what’s best for us.”
Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer: “The word ‘chemistry’ is overused in sports, in part because it’s so hard to define. Any time a team plays well, you can chalk it up to good chemistry and it’s hard to debate otherwise. But this is different. The Hornets play in an unselfish way that is good for the group.”
Luke Walton, Lakers coach: “They’ve come to work every single day since we’ve been here, even before training camp. Their actions speak loud. They’re grown men that are in this to get better and to be as good as they can.”
Stars put up big scoring numbers
So much for early-season rust.
Two weeks into the season, the NBA has seen no shortage of prolific scoring. Six players are averaging at least 30.0 points per game: Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (33.7 ppg), Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (33.2), Portland’s Damian Lillard (32.0), Houston’s James Harden (31.5), New Orleans’ Anthony Davis (30.0) and Golden State’s Kevin Durant (30.0).
This marks the most 30-point scorers through at least six games in NBA history (Lillard has played seven games, one more than the others).
The NBA record for most players to average 30 points or more in a season is six, set in 1961-62, when Elgin Baylor, Walt Bellamy, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Pettit, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry West accomplished the feat.
The last time the NBA had multiple players average at least 30 points for a season was in 2005-06, when Kobe Bryant (35.4), Allen Iverson (33.0), and LeBron James (31.4) topped the scoring list.
In a small sample size so far, there are 30 players averaging at least 20 points in 2016-17. Last season, 20 players averaged 20 or more. This season’s overall team scoring average (103.0 ppg) is slightly ahead of last year’s full-season mark (102.7).
Andre Drummond: The Pistons’ center has been named a Special Olympics ambassador. On the court, Drummond has three of the NBA’s four 20-rebound games this season, leading Detroit to a 4-2 start.
Harrison Barnes: Two of his three career 30-point games have come in his first six games with the Mavericks, including a career-high 34 points in Sunday’s overtime win over the Bucks.
Devin Booker: The 20-year-old guard has scored 38 and 39 points in his last two games, becoming the first Suns player with consecutive 35-point games since Amar’e Stoudemire in February 2007.
Los Angeles Lakers: Under new coach Luke Walton, L.A. (4-3) is riding a three-game winning streak and playing at the fastest pace in the NBA.
J.J. Redick: The Clippers’ guard is the new active leader in consecutive games with a three-pointer after Stephen Curry’s NBA-record streak ended at 157 games. Redick has made a three-pointer in 62 consecutive games, the eighth-longest streak in league history.
Kemba Walker: In the Hornets’ 4-1 start, Walker is averaging 24.4 points on 47.1 percent shooting from the field.
Hassan Whiteside: The 7-footer (20.0 ppg, 14.2 rpg, 2.6 bpg) is the first player in Heat history to record five consecutive double-doubles to start the season.
Kevin Durant: The four-time scoring champion has scored 20 or more points in 70 consecutive games, tied for the sixth-longest streak in NBA history. With two more such games, the Golden State forward will match Michael Jordan (December 1987 to December 1988) for the fourth-longest streak. The top three streaks of all time came in the 1960s, from Wilt Chamberlain (streaks of 126 and 92 games) and Elgin Baylor (79).
J.R. Smith: The Cleveland guard needs four three-pointers to reach 1,700 for his career, a mark achieved by 15 players.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services