NBA: 3 Stars of the Week (Nov. 14-20)
1. Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder):
It's hard to compete with four straight 30+ point performances, which is exactly what PG Russell Westbrook has done. Since Durant's departure, Westbrook has proven his ability to lead the team as OKC sits in 6th place in the Western Conference at an 8-6 record. Also, Durant's absence has also allowed Westbrook to find his own groove, as he currently stands as second in the league in points (31.6) and assists (10.7). Plus, his average of 9.7 rebounds per game sits at 13th in the league, which when you consider his position, is quite the remarkable statistic. Oklahoma City finished 2-2 over the past week, in large part due to Westbrook's two triple-doubles and one double-double. Time and time again, Westbrook continues to prove his case for the league MVP.
2. DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors):
The first player on the list is Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan. Over the past week, DeRozan has played in four games, averaging 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4 assists. DeRozan's worst performance came against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday that ended with Terrence Ross' controversial three point shot at the buzzer. In a losing effort, DeRozan finished with just 12 points, though he nearly reached a double-double with 9 rebounds. Despite a 1-3 record for the Raptors over those seven days, DeRozan wowed the league with two straight 30+ point performances against the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets. Game by game DeRozan has demonstrated his all-star caliber effort and continues to lead his team in points per game at an astounding 31.4.
3. James Harden (Houston Rockets):
There's no doubt that Mike D'Antoni's decision to move James Harden to point guard has paid off. Besides his average of 28.7 points per game (4th in the league), Harden is currently leading the NBA in assists per game at 12.5. Plus, his average of 7.8 rebounds per game prove that he's able to stretch the floor and play at any position. But that's all beside the point; this past week, Harden has been able to keep Houston's momentum rolling after a 3-1 record over the past week, including two 30+ point performances of his own. Plus, 9, 13, 14, and 10 are his assists numbers over that stretch, which back up Houston's position as the third team in points scored this season.