The potential match-ups are set to make this one of the most entertaining first rounds since before the implementation of a seven game opening round series.
Who really wants to face New York on any given day with the arsenal of stars they now have? Does anyone out west look forward to a seven game series with Portland? The 76ers have moved up to a six seed, but can their new brand of team basketball stand up to the star power of the Heat?
It’s never too early to get excited about playoff possibilities and it’s always the right time to remember the best of the best in this week’s highlight reel.
Team of the Week: Houston Rockets
With wins over Charlotte, Boston and Utah in the last week, Houston has made a push toward playoff basketball by inching within two games of the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed.
Kevin Martin is carrying the team by averaging 26.6 points per game but Kyle Lowry has shown that the Rockets will be just fine without Aaron Brooks. The fourth year player out of Villanova has averaged just under 20 points per game to go along with eight assists per game during a four game winning streak. Here, Lowry goes for his first career triple double against Utah.
Player of the Week: Tony Parker– San Antonio Spurs
He remains as the heart of the San Antonio Spurs. Without him in the lineup due to a calf injury at the beginning of the month, the Spurs were embarrassed by Memphis as George Hill turned out a forgettable six point and six turnover performance in his place.
Parker would make a swift recovery, scoring 15 points with eight assists as the Spurs embarrassed Miami by 30. Since returning, Parker has continued to show why he is still one of the reasons people are calling this a point guard’s league. In the last week, Parker went for 33 against Dallas and has averaged 20 points and nine assists per game and the Spurs are on a three-game win streak.
Dunk of the Week: Derrick Rose– Chicago Bulls
Who better to steal the award from Blake Griffin than the league’s best MVP candidate? Fast don’t lie? Neither does evidence. This video showcases both Rose’s athleticism and knack for making back breaking plays that stun the crowd and the opposition. Nothing like a two handed jam from a 6-foot-3 point guard.
Block of the Week: Dwight Howard– Orlando Magic
How about a stat of the week? Howard does not lead the league in blocked shots. That title belongs to Andrew Bogut, but if anyone was thinking that Howard must be losing a step or is focusing too much on his offensive game is the reason, this video shows they are sorely mistaken.
Assist of the Week: Carmelo Anthony– New York Knicks
A rare moment in New York as Anthony finds a teammate with a pass. Falling out of bounds and hitting a teammate for a bucket with this type of speed is impressive, but showcasing Jared Jeffries on SportsCenter because of his amazing play is something only Knicks fans can truly appreciate.
Trick Shot of the Week: Deron Williams– New Jersey Nets
It’s a shame Williams has gone down with a wrist injury and that this may be the last time we see him on the highlight reel this year. Given his history with shots like this, it’s not far fetched that he would have had at least one more of these this season.