Over the last week, the primary focus of the mainstream NBA media shifted to the trade rumors as the deadline approaches. There is a small matter of the all-star break first, but let’s not even get that far ahead, there is the small matter of games going on as we speak.
The last week of NBA action has seen the Bulls and Nets separate themselves from the lower seeds in the East and watch out, the Los Angeles Lakers are only a few games out of the playoff race in the west as they and Dallas make a push to change things up in the second half of the season. Anyhow, let’s forget all that and jump right into the best of this week’s highlights.
Team of the week: Cleveland Cavaliers
Fueled by a young core that is largely reliant on Kyrie Irving, the Cavs went into Tuesday night’s game against Golden State having won four of their last five with victories over the Celtics and Blazers mixed in there. With a solid young rebounder on board in Tristan Thompson and a good second shooter in Dion Waiters, the team is one more draft pick or a blockbuster trade away from being back in playoff contention. Here we see a quick look at their recent victory over Boston.
Player of the week: Ty Lawson-Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets are on a four game win streak thanks to some great play from their starting point guard Lawson. Averaging 21.6 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game over the last week, the former Tar Heel standout has severely cut into back up veteran point guard Andre Miller‘s playing time as George Karl can’t keep Lawson on the bench.
Dunk of the week: Harrison Barnes-Golden State Nuggets
Recently Barnes’ minutes have dipped as Mark Jackson makes adjustments to his lineup midway through the season. But when he gets his chances, Barnes would do well to keep making plays like this one against Milwaukee.
Block of the week: LeBron James-Miami Heat
The Miami Heat are struggling and need a big man to come in to collect rebounds and protect the rim, but there is no reason to blame the King. Here we see why James is averaging close to a block per game as he puts himself square in Avery Bradley‘s path to the rim.
Assist of the week: Tony Wroten-Memphis Grizzlies
Rumors swirled after the Grizzlies traded away $6 million in salary that they were about to bring in a free agent to back up Mike Conley, but few realized just how high the team is on Wroten. It’s not hard to understand why when he makes plays like this.
Trick shot of the week: DeMar DeRozan-Toronto Raptors
He’s pretty inconsistent, but DeRozan’s talent can’t be denied. When he makes plays like this buzzer beater from Sunday against the Magic, it’s not hard to understand why the Raptors aren’t interested in using him as a trading chip.