The best teams have multiple stars. What volumes it speaks of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ and Memphis Grizzlies’ quality that their Conference Players of the Week not only aren’t their best players, but perhaps not their second-best, either. Whether that last part is true or not, it’s safe to say that Kyrie Irving and Zach Randolph certainly haven’t played it like it recently.
Irving was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week after helping the Cavaliers to a 4-0 record. He was the league’s top scorer at 31.5 points per game, and dropped a career-high 55 points, 11 three-pointers, and the game-winning shot during his team’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers while LeBron James was sidelined. One night prior, Kyrie had 38 points and six assists in a road win over the Detroit Pistons. Not bad.
Randolph received the West’s honor for guiding the Grizzlies to a 4-0 week that included wins over the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder, the former of which came without star point guard Mike Conley. He averaged 20.5 points and 13.8 rebounds per game over that stretch while shooting 51.5 percent from the field. Z-Bo’s performance against Dallas was a reminder of just how unstoppable the big man can be when his jumper is rolling:
The Cavaliers have won 10 in-a-row and suddenly trail the Chicago Bulls by just one game for fourth-place in the Eastern Conference. Memphis has won 10 of its past 11 games, reestablishing itself as the Golden State Warriors’ most legitimate contender for first-place in the West.
And obviously, excellent play from Irving and Randolph has much to do with that success.
(Video via GD’s Extra Highlights)
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