MANILA, Philippines – The NBA season has almost reached the All-Star break, and so far, the league’s superstars, role players, and everyone else in between have been producing numbers expected from the world’s best hoopers.
Here are the numbers that stood out in the last few days of January:
LeBron James has long solidified himself as one of the greatest players in the game’s history, but the newly reappointed All-Star Game captain has taken it to another level to begin the new year by averaging a whopping 30.3 points per game for the entire month.
Even at the ripe old age of 37, at least in NBA standards, “King” James is still carrying the struggling Los Angeles Lakers on his back with scoring norms not seen since his second MVP season 12 years ago.
Sticking with the Lake Show, Russell Westbrook showed a glimpse of his MVP-level self this Friday, January 28 (Saturday, January 29, Manila time) when he dropped 30 of his 35 points in the second half alone against the Charlotte Hornets as the Lakers played without James and Davis.
This was the most points a Laker scored in a single half since the late great Kobe Bryant’s farewell game, where he famously exploded for 60 points in a comeback win.
But in a picture that encapsulated their up-and-down season, the Hornets still escaped the Lakers, 117-114, as Westbrook fell short of leading a 20-point comeback.
Speaking of the Hornets, the Michael Jordan-owned team has continued to be one of the most exciting teams to watch this season, and for good reason.
Led by the flashy core group of LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, and shoo-in Most Improved Player candidate Miles Bridges, Charlotte’s offense peaked with an NBA season-high 158 points in a blowout win over the Indiana Pacers last January 26.
If you want to see dunks, long threes, and fastbreak offense all game long, tune in to a Hornets game, sit back, and watch the fireworks fly.
When it comes to good offense, few teams this season have been more up-and-down than the Boston Celtics.
Despite currently holding a dead-even 25-25 record, the Celtics recently had a game to remember after embarrassing the Sacramento Kings by 53, 128-75, last January 25.
In fact, the rout was so bad that Boston’s top three starters that game, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Robert Williams III, still outscored the entire Kings squad, 79-75.
Many NBA teams like the Kings last January 25 throw in the towel early on when their deficit reaches a certain point.
But such concepts are foreign to the now-underdog Los Angeles Clippers, who on that same day, came back from the dead with a shocking 116-115 win over the Washington Wizards after being down by as many as 35 points.
More shockingly, this Clippers squad currently grinding without superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George already have three wins under their belt this season where they came back from at least 24 points down. – Rappler.com