The Lakers finish the week with a record of 2-2. There was an impressive win over the Brooklyn Nets and a great 20 point comeback against the Charlotte Bobcats, but along with that came an old fashioned beat-down by the Boston Celtics and a fourth quarter meltdown that resulted in a loss to the Miami Heat. Here are this week’s top 3 and bottom 3 performers.
3. Earl Clark
Earl Clark has been a very nice surprise this season. From being buried on the bench to becoming our starting power forward, Clark averaged 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this week highlighted by his 14 point, 12 rebound game against Brooklyn where he lead the team in the +/- category with a +18. He has been the most consistent player on both ends of the court and has provided some much needed energy when on the floor.
2. Steve Nash
Steve Nash celebrated his birthday this week in Thursday night’s loss to the Boston Celtics. With the sudden spark in assists for Kobe Bryant, the former two-time MVP has seen an increase in his scoring averaging 14.5 points per game and shooting at an efficient 51.3% and 40% from beyond the arc.
1. Kobe Bryant
It seems almost impossible to have a top 3 Lakers performer list that doesn’t include Mr. Bryant. Kobe had averages of 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 6.25 assists per game this week. In the past 10 games Kobe has been leading the Lakers in assist averaging 7.4 per game, the Lakers are 7-3 in the last 10 games played.
3. Mike D’Antoni
Dwight Howard Sr. spoke out in defense of his son this week. He voiced his opinions about the very public war of words between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard this week. Senior put the blame on Coach D’Antoni for not stepping in and quieting down his players to the media, but that isn’t the coach’s only mistake this week… The problems on the court still exist as the Lakers continue to play poor defense and not utilize Dwight Howard on offense. D’Antoni has his work cut out for him with 30 games left in the season and the Lakers being 3.5 games behind playoff contention.
2. Dwight Howard
Dwight has been having a rough week… After re-aggravating his right shoulder injury he sat out three games and returned Thursday in Boston. While Dwight’s numbers weren’t particularly bad, they are nowhere near the numbers we all know he is capable of pulling. In the 3 games he played this week he averaged 12ppg and 9.7 rpg while hitting only 47% of his free throws. Not to mention all the media hype surrounding his shoulder and Kobe’s comments on his return date, Dwight spent the last 3 games playing with very little energy and motivation.
1. Metta World Peace
Metta served a one game suspension for an altercation with Detroit Piston’s guard Brandon Knight against the Brooklyn Nets. When Metta came back against Boston, it was clear his extra time off did nothing for his game. He continued his poor shooting performance this week by only hitting 2-11 from the 3-point line and 10-38 overall.