There has been a steady supply of great games, such as Dallas at Golden State on Thursday night.
Great stories have developed, including the renaming of the New Orleans Hornets, who will adopt the name of their state bird. Ryan Anderson, who has proved all doubters wrong since his move to NOLA, will be a Pelican next season.
And lastly, the trade that sent Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors has people buzzing.
Yes, the Grizzlies have avoided the luxury tax this season and down the road. But they still lost a pretty significant talent. Without Gay or any of their new players, the Grizzlies were playing uphill in Thursday’s loss on TNT to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Sixth Man Award candidate Kevin Martin has been awesome.
Martin maintained his good week with 16 points, and he wasn’t the only one. Quite a few candidates for the award have been able to further add to their reputation, as a multitude of games on national TV included players on this list.
Carl Landry, Jarrett Jack and the Golden State Warriors had a TNT showcase against Dallas. Landry finished with 10 points and Jack put up 13 and nine assists as a fill-in starter for the injured Stephen Curry.
National exposure can make or break a player’s chance of winning any season award. J.R. Smith is a prime example of how this can hurt you. To this point, hasn’t been able to fully pull himself out of a funk after he shot 10-of-29 on TNT against the Indiana Pacers.
On the flipside, the San Antonio Spurs and Manu Ginobili have been quiet assassins for the entire season. They were not on national TV this week but have won nine in a row, with Ginobili making major contributions.
The Hornets aren’t winning games and haven’t seen too much action nationally, but Anderson continues to score at an extremely high and efficient rate.
Whether it’s stepping up when the spotlight is on you, or quietly making plays and helping your team win, everyone on our list seemed to have a good week. If they all continue to play at a high level, it will get to a point where choosing a winner won’t be easy.
Now, on to the rankings.