Jeremy Lin Revitalizes the New York Knicks — Weekly NBA Roundup [VIDEO]
The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder hold the best record in their respective conferences as the NBA has reached the 30-games played mark. Here's what's going on in the NBA this week:
Team on the Rise: New York Knicks
Thanks to the sensational play of point guard Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks (13-15) are on a five-game winning streak. Even more miraculous is that they've done most of the winning without Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire in the lineup. Lin scored a career-high 38 points in a 92-85 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Coach Mike D'Antoni must get superstars Anthony and Stoudemire to keep the offense working as it has with Lin as its focal point in their abscence.
Team on the Decline: Denver Nuggets
Denver (16-12) had lost five games in a row before pulling out a 113-109 victory over Indiana on Saturday. The Nuggets will be without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, whose sprained ankle that he suffered last Monday will sideline him for about a month. Corey Brewer spelled Gallinari on Saturday, but it's clear that Denver may not have enough pure scorers to run with teams while Gallinari heals. Guards Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo must increase their production to keep Denver in games.
Play of the Week: Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
In leading Boston (15-12) to a 95-91 win over Chicago on Sunday, Celtics' guard Rajon Rondo scored 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 15 assists. This pass to Chris Wilcox may have been his best play of the day.
Player on the Rise: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
With a teammate as talented as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook can sometimes get overshadowed on the Oklahoma City roster. Not this week. Westbrook averaged 30.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.5 steals as the Thunder (21-6) extended their lead in the Northwest Division to five-and-a-half games over Denver. Oklahoma City has the best record in the NBA and may have the league's best combo in Durant and Westbrook.
Player on the Decline: Shawne Williams, New Jersey Nets
Little has gone well this season for New Jersey (8-21), but forward Shawne Williams has had a particularly terrible year. Despite playing more than 20 minutes per game, Williams has scored in double figures only twice in 2011-12. His per game average of 4.5 points is mostly due to a 28.6 field goal percentage. The Nets are nearing the point when they must limit the amount of shots Williams takes in a game.
Coach on the Hot Seat: Paul Silas, Charlotte Bobcats
Injuries to point guard D.J. Augustin and shooting guard Gerald Henderson have hurt Charlotte (3-24). The Bobcats lost their 15th straight game on Monday, 98-89, to Philadelphia. However, Charlotte has lost their last seven by an average margin of 22.6 points. Injuries don't explain that level of ineptitude. If the team doesn't show improvement soon, head coach Paul Silas could lose his job.
Bizarre Stat of the Week: Lou Williams, Philadelphia 76ers
Though he has yet to be in the starting lineup for a game this year, Lou Williams leads Philadelphia (20-9) in scoring with a 15.9 points per game average.