The Association Examination: Week Six

Assistant sports editor Jordan Dajani breaks down last week’s NBA action.

Assistant sports editor Jordan Dajani poses in front of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's campus on a dark and cloudy day. Photo by the Tennessee Journalist.

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I took off Thanksgiving week to watch some football, but I’m back and ready to break down some NBA action.

Players of the week

Stephen Curry – Curry is scoring better right now than Michael Jordan ever did in his career. He had 26 points on Monday, 40 points on Wednesday and 44 on Friday. The Warriors still haven’t lost a game and it looks like they will probably pull off the best regular season record in NBA history.

Andre Drummond – I haven’t ever seen anyone rack up double-doubles like this kid can. He had 20 points and 18 rebounds on Sunday, 24 points and 13 rebounds on Monday, 22 points and 12 rebounds on Wednesday and 17 points and 23 rebounds on Friday. He led Detroit to a 3-1 record this week.

Pau Gasol – Believe it or not, Gasol showed this week that he can still ball even at the ripe old age of 35. He had 18 points and 13 rebounds on Monday, 26 points and 19 rebounds on Wednesday and 13 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday.

James Harden – Harden and the Rockets are finally back on track after firing their head coach. He had 26 points on Sunday, 29 on Monday, 24 on Wednesday, 25 points on Friday and 31 points on Saturday.

Dwayne Wade – The Heat have quietly been a really good team this year. They are 12-6 and are leading the southeast division thanks to the play of Chris Bosh and Wade. This week, Wade had 30 points on Monday, 28 points on Thursday and 19 points on Saturday.

Emotional week for Kobe and the Lakers

Last Saturday in a game against the Trailblazers, Kobe Bryant informed coach Byron Scott mid-game that he will be retiring after this season. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as Bryant has had trouble playing at a high level this season due to his age.

Tuesday night, Bryant and the Lakers traveled to Philadelphia where Bryant was born. The arena was sold out as basketball fans packed in to catch their last glimpse of the “black mamba” in person and the atmosphere was electric. Bryant made three straight three-pointers early in the game and the crowd erupted and began to chant “M-V-P!” This night ended up being more about the 76ers though, as they earned their first win this season and avoided setting the record for the worst start in NBA history.

The Lakers also traveled to Atlanta and Washington last week, and both games were equally as emotional with both arenas being packed out by more NBA fans wanting to see Kobe. The Lakers rebounded after their bad loss to Philadelphia by beating the Wizards behind Kobe’s 31 points.

Games of the week

Warriors at Jazz on Monday night – Steph Curry denied Utah’s upset bid as he scored 10 of his 26 points in the final six minutes of the game. The game was close all the way, but the Warriors held on for a 106-103 win against the Jazz.

Thunder at Heat on Thursday night – Some are saying that this was the most back-and-forth game of the NBA season so far, as the lead changed hands 38 times. Dwayne Wade said after the game that this contest was played in what seemed like a playoff atmosphere, so naturally, playoff Wade was present. He hit two clutch free throws with 1.5 seconds left in the game to give Miami a 97-95 win over the the Thunder.

Warriors at Raptors on Saturday night – Steph Curry had 44 points and hit nine three-pointers to extend Golden State’s winning streak to 21 games. Kyle Lowry scored a career-high 41 points and helped keep the Raptors close for it’s entirety, but Curry and Klay Thompson were perfect from the free throw line in the final minute and secured the win for the Warriors. This was Curry’s second 40-point game of the week and his seventh of the season.

Edited by Cody McClure