Oladipo, Durant named NBA Players of the Week
NBA.com Global on Dec 12, 2017 08:23 AM
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Indiana Pacers press release
In less than two full months with the Pacers, Victor Oladipo has emerged as a star. Across the NBA, people are starting to take notice of the Pacers' leading scorer.
Oladipo picked up another accolade when the NBA announced Monday that he is the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 8 (games played Dec. 5-11, PHL time). It is already the second time Oladipo has won Player of the Week honors this season, the only Eastern Conference player to win the award twice this season. He also earned the accolade on Oct. 30 (Oct. 31, PHL time).
The fifth-year guard led the Pacers to four straight wins last week, averaging 30.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.8 steals. Oladipo shot 51.2 percent from the field and 47.5 from 3-point range over the four games.
The Pacers opened the week with a blowout win over the Knicks on Monday, Dec. 4 (Tuesday, Dec. 5, PHL time). Oladipo didn't have do too much in that one, but still managed to tally 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, five rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in a 115-97 win.
Oladipo's heroics began in earnest on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), when he hit the game-winning three-pointer with with 31.1 seconds remaining to lift Indiana to a 98-96 win over the Bulls. Chicago had led the entire evening up until that point, but Oladipo came up with a steal and raced down the court, electing to pull up for the game-winner.
"I was surveying the scene at first, just seeing who was back, how many people were back and nobody stopped me," Oladipo said after the game. "I could have kept going and drove into the defense or pull up for the three, shoot the ball with confidence, and that's what I did."
Oladipo led all scorers with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting (4-of-10 from three-point range) and pulled down eight rebounds.
On Friday (Saturday, PHL time), Oladipo out-dueled LeBron James as the Pacers' snapped Cleveland's 13-game winning streak. Oladipo had 33 points on 11-of-24 shooting (6-of-13 from beyond the arc), eight rebounds, and five assists in the 106-102 win. His six three-pointers matched his career-high, the final one a pull-up dagger with 1:01 remaining.
But Oladipo's best performance of the week came on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), when he dropped a career-high 47 points in a 126-116 overtime win over Denver. Oladipo scored 32 points after halftime and finished the night 15-for-28 from the field, 6-for-12 from three-point range, and 11-for-13 from the free throw line. He also had seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals in the victory.
"Y'all might be surprised, but I put in the work," Oladipo said after the win about his string of memorable performances. "I work every day. I have no limit to how hard I work. I'm trying to be great. There's no in between and I can't settle for anything less."
The performance was so great that the Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd serenaded Oladipo with chants of "M-V-P" as the final seconds ticked away.
"That was incredible," Oladipo said. "You dream about stuff like that, but I've got a lot of work to do in order to get there."
Oladipo has already scored 20 or more points in 19 of 26 games this season. He only accomplished that feat 18 times in 67 games last season with the Thunder. His scoring average of 24.5 points per game currently ranks 10th in the NBA.
Oladipo is the 12th player in franchise history to earn Player of the Week honors. Pacers players have won the award a total of 21 times. Paul George, the player traded to Oklahoma City in exchange for Oladipo and Sabonis, was the last Pacers player to earn the accolade, doing so five times (the last being April 9, 2017).
Golden State Warriors press release
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant has been named the Week 8 Western Conference Player of the Week, the NBA announced today. The award is the first Player of the Week honor of the season for Durant and the Warriors, and his 26th overall weekly recognition.
Durant led the Warriors to a 3-0 record on the week, capping off a perfect six-game road-trip, and in the process becoming just the 11th team in NBA history to have a 6-0 record on a road-trip. He averaged 30.0 points to go with 9.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.00 steal and 2.67 blocks in 36.4 minutes per game. The forward recorded his first triple-double of the season (ninth of his career) at Charlotte on Dec. 6 (Dec. 7, PHL time), finishing with 35 points 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He joined James Harden as the only players this season to record a triple-double with at least 35 points.
The award marks the 48th time a Warriors player has been named Player of the Week since the NBA began giving out the award in 1979.