The 8 Best NBA Performances From Last Week: Andrew Wiggins Scorches the Earth
During the course of an NBA season, we see countless standout performances. For each week, we get quite a few. We get them almost on a nightly basis.
This week alone there were a number of them. But, which were the best of the best -- or the perfect ones?
In case you're not aware, numberFire Live is our very own platform that tracks each NBA game, its win probability, and player performances -- among many other features. Here, we focus on the player performances in order to find the best ones of the week.
Each player performance is rated on a scale of 1 to 100, according to production and efficiency. We are concerned only with 100 scores here.
The eight perfect games from the past week are listed in order of their nERD (a measure of a player's total contribution, based on efficiency) for the given games, from least to greatest.
8. Damian Lillard vs. Denver Nuggets
In Portland's 112-105 win over the Denver Nuggets last Sunday, Damian Lillard put 30.9% of his team's possessions to good use. He finished the contest with 32 points -- including 15 of 15 from the line -- and 6 assists in 33 minutes. Lillard also added 8 rebounds and 4 steals to go with a nERD of 50.03, more than 20 points better than the game's next-best finisher.
7. Anthony Davis vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Anthony Davis is off to a great start this season, and he kept it rolling this week. In his game Friday against the Trail Blazers, Davis was extremely busy and efficient. With 22 shots and a usage of 37.6%, Davis erupted for 38 points with a true shooting percentage of 72%. Brow hit 2 three-pointers, converted 8 of 10 from the line, and earned a nERD of 50.43. He even tallied 9 rebounds and 6 assists over the course of 36 minutes in New Orleans' third victory of the season.
6. Chris Paul vs. Brooklyn Nets
If you haven't heard by now, Chris Paul underwent Lasik eye surgery this past offseason -- and whether it's a product of the procedure or not, the Clippers' floor general is having a career year in Los Angeles. Exhibit A is Paul's most recent uber-efficient yet short-lived game against the Nets.
In the Clippers' blowout win, Paul played only 25 minutes but still racked up 21 points, 9 assists, and 5 steals. He finished second on the team in both offensive and defensive rating on his way to a deserved 52.56 nERD.
5. Russell Westbrook vs. Orlando Magic
Russell Westbrook is doing exactly what everyone expected him to do this season: play viciously and play well. He did just that in Oklahoma City's matchup with the Orlando Magic this week, as he tallied yet another triple-double, consisting of 41 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds. He played 37 minutes and had a usage of 34.8%.
Russell Westbrook 41 points, 16 assists & 12 rebounds vs #Magic!! #NBA #ThunderUp #MrTripleDouble pic.twitter.com/YT3V9XgcoK
— All Sport News (@All_SportNews) November 14, 2016
Unfortunately, Westbrook's 53.54 nERD wasn't enough. He didn't receive much support from his teammates as the Magic outscored the Thunder by two on a Serge Ibaka buzzer-beater.
4. James Harden vs. Philadelphia 76ers
The Beard is someone who very frequently finds himself on this list. By taking on a new position, with full rights to use a large amount of his team's possessions and the ability to dish out assist after assist, James Harden has been an advanced metrics maniac. A matchup against the 76ers had a predictable outcome.
As usual, Harden used 33.9% of his team's possessions while on the floor, accounting for 33 points and 9 assists, including 12 makes on 20 shot attempts. In 33 minutes, the versatile point guard scored a nERD of 54.15, a big part of the Rockets' 27-point win.
3. Kyrie Irving vs. Detroit Pistons
It sure seems like Kyrie Irving has gained even more confidence from the Cavaliers' NBA championship. He's playing on a different level this season, and his best game came this Friday against a Detroit Pistons known most for their defense. Kyrie paid no mind to that, though.
Irving, on a true shooting of 83.3%, scored 25 points in just 28 minutes of floor time. As his nERD (61.36) suggests, the point man did even more than that. He distributed 11 assists and, with a defensive rating of 90.4, got it done on the defensive end as well.
2. Andrew Wiggins vs. Philadelphia 76ers
As you can tell, there are a lot of players off to particularly impressive starts in 2016-17. None are likely any more surprising than Andrew Wiggins and his meteoric leap in his third year in the league. He's thriving inside and outside the arc, so it's natural that he, like Harden, exploded against the Sixers.
.@22wiggins beats the buzzer! 👌 https://t.co/UHJ4TO2JEa
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 18, 2016
He scored an efficient 35 points on 14 of 20 from the field and 3 for 6 from three-point land. That makes for a true shooting of 80.4% and a nERD of 63.24. But, Wiggins has always been known for his scoring. What he's added comes in the other categories, where he added 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 38 minutes in Minnesota's 24-point win.
1. Andrew Wiggins vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Wiggins did the same damage to the Lakers as he did to the Sixers -- but even better. During Minnesota's 125-99 win, Wiggins flooded the hoop with 47 points, on 14 of 21 shooting, in 41 minutes. His usage rate of 35.2% tells us that once he and the Timberwolves knew he had it going, they continued to feed him the ball.
Wiggins hit 2 three-pointers along with 17 of 22 from the free-throw line. His true shooting percentage of 76.6% was a big factor in his league-high 66.93 nERD this past week.