The 8 Best NBA Performances From Last Week: Kevin Love Explodes
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.
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. Anthony Davis vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Anthony Davis has had his fair share of big games over his young career and this early NBA season. In fact, he was a part of last week's installment of this same list. This time around, the Minnesota Timberwolves were his victims.
In a 117-96 home win over the T'Wolves, Brow scored 45 points on 17 of 27 from the floor, 2 of 4 from three, and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Like most games this season, the Pelicans relied heavily on Davis as he compiled a usage rate of 40.1% all the while maintaining a true shooting percentage of 71.7% and a nERD of 50.81 in 38 minutes of action.
7. Andre Drummond vs. Miami Heat
In a matchup with Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat, Andre Drummond absolutely dominated. He played just 26 minutes -- mainly due to the blowout nature of the contest -- but in that short amount of time, Drummond racked up 18 points and 15 boards, with a nERD of 52.35 and an offensive rating of 150.1.
His defensive rating of 60.1 indicates exactly this -- that Drummond was even more of a force on the defensive end of the floor Wednesday night. The big man accounted for 12 defensive rebounds, 4 steals, and 4 blocks, including this giant refusal of a Whiteside layup attempt.
6. Bradley Beal vs. Phoenix Suns
Bradley Beal has had an up-and-down start to his 2016-17 campaign. He entered the season with hopes of having a healthy and successful season but got off to a really slow start (along with the entire Washington Wizards team). Now, it appears that he's starting to round back into form, as evidenced by a 42-point game against the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns are by far one of the worst defenses in the league, but Beal did exactly what a good shooter should do, and that's capitalize on the opportunity. He attained a true shooting percentage of 78.2% by hitting 14 of 22 shots, including 5 for 10 from beyond the three-point arc. That impressive shooting, combined with just one turnover, makes for a nERD of 53.17.
5. Jeff Teague vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Absent Paul George in a head-to-head meeting with Russell Westbrook and company, Jeff Teague showed up in a big way last Sunday night. Not only did he take on a usage of 24.2%, but the Pacers point guard also hoisted 16 shot attempts in 40 total minutes.
An uptick in volume isn't always a good thing, though. Teague transformed it into a good thing by maintaining efficiency in all areas. His 54.86 nERD came as a result of a true shooting of 75.2% and an offensive rating of 146.6 points per 100 possessions. This combination of volume and efficiency resulted in 30 points, 9 assists, and 6 steals to just 3 turnovers in the Pacers' overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
4. George Hill vs. Atlanta Hawks
After missing nearly four weeks with an injured thumb, George Hill returned to score 22 points in Utah's win over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night. But, even more impressive was Hill's encore performance Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
Utah's new point man tallied 23 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals in 28 minutes. And with a nERD of 55.85, Hill led his team in their 27-point drubbing of the struggling Hawks.
3. Jimmy Butler vs. Los Angeles Lakers
A lot of people had doubts about the Chicago Bulls coming into this season. Could the three stars work it out? Well, it seems that they have -- that Jimmy Butler has become the head of the trio, followed by Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. Butler's the Bulls' leader and has been turning in some great performances this season as such.
Quite possibly his best of the season so far came at the expense of the Los Angeles Lakers last Sunday night, when Mr. Buckets dropped 40 points in Staples Center. In 39 minutes, Butler put up 23 shots, converting on 14 of them for an offensive rating of 153.4 while using 31.4% of his team's possessions while on the floor. I'm sure they had no issue with that...
Jimmy Butler gets BUCKETS!
Someone should've given the Lakers the memo... He finished with 40 and a win pic.twitter.com/6atysZTKkO
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 21, 2016
2. Kevin Love vs. Portland Trail Blazers
It might come as a surprise to those who haven't followed the NBA as closely this season -- with the presence of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland -- but, to this point, Kevin Love might be the most impressive of the Cavaliers' big three. He's been a consistent producer for the team, but he's also had big games, like his 40-burger against the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday evening.
In unusual fashion, Love posted the highest usage on the team, utilizing 33% of his team's possessions in his 31 minutes on the floor. With the ball in his hands, Love did wonders, hitting 12 of 20 from the floor and 8 of 12 from three-point land for a true shooting of 85%. His nERD of 59.8 is the second-highest of the week. Oh, and this happened.
Kevin Love caught fire from behind the arc and dropped 34 (!) points in the first quarter.
We repeat: ONLY the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/Ru7KwbHu8T
— ESPN (@espn) November 24, 2016
1. Kevin Love vs. Dallas Mavericks
Like last week's Andrew Wiggins, Love constitutes numbers one and two on this list. He followed up his big Wednesday night with 27 points in a blowout over the Dallas Mavericks Friday night. While he wasn't quite as lethal in his 28 minutes, Love was just as -- and even more -- effective. A 60.15 nERD says as much.
Love converted on 7 of 9 from deep and had a true shooting percentage 0.7% better than his mark against Portland. He also supplied 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals while leading the team with a defensive rating of 82.3. Impressive, to say the least.