The 5 Best NBA Performances From Last Week: Young Stars Shine Bright
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 lone five 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.
5. Gordon Hayward vs. Houston Rockets
Gordon Hayward is in his seventh NBA season already, but at 26 years old, he's hitting his stride in the prime of his career. He's averaging a career-high 22.8 points per game as the leader of an ultra-competitive Utah Jazz team.
This past week, in a matchup with the Houston Rockets, Hayward was all that and more, as he scored 31 points on a true shooting percentage of 71.4%. The star forward also added 7 assists and 5 rebounds in 36 minutes on his way to a nERD of 56.56 in a Jazz win. Here's why that shouldn't come as a surprise.
Gordon Hayward has scored 25+ points against the Rockets 6 times - more than he has vs any other opponent. #takenote https://t.co/5V1ZiRM9Fr
— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 30, 2016
And on a team-high 30.6% usage rate, that's as impressive a game as Hayward has had this season.
4. Kyle Lowry vs. Memphis Grizzlies
At 30 years old and with 10-plus seasons now under his belt, Kyle Lowry is by far the oldest player to make this week's top performers. But the Toronto Raptors point guard is in the stage of his career where experience combines with physical tools, making for a deliberate and efficient style of play. Lowry has been that type of floor general for one of the hottest teams in the NBA.
This past Wednesday, the Raptors hosted the Memphis Grizzlies' and their tough defense. Despite the tough matchup, however, Lowry was an efficient 8 of 13 from the field and 4 of 7 from three for the game. He tallied 29 points along with 8 assists and 3 rebounds in 37 minutes on the floor all the while earning a nERD of 56.59 and an offensive rating of 170.2 in Toronto's 15-point win.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Brooklyn Nets
Since coming into the league in 2013, Giannis Antetokounmpo's been full of promise. At 19 years old, standing 6'11", and with the skills of a guard, what wasn't to love? The same -- with the exception of just one thing -- can be said three years later. That one thing is The Greek Freak's lack of a three-point shot.
Antetokounmpo hit 2 of his 5 three-point attempts and, in doing so, earned a true shooting of 64% and a nERD of 60.07 in the Bucks' 111-93 victory. The versatile 21-year-old finished the contest with 23 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds.
2. Karl-Anthony Towns vs. New York Knicks
If Antetokounmpo's today's new school, Karl-Anthony Towns has to be tomorrow's new school. He's an inch taller, with a much bigger frame, but he's still able to do everything you'd ask a center to do on a basketball court. He's proven that time and time again, but it's never been more evident than it was this past Wednesday.
That's when Towns had a career night, with a monster 47 points and 18 boards in 41 minutes. He converted on 15 of 22 field goal attempts for a true shooting percentage of 76.3%. However, Towns' 66.59 nERD wasn't enough to get the Minnesota Timberwolves the win. They fell to the New York Knicks by two points at home in yet another disappointing loss -- one that diminished the second-best overall performance of the week.
1. Anthony Davis vs. Los Angeles Lakers
I'm starting to wonder if I should just keep a spot open for Anthony Davis every week because it seems like at least once a week he goes off for an otherworldly stat line. Oh, and in case you thought he was starting to escape the category of the future of the NBA -- having played five seasons -- you're wrong. Brow is only 23 years old and finally showing signs of sustained health.
That was a mere 2 of Davis' 41 points in the New Orleans Pelicans' 105-88 win over the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night. In that game, Davis hit easy and difficult shots from all over the court, finishing the game with a true shooting percentage of 61.8% on 27 field goal attempts and 14 free throw tries.
The Lakers couldn't keep him off the glass either, with Davis grabbing 6 offensive rebounds and 16 total rebounds across 41 minutes.