Week 8: No more twosome at the top of the mountain, Parker takes a big tumble and a handful of new names enter the chase
POSTED: Jan 9, 2016 9:37 AM ET
Like everyone else, Dwyane Wade is now looking up at big man Pau Gasol.
Two men enter, one man leaves.
We're talking about the top of the hill in the OSPR rather than Thunderdome in Mad Max. Of course it would be something to see Pau Gasol play the role of Mel Gibson's character in the post-apocalyptic action movie. After one week of having co-leaders, the big man reclaims his throne.
Meanwhile, the bottom of the latest list is a proverbial who's who of superstars from five years ago. A blast from the past, indeed.
Last week's rank: 1
Last week's stats: 4 games, 19.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 4.8 apg
Season stats: 16.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 3.1 apg
Maybe sharing the top of the mountain lit a fire under Gasol, who has managed three straight double-doubles (all legit, too). If that's not enough, he's had four or more assists in four straight games to go along with 2.5 blocks during that span. Maybe Gasol's 2016 resolution was to turn back the block and turn into his old double-double machine.
Pau Gasol's Big Night
See some highlights from Pau Gasol's 18 point, 17 rebound performance against the Celtics.
Last week's rank: 1a
Last week's stats: 4 games, 15.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.8 apg
Season stats: 18.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.5 apg
You know you're feeling good about your game when you refuse to let the flu slow you. That was the case Friday when Wade, for just the 10th time in his 13-year career, came off the bench. After getting some IV fluids, Wade checked in during the second quarter and went on to score 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting in 19 minutes.
Last week's rank: 3
Last week's stats: 3 games, 19.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg
Season stats: 17.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.0 apg
Nowitzki's shooting woes are a recurring theme all season. Last week was no exception, as he shot just 37 percent from the field and now stands at 45.7 for the season. Equally puzzling is the lack of rebounding from Nowitzki, who has grabbed eight or more boards in just one of his last 12 games. And last week, he failed to grab more than five.
Last week's rank: 4
Last week's stats: 1 game, 28.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
Season stats: 17.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.4 apg
One game was all Bryant needed to maintain his high standing on the OSPR. And what a game it was: 10-for-18 for 28 points in 31 minutes against longtime rival Sacramento. It was Bryant's highest scoring output since going for 31 against Denver on Dec. 22.
Kobe Scores 28
Kobe Bryant scores 28 points on 10-18 shooting with two triples, three assists and two rebounds versus Sacramento.
Last week's rank: 5
Last week's stats: 3 games, 15.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2.0 apg
Season stats: 13.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.6 apg
Coming off the bench again, it was a relatively productive week for Randolph. Yes, there was last Saturday's slip-up (eight points on 4-for-10 shooting), but it was followed up two nights later with a vintage Z-Bo effort from years past: 26 points, 18 rebounds and 11-for-18 shooting. That game alone is reason why Randolph is holding strong at No. 5.
Last week's rank: 7
Last week's stats: 3 games, 14.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 5.7 apg
Season stats: 8.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.9 apg
Nelson continues to start and get big minutes (32.9 last week). The shooting remains a work in progress (41.2 FG% last week) and just 38.5 over his last 10 games, but Nelson is playing the role of distributing point guard quite well -- managing seven or more assists in four of the last five games.
Last week's rank: NA
Last week's stats: 3 games, 11.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
Season stats: 6.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.7 apg
This is what happens when you start to see more minutes. West, who shot a blister 73.9 from the field last week, has played more than 20 minutes in five of the last six games. Not a big deal? In his previous 31 games, West managed more than 20 minutes just five times. He's also chipped in with double-figure scoring in three straight.
Last week's rank: Just missed
Last week's stats: 1 game, 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg
Season stats: 5.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.9 apg
Like Bryant, Pierce is here on the strength of his one solid game: 17 points on 5-for-9 shooting (5-for-6 from beyond the arc) in 24 minutes in a win over Portland. With Blake Griffin still sidelined, Pierce has picked up some of the slack, scoring in double figures in three of the last five games after eclipsing 10 points just twice in the previous 13 games.
Last week's rank: NA
Last week's stats: 3 games, 10.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 4.0 apg
Season stats: 9.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.1 apg
Yes, you can make the list after going scoreless for the first time in a 19-year career. Duncan rebounded nicely from last Saturday's bagel with a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) Monday and then 18 and eight Wednesday. In fact, those two games were the first time Duncan has scored in double figures in back-to-back games since the middle of November.
Jazz vs. Spurs
Tim Duncan scores a season-high 18 points as the Spurs roll to a 123-98 victory over the Jazz.
Last week's rank: NA
Last week's stats: 3 games, 15.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apg
Season stats: 10.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.7 apg
Breaking the 20-point barrier in back-to-back games had us ready to bump up Johnson a few more spots. But Wednesday's showing (2-for-7 for five points in 32 minutes) put a stop to that. Inconsistency has been Johnson's crutch all season, as those back-to-back 20-point games were the first games he's gone over 15 since Dec. 12.
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