Starting Five: The week’s best NBA players

By Jack Maidment

The Week’s Best

@Jeremy Lin. Six straight wins, five straight starts, the most points scored in a player’s first four games as a starter in NBA history. Nothing was keeping Lin from making the Starting Five two weeks in a row. He has been surreally good (it’s a word). Like it’s been one long ever-extending dream. Will he be here next week? I hope so because he makes the world smile and if he’s not it means the dream has probably died. Bad times.

@Jose Calderon. Just when the Raptors thought they couldn’t survive without hideously overpaid and rebound-allergic 7ft tall Italians a small Spaniard decided he could in fact be The Man. Jose Calderon has had two out of body experiences/Space Jam talent snatch scenarios this week. Once, against the Lakers, when he put up a career high 30 points, and again against the New York Lins, when he had 25-7-9. Toronto lost both games, but every cloud and all that. He played great this week, but come on, he is no Jeremy Lin.

@Kobe Bryant. Deserves a spot in the Starting Five this week on the strength of the turnaround fadeaway jump shot he hit to effectively win the game for the Lakers against the Raptors on Sunday afternoon. It was vintage Kobe: Killer.

@LeBron James. Now that I am officially off The-Decision Haterade I would like to bring to your attention the most brutally efficient performance of this young season. LeBron James pounded the Milwaukee Bucks in a Heat win on Monday, returning to the paint again and again and again to assert himself. It was the ultimate bigger-better-stronger game. No one could stop him. He only played 33 minutes, but in that time he had 35 points, on 16-21 shooting. Phenomenal.

@Rajon Rondo. Best F-U game of the season by a distance. The Celtics beat the Bulls on Sunday and it was all because of Rondo, playing fresh off an All-Star snub. He stuck up 32-10-15 and shot 10-13 from the line. He did everything Boston fans wish he would do every night and showed why Danny Ainge should keep him. Or trade him, depending on your point of view. Rondo in full flight is something to behold, just a shame it doesn’t happen more regularly.


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