NBA Studs and Duds Week 3
3. Jimmy Butler- After a lackluster performance in week two against the 76ers, Butler has emerged as the top player for the Bulls. This has been huge for Chicago since Derrick Rose has been out with an ankle injury. In three games in week three, Butler average 25.1 points per game. He also shot 50 percent in two of those three games, and 47 percent in the other. Another thing to note is that these games all resulted in wins for Chicago. His defense has also been a key for the Bulls, as he usually draws the tougher matchup for the team.
2. Isaiah Thomas- The Celtics played four games in week three and finished with a 3-1 record. Of an interesting point, Thomas scored 23, 20, and 23 points respectively. However, in the loss, he only had 19. This season Boston is 5-3 when Thomas is over 20 points, but 2-3 when he scores under 20. This week also gave him his first double-double (23 points and 10 assists) against the Atlanta Hawks.
1. Nicolas Batum- Batum really stepped into the light in week three in Charlotte. The team went 2-2 as a whole for the week, and Batum had three huge performances. Going into the week, Batum had not scored over 18 points in a game this season, the first three games of this week saw him score 24, 28, and 33 points. Those stats came while shooting over 55 percent in each game. He took a step back in the fourth game of the week with only seven points on 11 percent shooting. However, it can be assumed he will stay relatively efficient for this team and the Hornets will find success behind it.
3. Ty Lawson- Lawson finds himself on the duds list for the second straight week. Just when it didn’t seem like he could play worse, he managed to put up 23 points in a four game span. This is including a performance against the Nuggets where he did not score. To help him save face, he did have 22 assists in that time. As a result of his play thus far, he has seen his minutes get cut from around 40 per game, to under 30 minutes a game. With a shooting percentage of 32 and 20 percent from three, Ty Lawson has found a lot of disfavor in Houston.
2. Tayshaun Prince- Tayshaun makes the list this week for a few different reasons. The first is his age, second is the season he is having, and third is how the Timberwolves are using him. Prince is 35 years old. He is one of two players on the Timberwolves who have started every game this year (the other is Karl Anthony-Towns). He is coming off of a season where he played for three different teams. He is currently averaging 3.2 points per game and has a PER of 5.2. He is hardly providing the stats that qualify as a starter. Especially since Shabazz Muhammad is a solid small forward and is a crowd favorite when he gets playing time for his defense and hustle.
1. Philadelphia 76ers- At least the ones not named Jahlil Okafor. It seems impossible that a team could be this bad. Yet, the 76ers prove once again that if anyone can do it, it is them. They are still searching for a win, and have only scored over 100 points three times in the first 14 games. They are averaging 90 points per game and giving up 104 points. In addition, they are the only team in the NBA that does not have a player with a PER of over 20. Perhaps there will be a win on the horizon for the 76ers, because Philadelphia sports are in turmoil.