There were many excellent candidates for SCIC’s Performance of the Week award this week.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Los Angeles Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant are the three best players in the league and will likely be in the running every single week.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward Kevin Love (27.2 points, 14.7 rebounds per game) and New Orleans Pelicans’ big man Anthony Davis (32 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers) have been outstanding this season.
However, we’re going to go in a different direction.
Although he had just 14 points and 13 rebounds in a 91-89 loss to the Boston Celtics Friday night, Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic averaged 21 points, 15.3 rebounds and one block per game as the Magic, who had the worst record in the league last season, went 2-1 and are 3-3 on the season.
Against the highly-touted Brooklyn Nets Sunday, Vucevic scored 19 points on nine-of-14 shooting and pulled down 12 rebounds in an easy 107-86 victory.
The real reason Vucevic is on this list is because of his performance Wednesday night. Vucevic had 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting and grabbed 21 rebounds as the Magic held off the Los Angeles Clippers for a 98-90 victory.
“He was extremely determined from the first play of the game,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters. “I love it. He looked over at me and wanted me to call his number. That’s a first in our time together. It was great to see and great to be a part of.”
Vucevic continued to demand the ball and was at his best late after the Magic had blown a 19-point lead and had fallen behind the Clippers. He scored the Magic’s last eight points.