Donovan Mitchell and Nikola Jokic named NBA Players of Week – NBA Blog – NBA Basketball Blog

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The NBA announced today that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic have been named the Eastern Conference and Western Conference Players of the Week for Week 9 (games played Monday, December 12, through Sunday, December 18).

This marks Mitchell’s fourth career player of the week award (once in 2021-22 and twice in 2018-19) and the 65th time a Cavalier has ever won the weekly honor, including the first time this season.

Mitchell led the Cavaliers to a 3-1 record this past week, will all three victories coming against teams with winning records. The sixth-year guard averaged 32.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists, while shooting .539 from the field, .425 from three-point range and .882 from the foul line. He topped the 25-point mark in all four games and was one of only two players in the East to average 30.0 points with at least a .500 clip from the field and .400 mark from beyond the arc (Kevin Durant). Among Eastern Conference leaders, Mitchell ranked first in field goals made (48, no other NBA player made more than 36), second in three-pointers made (17), third in points per game (32.0) and 16th in field goal percentage (.539). Additionally, he made at least six three-pointers in a game twice last week and now has seven such games this season, which is already tied for second-most in a season in Cavaliers history behind only JR Smith’s nine games of six threes or more in 2015-16.

Mitchell opened the week by nearly helping the Cavs overcome a 19-point deficit in San Antonio after tallying a game-high 28 points and five rebounds in 37 minutes on Dec. 12. He followed that up with 34 points (27 in the first half), a 6-9 (.667) clip from beyond the arc, three rebounds, four assists and one steal in 38 minutes during Cleveland’s 105-90 win at Dallas on Dec. 14. In the 118-112 victory over Indiana on Dec. 16, the Cavaliers overcame 13-point fourth quarter deficit by going on a 28-9 scoring run in the last nine minutes of the game, with Mitchell scoring 16 points during that run and finishing with a game-high 41 points and eight three-pointers made. He also scored his 9,000th career point that night (his 371st game), becoming the fourth-fastest active NBA player to reach 9,000 points, behind LeBron James (336 GP), Joel Embiid (343 GP) and Kevin Durant (346 GP), and is the quickest in NBA history to total 9,000 points and 1,000 three-pointers. The 6-3 guard closed out the week with another come-from-behind victory after his 25-point, four-rebound, three-assist and one-steal performance in a 100-99 overtime win against Dallas on Dec. 17.

Through his 27 appearances this season (all starts) with Cleveland, Mitchell is averaging a career-best 29.5 points (eighth best in NBA) on career highs in field goal percentage (.503), three-point percentage (.424) and free throw percentage (.889), to go with 3.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.37 steals in 36.9 minutes per contest. He is one of two NBA players with at least 100 three-pointers made on at least .400 shooting from deep (Stephen Curry), and his 106 three-pointers made rank fifth in the NBA. The Cavaliers’ 20-11 record is the third-best mark in the Eastern Conference and the franchise’s best 31-game start since 2017-18 (23-8).

Jokić wins the award for the first time this season and has now earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors 12 times in his career, the most in franchise history.

Jokić, 27, averaged 36.0 points, 17.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 3.66 steals while shooting .623 from the field en route to a 2-1 week. He ranked first in the NBA in total rebounds for the week and among the Western Conference he ranked first in steals, second in assists and third in points. The Nuggets have now won four of their last five games and currently sit tied for second in the Western Conference at 18-11.

Joker kicked off the week by registering 43 points (17-20 FG’s, 9-10 FT’s), 14 rebounds, eight assists and five steals in a home win against Washington on 12/14, becoming the first player in NBA history to post those numbers in game. He followed that up with 25 points (8-15 FG’s), 11 rebounds and eight assists in Denver’s lone loss of the week on the road against the L.A. Lakers on 12/16. He capped the week by posting 40 points (12-26 FG’s), a career-high 27 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals in a 119-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets. His 20 rebounds in the first half set a new franchise record for most rebounds in a single half and was the most by any NBA player since Dwight Howard in 2018.

Jokić joined Wilt Chamberlain as only the second player in NBA history to post a triple double with at least 40 points, 27 rebounds and 10 assists. Additionally, over this past week, he became the Nuggets NBA franchise leader in rebounds passing Dan Issel (5,707) for first all-time.

The Sombor, Serbia native, leads the NBA in PER, is third in assists per game, sixth in rebounds per game and seventh in field goal percentage while averaging 25.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 1.50 steals in 32.9 minutes per game.

Author: Inside Hoops

InsideHoops.com has been a world leader in NBA basketball coverage for over 20 years. Read our blog, but also be sure to read our main website on www.insidehoops.com
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