Sponsored by The U.S. Marines
By Dave Doyle
Jeremy Lin, G, New York Knicks
What does a guy with an economics degree from Harvard have to do with the characteristics of a Marine? How about perseverance and tenacity. Lin persisted with his NBA dreams after being cut by the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets and doing time in the NBA Development League.
He finally got his chance with the Knicks, and you know the rest of the story. Lin was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference player of the week after a sensational debut as a starter. Lin averaged 27.4 points and 8.3 assists while leading the Knicks to four straight wins and otherwise taking both New York and the basketball world by storm.
Lin became the first player in NBA history to average more than 20 points and seven assists in his first four starts, and, oh yeah, he outplayed Kobe Bryant with 38 points and seven helpers in a tight victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 10.
Rajon Rondo, G, Boston Celtics
The aging Celtics needed a boost after a pair of bad losses, letting a home game against the Lakers slip away and tanking one in Toronto. They finally got a lift on Sunday from their dynamic point guard. Boston recorded its first signature win of the season when it slowed down the hard-charging Chicago Bulls, 95-91. Rondo led the Celtics with 32 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds, just the ninth time in the past 26 years a player has posted 30-15-10 numbers.
Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook earned the West’s player of the week honors after averaging 30 points over four games and keeping the Thunder atop the conference. He had a double-double (28 points, 11 rebounds) in an overtime win at Portland and was on fire even when the rest of his teammates weren’t, connecting on a career-best 15 field goals in OKC’s only loss of the week against the Sacramento Kings.