3-Ball, Corner Pocket: 30 November + scores and thoughts. Neat.

3-Ball, Corner Pocket is your weekly look at the league’s leading MVP candidates, most outstanding rookies and best and worst performing teams.

MVP Watch

1. Deron Williams, 21.9ppg, 4.2rpg, 9.9apg: Apparently Williams is the best point-guard in the NBA; may as well have him atop the MVP watch too.

2. Chris Paul, 16.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 10.3apg: Still, if I had to vote for MVP tomorrow, CP would get my first-place vote. Just can’t justify keeping him at number 1 after the Hornets came back to earth a little bit last week, going 1-3.

3. Russell Westbrook, 23.8ppg, 5.1rpg, 8.6apg: While KD continues to struggle with his stroke, and guys continue to miss games here and there, Westbrook continues to pick up the slack. Despite his vastly improved shooting, he continues to attack the rim relentlessly; he’s being rewarded, with 9.2 FTA per game, and he’s making them at 88.6%.

4. Dwight Howard, 22.6ppg, 11.9rpg, 1.2apg: Grabbed the Player of the Week award, and I can’t argue with that. However, I just can’t look past all those missed free-throws – he went just 29-54 in the past three games (Orlando still won all three).

5. Derrick Rose, 26.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 8.2apg: OK, I’m not Rose’s biggest fan, y’all know that. Still, it’s hard to keep him out of the top-5, especially seeing as Chicago went 2-1 for the week, and the loss came with Rose sitting with a sore neck. The games he played? 65 points, 19 rebounds, 14 assists and a brutal crossover on Tyreke Evans.

On the bubble: Pau Gasol, unlucky to drop out as the Lakers went 1-2 for the week; Dirk Nowitzki, very unlucky to miss out, his Mavs have won 6 straight while he averages 26/8; Rajon Rondo, he only played one game for the week, but the Celtics work better when he’s running things.

Eye on ROY

Do we need to do this, really? Blake Griffin’s averages are 20/11, and those numbers are good enough for him to be included in the MVP watch. Seriously. The only other players with those averages are Dwight and Pau. Yeah, that Dwight and that Pau. Now let’s just enjoy another BG special, a nasty two-handed throwdown v. the Jazz.

Power Rankings – who’s hot

Dallas, 13-4: Now where the heck did you come from, Dallas? 6 straight, tough win over the Thunder, ended the Spurs winning streak, then followed that up by sending Miami to their 7th loss of the season and a players-only meeting. Dirk’s playing like an MVP, Tyson Chandler’s looking fantastic and Caron Butler seems to have settled in. Just like the Spurs’ hot start, who saw this coming?

Utah, 14-5: They’ve also won 6 in a row, and with wins over New Orleans and the Lakers, things are looking good in SLC.

San Antonio, 14-2: Dropped one to the Mavs, but bounced back nicely to score a win at New Orleans, outscoring the Bugs 65-34 after intermission.

Orlando, 12-4: Miami who? The Magic are out to prove that they are the best team in Florida, and it’s hard to argue. SVG is one of the best at playing the ‘Us-against-the-world’ card.

Oklahoma City, 12-6: Kevin Durant’s shot drops in Houston and we’re looking at a 3-1 week with a close loss to the suddenly white-hot Dallas Mavericks.

Power Rankings – who’s not

Sacramento, 4-11: Blew a big lead in the loss to Chicago, and lost to the Clippers. The worst team in ball right now, especially with Tyreke struggling.

Washington, 5-11: The losses continue to pile up while John Wall continues to sit. Interestingly, however, the Wizards are statistically better when John Wall’s off the floor. What? From JS’ Power Rankings:

Wizards have been a much better offensive team in five games without John Wall (107 points per 100 possessions) than they’ve been in 10 games with him (97.4).

Minnesota, 4-13: Their only win in the last 7 games was a 113-111 game against the Clippers. Ugh. Let’s move to more positive things, shall we? In our Beasley watch, we’ll note that after scoring just 15, then 11, after his 6-game, 31.3ppg stretch, he bounced back with 28/9 against the Dubs (but didn’t do too much to stop former team-mate Dorell Wright going 9-12 from three-land). Let’s move on to Kevin Love, and note that he’s averaging 19 points and 15 rebounds for the season. Last week? Those averages jump to 26.5/22. Wow.

Philadelphia, 4-13: Will Andre Iguodala be traded soon?

L.A. Clippers, 3-15: It’s nice that BG’s sheer awesomeness can distract from the fact that the Clippers are the league’s worst team. To their credit, they do have victories over NOH and OKC thus far. I mean, I don’t know how they did it, but they did. That’s something, right?

Now, let’s take a look at the Things I’ve Noticed:

Check out Monday and Tuesday’s scores, and then consider some random thoughts:

– Definitely didn’t think these would be the headlines Terrence Williams would be making this season. I was thinking more along the lines of ‘Key rotation piece, nightly triple-double threat’.

– Quick, which two players are the Utah Jazz’s best two-man combination according to the +/- statistic? Surprised?

– How the heck did Rudy Fernandez get into the dunk contest ahead of Russell Westbrook a couple years back?

– Yeah, Josh Smith had a triple-double against Toronto, but he went 0-2 from distance.

– Good to see Amar’e’s getting more comfortable in New York, 37/15/7 in the 2OT win over Detroit; he’s quietly averaging 23.4/8.6/2.5 for the season.

– Blake Griffin, are you effing serious? 35 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists against Utah on Monday, pushing his season averages to 20.2/11.6/2.6; what can you say, that I haven’t said already? The kid’s a freak.

– Kevin Durant’s leading the league in scoring at 27 per, which is impressive, sure, but moreso when you consider he’s shooting just 42% from the floor.

Whoa. That’s a lotta points. Also, putting up 138 with ‘Melo playing just 3 minutes is pretty impressive.

– First Miami, now the Lakers? Nice job Indy. Here’s a look at how they’re getting the job done.

– That’d be the law of averages kicking in for Serge Ibaka. 58% shooting on the season, yesterday he’s a perfect 7-7, today he’s ofer-five; 7-12 is right in line with his shooting for the season.

– In the same way the Richard Jefferson is comfortable in San Antonio and helping them pile up wins, Caron Butler has settled into Dallas nicely, don’t you think?

That’ll do it from me, ‘til next time. Cheers.

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