The Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for the sixth time in his career; half of those coming this season. It is the first time any NBA player has received the honors three times in four weeks since LeBron James did it with the Cavaliers in 2006.
Kyrie Irving won the award among Eastern Conference players, with back-to-back 30+ point games. The two players will face off tomorrow night when the Trail Blazers take on the Cavaliers in Cleveland. Though Portland boasts the most wins of any NBA team (21), Cleveland has held tight for a 7-3 home record. It should be a stirring matchup.
With his exceptional play, Aldridge has climbed to 5th place in the MVP ladder, just ahead of Stephen Curry and just behind Tony Parker. It is the first time in his eight season career that he has been ranked among the top 5. The Player of the Week press release reads as follows:
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving and the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 9, through Sunday, Dec. 15.
Irving helped the Cavaliers to a 2-1 week with averages of 29.0 points (fourth in the league), 6.3 assists (tied for fifth in the conference) and 2.33 steals (tied for third in the conference). Irving, who connected on 9-of-22 (.409) three-point field goals on the week, made 4-of-7 from distance en route to 37 points on Dec. 10 — a game in which he added 11 assists — as Cleveland topped the New York Knicks 109-94.
Aldridge, who captured his third Player of the Week award this season and second consecutive, led the Trail Blazers to a 4-0 week behind averages of 25.5 points (eighth in the league), a league-best 14.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 blocks. He led Portland in scoring in each game and posted three point-rebound double-doubles, including a 31-point, 25-rebound effort on Dec. 12, during a 111-104 win over the Houston Rockets. At 21-4 (.840), Portland sits atop the Western Conference standings.