The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in October and November.
James ranked third in the NBA in scoring (28.0 ppg) and fourth in assists (8.5 apg) for the Cavaliers (15-7), who finished November on a 10-game winning streak. The 13-time All-Star shot 58.4 percent from the field, the second-highest mark of his career through 22 games of a season. James also shot 42.5 percent from three-point range, his third-best percentage through 22 games. The 6-8 forward, who also averaged 8.1 rebounds, was the only player in the league to average at least 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists. In a 130-122 victory at the Washington Wizards on Nov. 3, the four-time Kia NBA MVP became the seventh player in NBA history to reach the 29,000-point mark, as well as the youngest at 32 years and 308 days.
Harden paced the NBA in scoring (31.5 ppg), assists (9.8 apg), three-pointers made (94) and free throws made (168) for the Western Conference-leading Rockets (17-4), who produced the third-best start in franchise history. The 2016-17 Kia NBA MVP runner-up shot 45.1 percent from the field, 40.3 percent from three-point range and 86.6 percent from the free throw line. Harden scored at least 20 points in all 21 games, the longest season-opening streak since James in 2012-13 (first 33 games). On Nov. 5, the 28-year-old guard scored a career-high 56 points in a 137-110 win over the Utah Jazz.
Jeff Hornacek: ‘We’ve moved on’ from Joakim Noah
New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek strongly indicated Tuesday that exiled center Joakim Noah will not be back with the team.
“We’ve moved on. He’s ready to move on and maybe have an opportunity somewhere else,” Hornacek said following the Knicks’ first practice after the All-Star break.
Noah and the Knicks have mutually agreed that the veteran forward be away from the team indefinitely following a heated argument between him and the coach at practice in late January.
Hornacek said Tuesday that the plan is for Noah to remain away for the foreseeable future. He wasn’t sure if Noah would return before the end of the season, noting that the decision would come from team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.
Source: Ian Begley of ESPN
Anthony Davis: ‘We go to the Finals’ with DeMarcus Cousins Healthy
As New Orleans star Anthony Davis prepares for the second half of the season with the Pelicans holding on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference, he still thinks about what could have been this year had teammate DeMarcus Cousins not ruptured his Achilles.
“We could have gone through the playoffs. No one could really stop us as bigs. We go to the Finals if we went,” Davis told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview over All-Star weekend.
Davis and Cousins were on pace to become the first teammates ever to each average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game when Cousins went down with the season-ending injury on Jan. 26. The Pelicans were sixth in the West at that point and climbing in the standings. Cousins was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, over the past 50 seasons, only four players averaged those numbers for an entire season — and all four were named MVP.
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