DeMarcus Cousins‘ case to make the 2014 All-Star Game continues to grow stronger each and every game. A player of the week award from the NBA can only help.
The league announced this morning that Cousins has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played on Jan. 6-12. The last King to earn the honor was Brad Miller nearly six years ago on Feb. 4, 2008.
The 23-year-old center helped propel the Kings to their current three-game win streak with victories over the Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers. He ranked seventh in the west in scoring (25 points per game), second in rebounding (12.7 rebounds per game) and eighth in minutes (37.2 minutes per contest). He’s posted a double-double in the Kings’ three games last week and has now recorded a double-double in 10 straight contests.
Other nominees for Western Conference Player of the Week included Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets, Darren Collison and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies, LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers and Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs.
Though the Kings haven’t won much, Cousins has made a strong argument indvidually to be an All-Star this season. Through 34 games, he is averaging a career-best 23.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per contest.
“It just depends on what you’re really looking for,” Cousins said after yesterday’s blowout of the Cavs, responding to questions about him possibly being an All-Star this year. “Individually, I think I’ve had a pretty good season. But as a whole, our team is still behind right now, so it just depends on their opinion of that person.”
Chances are that Cousins will have to make the team through coaches’ vote or injury replacement. Following third returns, he is currently ranked 11th in balloting among Western Conference frontcourt players for this year’s All-Star game, which takes place next month in New Orleans.
“Of course, I’d be disappointed,” Cousins said when asked how he’d feel if he doesn’t make the All-Star game this season. “But I wouldn’t be teary. It wouldn’t do anything to make me even more focused or go even harder. I’ve been held back before, so I know how to bounce back from it.”