By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time this season, two European players have been named together players of the Week in the Eastern and Western NBA conferences.
Per the NBA: Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo have been named the NBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for Week 19 of the 2019-20 season (Feb. 24 – March 1).
It marks the second time in his career that Porzingis has garnered Player of the Week honors (he was named Eastern Conference POW for games played from Oct. 30 through Nov. 5, 2017, with New York). He also becomes the second Maverick to win the award this season, joining Luka Dončić (Nov. 18 through Nov. 24).
Porzingis (7-3, 240) led the Mavericks to a 3-1 week with averages of 26.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game – all team highs for that stretch. He totaled at least 24 points and 12 boards in each of the final three games during the week.
The Latvian forward/center capped off the week by connecting on a career-high-tying six 3-pointers en route to scoring a season-high-tying 38 points and adding 13 rebounds and five blocks in 37 minutes at Minnesota on March 1. He joined Dirk Nowitzki as the only Mavericks to produce a 35-point, 10-rebound, five-block effort. Porzingis and the Lakers’ Anthony Davis are the only players to record a 35-point, 10-rebound, five-block stat line in 2019-20.
Porzingis is averaging 19.2 points (second on the team), a career-high (team-high-tying) 9.4 rebounds, a team-high 2.0 blocks and 30.8 minutes per game in 47 games (all starts) this season. He has posted 15 20-point, 10-rebound efforts in 2019-20, which is by far the most 20/10 games he has recorded in any one season of his career (his previous most was eight, which he produced as a rookie with the Knicks in 2015-16). Porzingis has also registered 21 double-doubles this year, which ties his career-high for most in a single season (21 in 2015-16).
Porzingis has produced four 30-point, 10-rebound efforts over his last 11 games (since Jan. 31), after he had only three 30/10 outings in his previous 222 career games combined. He has also totaled at least 24 points and 10 boards in eight of his last 11 games. Porzingis is averaging 27.3 points (.500 FG%, .396 3FG%, .829 FT%) and 10.9 rebounds per game over his last 11 contests.
Porzingis and Dončić become the first pair of Dallas teammates to win Player of the Week honors in the same season since Nowitzki and Monta Ellis did it in back-to-back weeks in April 2014.
While leading the Bucks to a 4-0 record last week, Antetokounmpo averaged 28.5 points, 16.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 58.1% from the field and 41.7% from three. The highlight of his week came in yesterday’s win over the Hornets where he scored 41 points, matched his season-high with 20 rebounds and dished out six assists, marking the first 40-point/20-rebound game of his career. This was also the first time this season a player has tallied 40 points, 20 rebounds and five assists in a game, and the first time by a Buck since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1974.
Overall this season, Antetokounmpo is averaging a career-high 29.9 points (3rd in NBA), a career-high 13.8 rebounds (4th in NBA) and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 55.4% from the field. He’s logged an NBA-high 29 games this season with 30+ points and 10+ rebounds and is nearly on pace to become just the third player in NBA history to average 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game while shooting better than 50% from the field in a season.
This is the fourth time Antetokounmpo has been named Player of the Week this season and the 13th time in his career overall.