With Mike Conley still on the shelf due to an ankle injury, Kosta Koufos and Byron Mullens seeing little or no time on the court, Greg Oden still working his way back into playing shape, and Evan Turner's 76ers getting destroyed, the week wasn't too bright for former Buckeyes. There was one bright spot though, as Jared Sullinger has shaken off the bruised left hand and dislocated right finger that he is dealing with to become Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Now Sullinger will hope that strong play can carry over to Friday night's Rising Stars game during All-Star weekend in New Orleans.
Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies
After suffering a sprained right ankle against Minnesota the previous week, Conley didn't play in any of the three games that Memphis played last week. The Grizzlies sure could have used their point guard, as they finished the week with a 1-2 record. The good news for Memphis is that Conley sounds like he is progressing well in recovery from the injury, and could play Tuesday night against Washington. The Grizzlies also have a road game against Orlando on Wednesday night before the All-Star break this weekend. With the break coming up soon it might be seem like a good idea for Conley to rest there final two games and give his ankle a little extra time to heal, but with the Grizzlies in the thick of the race for the playoffs in the Western Conference every game counts for Memphis.
Kosta Koufos - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies
The minutes for Koufos continued to dwindle and last week the big man averaged just over eight minutes per game in the three games that Memphis played. The game in which Koufos saw the most play was in Sunday's 91-83 loss in overtime to Cleveland. In that game Koufos was on the floor for 13 minutes and gave the Grizzlies six points and five rebounds. In the first two games of the week Koufos saw only 13 minutes of play in the two games combined. In both of those games Koufos contributed four points as Memphis lost to Dallas and beat Atlanta. With Marc Gasol back healthy, Koufos' role looks to be minor going forward provided that the injury bug doesn't hit any of the Memphis bigs.
Evan Turner - G/F - Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers had an absolutely brutal week that was capped off by two huge losses out west. The week for Turner started with him fouling out after 29 minutes in the 114-108 loss to Boston that saw him finish the game with 12 points. The most productive game offensively for Turner came in the 112-98 loss to the Lakers on Friday night, in which he finished the game with 15 points. The week went from bad to worse for the 76ers when they played the Clippers on Sunday and trailed by as many as 56 points at one point in the 123-78 loss to the Clippers. Turner only hit one of the eight shots that he took to finish with just seven points in 27 minutes to go along with a team-worst -43 while on the court. Then on Monday night the 76ers again allowed 123 points to their opponent, but they only lost this one by 43 points instead of the 45 points the night before. The 88 point differential over two games is the third worst in NBA history. It wasn't the worst in team history though, as back in 1993-94 Philadelphia lost two straight games by a combined 93 points. At least in the game against the Warriors Turner did find a little more success shooting, going 6-13 from the field to finish with 12 points. With the trade deadline upcoming, it might be time for Philadelphia to move Turner with his free agency pending after the season.
Jared Sullinger - F/C - Boston Celtics
Sullinger had one of his best weeks as a pro last week, and he was recognized for it by the NBA. On Monday Sullinger was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, as he racked up three double-doubles for a Celtics team that won two of three games. The best game of the week for the second-year player came on Friday night's 99-89 win that saw him score a career-high 31 points to go along with 16 rebounds. 14 of those 31 points came in the fourth quarter that saw the Celtics use a 15-0 run to earn the victory. In the game before his career-high game, Sullinger excelled all-around, scoring 19 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing out five assists, and blocking four shots.
Now Sullnger has posted five straight double-doubles overall, and the Celtics have responded well to the hot play by Sullinger, winning four of their last five games. Sullinger averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds a game over that five game span. The strong play comes at a perfect time for Sullinger, who is playing in the Young Stars game on Friday night this week during All-Star weekend. Since he is going to be the only former Ohio State player participating in a All-Star competition this weekend, he'll be trying to have a strong performance to carry the flame for the Buckeyes.
Byron Mullens - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers
The weekly Mullens Report is especially short this week since he didn't appear in any of the three games the Clippers played last week. Los Angeles went on to go 2-1 during the week and got an added bonus with the return of Chris Paul from an early January injury. Look on the bright side, Byron. At least you get a front row seat to all those dunks that happen in Clipper games.
Greg Oden - C - Miami Heat
The Heat had a rather light schedule last week which helped allow Greg Oden to get a little bit of floor time. Not having to worry about the pressure of back-to-backs, Oden saw 17 minutes of play in the two Miami games. In the 116-112 win over the Clippers on Wednesday night, Oden played for six minutes and was active on the defensive end, grabbing three rebounds and blocking two shots. The Heat didn't find as much success on the court against Utah, but Oden did end up playing nearly a quarter during the game. While he didn't score in the game he was able to grab four boards and block a shot. The All-Star break comes at a good time for Oden, as he gets re-acclimated to playing in the NBA. It'll be interesting to see just how much the Heat use him the rest of the season.