Among former Buckeyes in the NBA, there was a lot of solid performances but nothing that was really spectacular. But, the good news for the six Buckeyes playing in the association, is that there is still a month to leave their mark with some big games. The standings as of the end of games on Monday night show that there should be a pretty good Buckeye feel to the playoffs, with four of the six Buckeyes in the NBA currently on teams that would be in the playoffs. If winning isn't you thing, you can always watch Byron Mullens try and help the 76ers tank their way to the worst record in the NBA.
Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis kept on rolling last week behind consistent play from Conley most of the week, winning three of the four games that they played. The lone loss of the week for Memphis came at Toronto on Friday night, and was the contest in which Conley put up his lowest point total of the week, only accounting for 10 points. Oddly enough though, Conley put up his highest rebounding and assist numbers of the week in the loss, registering six of each against the Raptors.
The rest of the week saw Conley score between 16 and 19 points in the three wins that kept Memphis in eighth place in the Western Conference playoff race. The biggest bucket of the week came at New Orleans on Wednesday night, when he hit the game-winning jumper to secure a 90-88 victory over the Pelicans and finish with 16 points. Memphis also had wins over Portland and Philadelphia last week, where Conley scored 17 and 19 points, respectively, and had four rebounds and assists in each contest.
Conley and the rest of the Grizzlies will have to be at the top of their game this week when they travel to Miami on Friday night, followed by returning home to host Indiana on Saturday night. With the Grizzlies having a slim lead in the bid for the final playoff spot out West, they'll have to try and at least split those contests if they don't want let those sitting below them to make up any ground.
Kosta Koufos - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies
After having a very solid week off the bench for Memphis the previous week, Koufos came back down to earth a little bit to start the week, but did pick up his play as the week went on. In wins over Portland and New Orleans to kick off the week, Koufos played a combined 25 minutes, but was only able to score four points and grabbed 10 rebounds over the two games. In comparison, to close the week over Toronto and Philadelphia, Koufos played 29 minutes over the two games, and scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds during that time.
The win over the floundering 76ers is where Koufos put up his best numbers of the week, scoring eight points and grabbing eight rebounds during 14 minutes of play. While Philadelphia has slumped to 21 straight losses, Koufos took the opportunity to stuff the stat sheet while he could, especially after his slow start to the week.
Evan Turner - G/F - Indiana Pacers
After slumping the previous week to four losses in a row, Indiana responded by winning the four games that they played last week to keep their lead over Miami at three and a half games in the Eastern Conference. The results were mixed for Evan Turner though, and the biggest surprise is the struggles he had in two games against his old team.
About a month after being traded from Philadelphia to Indiana, Turner returned with the Pacers to play the 76ers on Wednesday night, but Turner didn't do much to make his old team miss him. In 21 minutes on the court. Turner only shot 1-4 to finish with two points, four rebounds, and four assists. When Philadelphia visited Indiana on Monday night, Turner doubled his point total, scoring four points on 2-7 shooting in 22 minutes, but did at least grab seven rebounds.
Sandwiched between those two victories over Philadelphia was Turner's best game of the week, where he helped Indiana defeat Detroit 112-104 in overtime. Turner played 30 minutes and was 8-15 from the field to finish with 20 points and five rebounds. Turner has had struggles in adjusting to his new team, but games like the one against Detroit have to make the Pacers feel good that his adjustment to the new team and role is getting better with Turner, and by the time the playoffs hit they'll see some more consistency.
Jared Sullinger - F/C - Boston Celtics
Sullinger and the Celtics had a busy week, playing five games over the seven day period. After being a double-double machine for much of the season so far, Sullinger just barely missed registering a double-double in any of the five games last week. Not only did Sullinger miss adding to his double-double totals, but the busy week was rough for Boston, as they lost all five of the games that they played.
In four of the five games he played over the last week, Sullinger had nine rebounds in four of the games, and eight in the other game. Sullinger also hit double figures in points in four of the five games that the Celtics played, and he narrowly missed hitting double digits in scoring the fifth game, scoring nine points in the 87-80 loss to Phoenix on Friday.
The most complete game for Sullinger came in Sunday's 121-120 loss to New Orleans, where he scored 14 points, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out four assists, and blocked two shots. While his all-around performance was his best of the week, the highest scoring game for Sullinger came last Tuesday when he scored 17 points against Indiana, but wasn't able to help Boston grab the victory against Evan Turner and the Pacers.
Byron Mullens - F/C - Philadelphia 76ers
Mullens continues to get a healthy amount of playing time for Philadelphia since he was acquired at the trade deadline, but Philadelphia continues to keep losing, now having dropped 21 games in a row. While Philadelphia has been horrible over the past few months, they did at least play Indiana tough in the two matchups that the teams had, and Mullens had his best game in his short time with the 76ers.
Friday night saw Mullens play 24 minutes against Indiana and hit three three-pointers on his way to 15 points and five rebounds, The 76ers at least kept it close against the team with the Eastern Conference's best record, only losing 101-94. Mullens didn't have quite as much luck in the second matchup between the teams on Monday night, only scoring five points in 15 minutes of the 99-90 loss.
The losing streak for Philadelphia doesn't look like it'll be ending anytime soon, so expect Mullens to continue to see time for the 76ers. Philadelphia currently has two more wins than Milwaukee, but with the way that Philadelphia has been losing games lately they should be able to make the race for the worst record in the NBA a photo finish.
Greg Oden - C - Miami Heat
The early part of the week for Oden was very quiet, but he did put in a solid performance on Sunday in the Heat's 113-104 win against the Rockets. After not playing in the loss against Brooklyn on Wednesday, and only registering two fouls and and a turnover in five minutes against Denver, Oden played 13 minutes and grabbed six rebounds on Sunday.
With the playoffs about a month away, it will be interesting to see how the Heat use Oden over the last month to get him ready for the playoffs. Miami has already clinched a playoff berth and the only real battle left for them in the regular season is with Indiana to determine who will be the number one seed and earn home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.