An unusual suspect stepped forward to take the reigns as the most consistent player of the week among former Buckeyes in the NBA. No, it wasn't Byron Mullens, who is now playing for a Philadelphia team that has lost 17 straight games. The Buckeye baller of the week is part of a team that is part of the playoff hunt, and recently moved into position for one of the final playoff spots.
Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies
Wednesday night certainly wasn't kind to Mike Conley, as he suffered through one of the worst games of his career in a 103-94 loss to Brooklyn. Conley couldn't buy a bucket against the Nets, hitting none of the eight shots that he attempted from the field. Not only was Conley's shot not falling in the loss, but he was also responsible for an uncharacteristic six turnovers. The performance was one of the main reasons that the Grizzlies fell behind early and the point guard was only on the court for 21 minutes.
The struggles carried over to the first half of Friday night's game at Chicago, where at one point he missed a career worst 13 shots in a row spanning over his previous six quarters of play. Luckily for Memphis and their playoff hopes Conley was able to steady his shooting touch and finished the game with 12 points and seven assists as the Grizzlies pulled out a tough road win.
While the first six quarters of play during the week for Conley were ugly, the last six were a polar opposite. Not only did Memphis beat Chicago, but they posted a 111-89 win over Charlotte the next night. Conley did most of his damage from behind the arc on Saturday, drilling five of seven three-point attempts on his way to 20 points. With that win Memphis slid into the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff hunt.
Kosta Koufos - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies
Last week Kosta Koufos was a poster child for consistency on the stat sheet. In each of the three games that Memphis played, Koufos logged 19 minutes and was responsible for 12 points. The only real difference on the stat line in each game for the Memphis big man was in his rebounding totals, which ranged from six to 10. The best game of the week for Koufos came against Charlotte since he registered a double-double with those 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The last week of production from Koufos has to be a dream for Memphis. If the Grizzlies can get that production from those minutes to go along with what Marc Gasol gives them, they'll be one of the tougher outs out West. This has to be what Memphis envisioned when they picked up Koufos from the Nuggets. If he can give them about 20 minutes a game, 10-12 points, and around 8-10 rebounds per game, the Grizzlies might pick up another couple spots in their climb up the Western Conference ladder before the playoffs start.
Evan Turner - G/F - Indiana Pacers
While Evan Turner's first week in Indiana must have felt like a dream after wins in his first four games as a member of the team, the last week must have felt like he woke up and was back in his Philadelphia nightmare. The Pacers lost all four games that they played last week, and Turner only had one game where he was productive.
The worst performance of the week for Turner came in Tuesday night's loss to Golden State. In 18 minutes on the court Turner threw up an 0-fer, missing all five shots he took. What has to sting about the performance for Turner is that the pacers only lost by two points, so just a little bit of production could have swung the result in the contest.
The next three games saw the Pacers hit the road and lose all three games by double digits. In the 109-87 loss to Charlotte on Wednesday, Turner tried to make amends for the shutout by going for 22 points on 9-12 shooting. The good will didn't last long though, as Turner went on to scored a combined seven points in the next two contests.
Even with Indiana in a slump, fans shouldn't abandon ship. With the addition of Turner there is going to be some growing pains as the players acclimate to each other. The Pacers still became the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season, and didn't lose much of their lead on Miami with the Heat losing three straight during that span.
Jared Sullinger - F/C - Boston Celtics
With the combination of a concussion that he suffered recently, and this being the most games that he's played so far in a season during his young career, Sullinger showed some struggles in his first two games last week on the offensive end, combining to go 3-15 from the field as the Celtics split those two games. In the 91-84 win over Brooklyn on Friday, Sullinger was able to make up for some of his offensive deficiencies by grabbed 12 rebounds before fouling out.
In the final game of the week, Sullinger saw his production start inching towards normal by putting up 14 points on 5-10 shooting and pulling down eight rebounds. The Celtics needed all they could get from Sully as they pulled out a 118-111 win for their second win in a row. The Celtics will need that and more from Sullinger on Tuesday when they take on Evan Turner and a Indiana team that will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak.
Byron Mullens - F/C - Philadelphia 76ers
It was another week full of losses for the 76ers and Mullens, who must be longing for his days of sitting on the bench as a part of victories with the Clippers. Mullens minutes decreased as the week went on, going from 20 minutes in the first game to three minutes in Monday night's 123-110 loss to the Knicks.
Mullens got plenty of time on Tuesday night during Philadelphia's 125-92 blowout loss against Oklahoma City. In 20 minutes on the court, Mullens hit three three-pointers in his way to 15 points and six rebounds. That production wasn't to last though, with his minutes being halved on Saturday night, and his scoring falling to six points.
The 76ers haven't won a game since Mullens arrived via trade a couple weeks ago, and that might be just what Philadelphia wants with the "tank mode" operating at full efficiency. At least if Philadelphia is going to be this bad they are giving Mullens a chance to showcase what he can offer by so far giving him double digits in most of the games he has played with the team.
Greg Oden - C - Miami Heat
It was a very light week for Greg Oden in his comeback, but most of that was because Miami had a couple back-to-back stretches of games during the week. Oden didn't play last Tuesday against the Rockets and on Monday against the Wizards. The good news for the Heat is that they didn't need Oden on Monday as the win over the Wizards clinched Miami a playoff berth. The win was also welcomed since Miami had lost their previous three games.
In the two games that Oden did play in, he didn't do much of consequence, combining for 15 minutes, no points, and two rebounds. Even tough he might have been light on the seat sheet, it is still great just to see Oden out on the court. The bsck-to-back issue with Oden won't be a big deal during the playoffs since the games are spread out, so we'll get a chance to see how he responds in the higher pressure situations starting next month.