COMMENTARY | New Orleans Hornets PG Greivis Vasquez is the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week. Just let that sentence sink in for a moment before moving on. Vasquez was Player of the Week in the same conference that has Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and Kevin Love. And I agree with Vasquez' selection.
It's human nature for fans to focus on the negative when their team is losing. While many Hornets' fans have been complaining about Vasquez' turnovers and defense, he has quietly been scoring 20+ points and distributing 10+ assists per game. In fact, Greivis Vasquez was one rebound shy of a triple-double in a game last week.
Vasquez earned Player of the Week honors for a New Orleans team that has the worst record in the Western Conference. For a Hornet to be Player of the Week in the Western Conference, Greivis Vasquez must be playing extraordinary basketball. Last week, Vasquez averaged 21.0 points, 10.0 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Greivis Vasquez is having this amazing season for New Orleans while playing as the fulltime starting PG for the first time in his NBA career. In his first season, he only started one game. Last season, he started 26 games for the Hornets while Jarrett Jack was injured.
On the season, Greivis Vasquez is averaging 8.8 assists per game. This is incredible considering the young Hornets who are on the floor with him as well as the myriad of different starting lineups and rotations that New Orleans coach Monty Williams is using. The only Western Conference player with a better assists per game average is Chris Paul.
Greivis Vasquez has also experienced a surge in scoring recently. Last week, he set a career high in scoring with 27 points in a game. The Hornets are very fortunate to have a dual threat (scoring and assists) point guard. Look at what fellow Western Conference point guard Russell Westbrook has meant for his team in this capacity.
Moving forward, Greivis Vasquez' assist numbers should go up for New Orleans, although his scoring is likely to taper off. The return of Eric Gordon should take a lot of pressure off New Orleans' point guard to score. I have no idea how NBA teams will defend the Hornets when Vasquez, Gordon, and Ryan Anderson are on the floor together. It may open things up for Anthony Davis to be the Hornets' next Western Conference Player of the Week.
When New Orleans drafted Anthony Davis and re-signed Eric Gordon, I wrote an article in the offseason (referenced below) questioning if Greivis Vasquez had become the forgotten Hornet. As the Western Conference Player of the Week, Vasquez has finally gotten his recognition.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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