Hassan Whiteside, Damian Lillard named Players of the Week

Hassan Whiteside, Damian Lillard named Players of the Week

Both players are leading their teams to the brink of the playoffs.

The Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 13 through Sunday, March 19.

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Whiteside finished second in the East in rebounding (13.7 rpg) and 11th in scoring (20.0 ppg) while shooting an NBA-best 73.0 percent from the field as the Heat went 2-1 for the week.  He also paced the East in blocked shots (2.67 bpg) and extended his streak with a block to a season-high 26 straight games. 

The 27-year-old center posted double-doubles in all three games to set the franchise record for consecutive double-doubles with 12.  With 14 rebounds in a 123-105 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 17, Whiteside became only the second player in team history to grab 900 rebounds in a season, joining Rony Seikaly (1991-92).   
Lillard led the Trail Blazers to a 3-1 week, with all of Portland’s wins coming on the road.  He paced the league in scoring (35.3 ppg) and added 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 59.4 percent from three-point range.

Lillard was also 36-for-36 from the free throw line.  On March 15, the 26-year-old guard scored 36 points in a 110-106 win against the San Antonio Spurs.  Lillard closed the week by scoring a season-high 49 points and matching a career high with nine three-pointers in a 115-104 win over the Heat on March 19.

Here is a recap of the week for Whiteside and Lillard:

Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat
March 15 vs. New Orleans: Scored 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting and grabbed 17 rebounds in a 120-112 win over the Pelicans.
March 17 vs. Minnesota: Shot 10-for-11 from the field and scored 23 points to go with 14 boards in a 123-105 win over the Timberwolves.
March 19 vs. Portland: Tallied 17 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two assists in a 115-104 loss to the Trail Blazers.

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
March 15 @ San Antonio: Finished with 36 points on 12-for-22 shooting and added four assists in a 110-106 win over the Spurs.
March 18 @ Atlanta: Recorded 27 points, five rebounds and five assists in a 113-97 victory against the Hawks.
March 19 @ Miami: Made nine three-pointers and scored a season-high 49 points in a 115-104 win over the Heat.   

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Memphis’ Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, Miami’s Goran Dragic, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Philadelphia’s Dario Saric.

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