NBA: Top Canadian Players of the Week
By Ryan Nelson
It’s time to reload. Last week, we ranked the five best Canadian players in the NBA, and we’re going to do so again this week.
The list tends to narrow itself down, as there’s only twelve Canadians in the NBA right now, but there’s still plenty of star power on the list.
First up: a duo of superstars in action.
1. Andrew Wiggins: 56 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists in three games
This Toronto native was on the list last week, and had a 35/10/4 double-double on Thursday to help catapult him to the top of the list. He’s less consistent than the next player, but a big time double-double can’t be ignored. Wiggins will continue to see heavy offensive use.
2. Tristan Thompson: 25 points, 37 rebounds, six blocks, and five assists in three games
Thompson had a 15/11 double-double last Tuesday, but has only scored ten points since. His monster rebound numbers keep him high on the list, but such low scoring hurts last week’s top ranked Canadian. He’ll try to catch his fellow Toronto native with better scoring next week, but his time on the floor is in no danger as Lebron James’ primary rebounding buddy. Thompson has become a key part in why the Cavs are considered to be a lock for the Finals once again.
3. Nik Stauskas: 57 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals in four games
Stauskas has settled into a sixth man role for the 76ers, and is providing a lot of offense off the bench. His scoring should make his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario proud, and as long as he maintains a 50%+ shooting percentage, he should be free to take plenty of shots.
4. Trey Lyles: 40 points and 17 rebounds in three games (75 minutes)
Lyles has seen some additional minutes for the Jazz with Derrick Favors out of the lineup, although he’s not starting yet. For Lyles to continue his success after Favors recovers, Boris Diaw would have to continue to struggle. However, there’s no clear return date for Favors, which gives Lyle time to make a case for himself.
In other news, Lyles is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Tongues probably trip over themselves just thinking about pronouncing it.
Two players on last week’s list simply didn’t make the cut. Dwight Powell and Kelly Olynyk need to return to last week’s form to get back on this list and outperform the next player.
5. Jamal Murray: 32 points, nine assists, and five rebounds in three games
Murray found his shot against Utah on Sunday. His 18 points are the reason he gets the last spot on the list. The Kitchener native’s biggest problem has been his inaccuracy, which has hurt his stats despite consistently playing for 20 minutes. He’ll need to keep sinking shots to maintain his last game’s performance.
Written by Ryan Nelson (observations from New York)
Edited by Drew Ebanks