What a month December was in the NBA universe! We celebrated Kobe’s jersey retirement, Christmas week and LeBron James’ 33rd birthday. Stephen Curry scored most three-pointers in a single game this season while returning from injury and Oklahoma City went on an unbeaten run. Without further ado, let’s directly jump to our NBA team of the month for December.
The beast we know is back! Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double in the month of December. Oklahoma City went on a 6-game unbeaten run and Westbrook had the best player impact estimate in the given period. He has also been complemented by Paul George and Carmelo Anthony who have turned up with improved performances over the past month.
You can make a case for Victor Oladipo or James Harden too, and it will be equally strong. But DeRozan had an improvement in playmaking and three-point shooting. He sacrificed his personal usage rate for the team and it has paid off well.
With Cavs’ recent struggles, it is really easy to forget how LeBron James was playing out of everyone’s league in the first half of the month. Jimmy Butler had a better bpm and net rating than James for the overall month because of LeBron’s last lethargic 10 days. But LeBron’s personal stats overwhelms Butler’s too much.
Kevin Durant was able to hold the fort more often than not when Stephen Curry was injured. Although his efficiency was not up to his usual mark, he was able to cover it with his much-improved defense. He is amongst the top-5 in the league in blocks-per-game along with the likes Myles Turner and Kristaps Porzingis.
With Jimmy Butler settling into his new team, Karl-Anthony has had to sacrifice a lot of ball usage over the past month. KAT has improved his three-point shooting a lot. And as a result, he is averaging career highs in 3-pointers attempted and 3-point shooting percentage.