Next Level Player of the Week
LeBron James has been criticized for his lack of scoring in the NBA Finals, especially in the fourth quarter. But he has been extremely effective as a facilitator and defender. Through three games, the Heat's 15 points per game off James' assists were the highest of any round this postseason. And the 7 ppg James was allowing as a primary defender were the lowest of any round this postseason.
If the Mavericks are to win their first-ever NBA title, their offense has to go through Dirk Nowitzki. In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Dallas was 17-for-33 (51.5 percent) from the field when Nowitzki got a touch during the possession. When he didn't touch the rock, the Mavs made only 29.7 percent of their shots.
On Saturday, Albert Pujols hit his ninth career walk-off home run (he went on to hit his 10th the next day). It was his second home run of the game, both of which came on pitches out of the strike zone. Pujols became just the second player this season to have a multi-HR game on pitches outside the zone. His fourth and fifth home runs of the year on such pitches gave him the major league lead.
In Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Alex Burrows beat Bruins goalie Tim Thomas on a wrap-around goal just 11 seconds into overtime to seal a Vancouver victory. It was the second "wrap-around" goal for the Canucks this postseason and the third "open net" goal allowed by Thomas.
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SAMSUNG NEXT LEVEL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Samsung Next Level Player of the Week pits four athletes with the most impressive statistical performances against each other.