Celtics captain Paul Pierce earned the team's first nomination of the season for Player of the Week, but the Eastern Conference honor landed with Miami's LeBron James on Monday.
Pierce guided Boston to a 3-1 mark last week, averaging 22.3 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.8 rebounds over 36.5 minutes per game. With the Celtics playing much of the week without a trio of starters in Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Jermaine O'Neal, Pierce essentially carried Boston through what some have dubbed a season-salvaging stretch that included two wins over the Magic -- including a 27-point rally in Orlando on Thursday -- and a triumph over the Pacers on Friday that saw Pierce flirt with at triple-double (28 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists over 34 minutes).
In announcing James' honor, the NBA noted that he, "paced the Eastern Conference in scoring (29.0 ppg) in leading the Heat to a 4-0 week. James eclipsed the 30-point plateau three times and averaged 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 steals. Miami upended Chicago 97-93 on Jan. 29 to close the week behind James’ 35 points, 11 rebounds and five steals."