It's been a crazy season so far in the NBA. We've seen some of the most unlikely story lines unfold right before our eyes in a roller-coaster ride that started about as low as it could. We've seen injuries and upsets, and everything else in between.
We've seen a player get called up from D-League and absolutely explode for his team in the NBA. Over the course of the last week, this player is averaging about 24 points, four assists and six rebounds per game. All for a team that was struggling due to injuries.
Sounds familiar right?
Well, Lester Hudson is certainly doing his best Jeremy Lin impression for the Cleveland Cavaliers. As we all know, Lin was called up by the Knicks earlier this year and had a tremendous impact for the team, basically keeping them afloat while certain key players were nursing injuries.
Hudson's obviously not keeping the Cavaliers afloat, but that's because they already sunk before he even got the chance in Cleveland. That fact isn't stopping the former second-round pick in '09 from putting together a performance that may ensure Hudson a relatively lengthy contract this offseason.
The 6'3" guard from little Tennessee-Martin and the Ohio Valley Conference has been a man on a mission for the Cavs this week, and coach Byron Scott has taken notice. In his first week of major playing time, Hudson averaged about 23 points in just over 30 minutes per game. He has been a scoring machine, and his teammates have been happy to let him take the reins.
Further, he was successful in just about every other facet of the game. He snagged an average of five rebounds and dished out an average of five assists per game over the stretch.
One would have to think that Hudson's week would become major news in the sports world if Jeremy Lin didn't follow a similar trajectory a little earlier in the year in the game's most historic arena, and biggest market. When looking at the numbers in their respective breakout weeks, Hudson is putting on a near-identical display to Lin's in New York.
Once again, a major reason this is so impressive is because of the way Hudson's teammates have received him. Veteran players like Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison have deferred to Hudson when the team needs baskets, because he has earned their faith and trust. He has shown tremendous hustle, toughness and the confidence of a player who has been a starter in the league for years.
His performance against the Nets on Sunday was truly a thing of beauty. He basically single-handedly willed the game into overtime by hitting big shot after big shot. For a guy who wasn't even in the league a couple weeks ago, it was as impressive of a performance as you could expect to see.
So this week's Crush is Lester Hudson. You came to the Cavaliers as an unknown on a 10-day contract. And now, you'll definitely be around much longer.