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NBA Week Nine Observations

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IDecember 28, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 11:  David Lee #42 of the New York Knicks makes a shot over Darius Songaila #9 of the New Orleans Hornets at New Orleans Arena on December 11, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Knicks defeated the Hornets 113-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

1. David Lee is playing like an All-Star. Lee is playing his best basketball of his career this month, averaging 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals. He is shooting 62 percent from the field and 83 percent from the foul line. He is 12th in the East in scoring (18.4)—more than Gerald Wallace, Paul Pierce, Dwight Howard, and Mo Williams.

Lee is fifth in boards (10.8), which is more than Al Horford and Brook Lopez. Lee is fourth in FG percentage (57.7), ahead of Kevin Garnett. The Knicks are one game out of the eighth seed, and have held opponents to under 100 points in 10 straight games.

Player A: 15 rebounds, 7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1 steal, .9 blocks, 54.9 FG, 83.9 FT, 30 minutes per game

Player B: 18.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals, .4 blocks, 57.7% FG , 78.1 FT, 35 minutes per game

Player A is Kevin Garnett, and his 1,113,213 votes make him a starting forward. Player B is David Lee.

2. Zach Randolph is a beast. Randolph has three games of at least 32 points, and two games of at least 20 rebounds this month. He is averaging 23.3 points, 13.9 rebounds, and 1.2 steals. This December, he is shooting 52 percent from the line, and 88 percent from the foul line.

3. Rajon Rondo has stepped up his game. Rondo has scored at least 20 points two times this month, which he did not do once in the month of November. He is averaging 15 points, 10.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.8 steals in 37 minutes this month.

4. Tim Duncan is back: Duncan’s 19.9 points and 55 percent FG this season are the most he has averaged since the 06-07 season. His 77 percent from the foul line is the second highest of his career. Also, he is averaging his usual 10+ rebounds and near two blocks a game.

5. Portland is finding ways to win. The Blazers beat the Spurs in San Antonio with Brandon Roy missing the game with a sore left shoulder. Roy returned the next game, and his 41 points helped the team beat the Nuggets at home. Even with Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla out for the season, the Blazers are currently the fourth seed in the West and are 20-12.

Honorable mention: Mavs 22-9, Tyreke Evans' 20.3 points per game, and Kobe Bryant averaging 30 points this month

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