Top NBA Canadian Performances of The Week

1. Chris Boucher – #25 Toronto Raptors

Chris Boucher provided a much-needed bench boost for the Toronto Raptors, scoring 21 points, two rebounds, and three triples in Tuesday’s 120-100 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Although Boucher struggled to attain boards, he gave the Raptors offensive production and perimeter shooting. It was refreshing to see Boucher reach double digits for the first time in five games. The hope is for “Slimmduck” to maintain this level of play as the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks are up next. Boucher is arriving at the right time.

2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – #2 Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been on a tear these last three games, amassing 32 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two three points in Tuesday’s 136-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors. The Oklahoma City Thunder battled the Warriors until the end until Jordan Poole and Stephen Curry went on a massive run. The Thunder have lost three straight and are only sitting one game above the Dallas Mavericks for the 10th play-in spot. Gilgeous-Alexander’s performances have been magical but unfortunately not enough to secure a win. What was thought to be another rebuilding year has now diminished, OKC is ready to test the waters and is hungry for a new experience, the NBA playoffs. 

3. Kelly Olynyk – #41 Utah Jazz

Kelly Olynyk dropped an impressive 16 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists in Thursday night’s 114-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. With Lauri Markkanen, and Walker Kessler sitting out this matchup, Olynyk had a vintage stat line. He was just two assists shy of his first career triple-double and shot an efficient 60% from the field. Although 31 years old, Olynyk remains a solid contributor off the bench as a deadly stretch four. With the Jazz out of playoff contention, look for Olynyk to possibly be in the starting lineup in the Jazz’s final matchup, ending his season on a positive note. 

4. Lindell Wigginton – #28 Milwaukee Bucks

Nova Scotia native Lindell Wigginton had the best game of his NBA career on Friday night as he erupted for 25 points, five rebounds, 11 assists, and four triples in a 137-114 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Many of the Bucks’ starters were out including Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and more. Wigginton stepped into the starting point guard role and flourished, setting career highs in points, assists, and three pointers. Moving from the G-League to the NBA multiple times, Wigginton is ready to earn his stripes and fight for a rotation on the Bucks roster. As the Bucks clinched the first seed in the Eastern Conference, Wigginton can provide a boost off the bench come playoff time. 

5. RJ Barrett – #9 New York Knicks

RJ Barrett recorded 28 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in Friday’s 113-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Barrett made his return from a two-game absence and was efficient inside the arc. Barrett has evolved as a slasher; however, his shooting percentages have been inconsistent for most of the season. With the play-in coming up, this provides much needed rest for Barrett and time to work to shore up his jumper. As Julius Randle is sidelined due to an ankle injury, Barrett automatically becomes the number one scoring option. This is a rare opportunity as he has a chance to run offensive schemes with Jalen Brunson, and showcase his skill set even more. With the Knicks locked as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, Barrett will be ready to carry the offensive load if Randle’s injury is prolonged. 

6. Caleb Houstan – #2 Orlando Magic

Mississauga native Caleb Houstan started at point guard and accounted for 21 points, two steals, and five triples in Sunday’s 123-110 loss to the Miami Heat. Houston was the only Orlando Magic starter to play more than 16 minutes and he took advantage of an influx of playing time. Houstan had his best career game, scoring a career-high in points and three pointers. After spending time in the G-League, Houstan is a major candidate to be in the regular rotation next season as he provides point-forward skills and athleticism. 

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