Welcome back to NBA Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the players getting the most buzz around the league. Inclusion on this list isn't necessarily a good thing -- it simply means you're capturing the NBA world's attention. This is also not a ranking. The players listed here are in no particular order. This column will run every week throughout the regular season.
Booker's efficiency is off the charts across the board. He remains a midrange master but has also turned into a 3-point sniper, connecting at better than a 43% clip in what has been a natural progression outside the arc.
What's more, Booker has Chris Paul. He's among three players (Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic) who rank top-10 in both scoring and assists; he's fourth in assists at 8.9 per game, by far a career high. His collapse-and-kick game is a delight.into the table-setting role vacated by
Lillard is averaging 31.3 points over his last three games, and the 3-point shooting we expect from him is starting to at least peek its way around the corner at 40% over his last eight games.
Get this: Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the first teammate duo since Elgin Baylor and Jerry West in 1963 to each score 30 points in three consecutive non-overtime games.
While Lillard is still trying to find his footing overall with the Bucks, he has been his typical dominant self in clutch time, where his 65 total points -- on 52/48/97 shooting splits -- lead all scorers by a wide margin. In Milwaukee's win over Miami on Tuesday, Lillard scored 13 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter.
Lillard also played his first game against the Blazers this week, and it went pretty well, although not as well as his gaudy statistics would suggest. Isome of Lillard's mishaps and missed opportunities vs. Portland in what was a 26-point comeback win for the Bucks.
Poole is starting to become must-see TV for all the wrong reasons. Every night there's a chance he's going to do something you've never seen before. It will be ridiculous. It will kill his team, the Wizards, who have to be regretting trading for him. But it will be hilarious.
There have been a number Poole lowlights this season, but two in particular still have me laughing. First, a little more than a week ago, he though he was slick letting the ball roll up the court without touching it. You see guys do this when they're winning, because the game clock keeps running but the shot clock doesn't start until you touch it.
Problem is, the Wizards were losing by 10 points with four minutes to play. They needed every second they could get to try to mount a comeback. Poole had no idea that the game clock would keep running while ... the ball was in play? Seriously? Yes, seriously.
Then there was the circus shot Poole flipped up, for absolutely no good reason, on Monday vs. the Pistons. He lost Cade Cunningham by hitting the brakes -- and delivering a friendly nudge that the officials let go -- as he drove baseline, resulting in what was the most wide-open 12-foot shot you will ever see.
Only he didn't take it. Instead, Poole takes a lunge step to the rim and orders up a rainbow scoop that Ausar Thompson devoured.
Poole took a wide-open shot and turned it into literally the hardest, most contested shot possible in that situation just because ... well ... because he's Jordan Poole. He does things that make no sense.
Which, again, is why I advise you to start consuming more Wizards games. It's awful basketball, but slapstick entertainers like this don't come along every day. I wouldn't be surprised if the Washington Generals are quietly scouting Poole in hopes of bringing him aboard.
Haliburton continues to put up numbers that make you take off your glasses and clean them to make sure you aren't seeing things. Over his last four games he's averaging 32.5 points and 12.8 assists.
Over that span, Haliburton has connected on 22 3-pointers at a 50% clip.
No disrespect to Paolo Banchero, who we're going to talk about in a second, but Haliburton, who continues to lead the entire league in total points created via scoring and assists, per PBP Stats, definitely should've won Eastern Conference player of the week.
Banchero, who has scored at least 23 points in his last five games, was named Eastern Conference player of the week after putting up the following numbers for an Orlando team that has now won seven straight.
Paolo Banchero has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the first time in his NBA career.— Wendell Epps (@epps_wendell) November 27, 2023
🔹20+ points in all 4 games
🔹Led his team to a 4-0 record
Congrats to P5 🔥 #MagicTogether pic.twitter.com/nzClUJ2JbK
Banchero is shooting a blistering 43.6% from 3 this year. He shot under 30% as a rookie. It's only on three attempts per game, but it comes as a sort of life jacket for a Magic team that simply tries to make enough jumpers to stay afloat while relying more heavily on shots at the rim than any team in the league by a wide margin.
It's working, relatively speaking. The Magic are 16th in offensive rating, per Cleaning the Glass, which isn't great but is up almost two points per 100 possessions from last season and is just enough to support the top-five defense Orlando fields, which adds up to the sixth-best net rating in the league and a 12-5 record.
It's a rule: You hit a game-winner, you make the Star Index -- especially if you do so on an insanely tough bank shot to cap off a 24-point comeback over the Warriors and seal Sacramento's spot in the In-Season Tournament's knockout rounds.