Read below for points-league rankings and reaction.
DeMarcus Cousins just put up a game for the history books, one that hasn't been seen in the NBA during what most would consider the modern era. His achievement on Monday night:
DeMarcus Cousins has the 10th 40-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game in NBA history.
- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 23, 2018
This gives him three 40-20 games on the season, another historic accomplishment:
DeMarcus Cousins is the first player with 3 40-point, 20-rebound games in a season since Moses Malone in 1981-82
- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 23, 2018
So, why didn't Cousins move up more than three slots in this week's rankings? Because just last week, we were marveling at teammate Anthony Davis' record-setting performances:
Anthony Davis: 2nd straight game with 45 points and 15 rebounds.
It's the 2nd time he's had a 2-game streak of that kind.
He was already 1 of 7 players in NBA history with 1 such streak.
- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 17, 2018
It's borderline astounding that the New Orleans Pelicans have two big men capable of these types of historic feats while playing on the same frontcourt. Either could, without the other, rank as the top player in these rankings. But since they're on the same squad and have to do some measure of taking turns while making runs at history, they have to "settle" for being fifth and sixth in the rankings and the highest-ranked teammates ... and only a big week in Golden State from falling back behind one or both of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. Yes, it's that kind of a fun year at the top of the NBA.
Kris Dunn fell 13 slots due to a combination of his concussion absence and the return to health of Zach LaVine. It just seems that, with everyone healthy, Dunn may get fewer opportunities moving forward.
T.J. McConnell, Yogi Ferrell and Jarrett Jack all made their debuts this week. McConnell and Ferrell have been hanging around in their roles for long enough to deserve a mention. Jack has as well, but he could conceivably lose his value anytime if Frank Ntilikina is able to wrest the starting job from him.
Jimmy Butler (three slots) and Victor Oladipo (six slots) both fell a bit at the top of the rankings -- Butler due to questions about the still-undefined knee injury that has kept him out of the past two games, and Oladipo because he's on a run of lesser production. Both are affected by the abundance of strong competition at the top of the rankings.
I've got a Twitter follower (follow me @ProfessorDrz) who's been in my ear about Tim Hardaway Jr. and LaVine being top-50 players. Hardaway made the leap back up to 56 (up 24 spots from last week) -- which is where he was the week before he got injured -- based on his strong play. LaVine jumped 11 spots up to 70, but he's still working his way through his minutes restriction and isn't quite ready for prime time yet.
Malcolm Brogdon made a big jump (36 spots) on the basis of him stabilizing a starting slot and starting to put up big games reasonably regularly, including his career effort on Monday.
Bogdan Bogdanovic makes his debut in the rankings. He has separated himself from his name doppelganger (Bojan Bogdanovic of the Indiana Pacers) and seems to have found a fairly consistent role in an otherwise volatile Kings rotation.
Kawhi Leonard is a mover in these rankings every week, because it seems like he's always either returning or reinjured this season. The news this week was the worst in a long time, dropping Leonard 38 spots in the rankings based on his "indefinite" leave of absence to continue rehabbing his quad.
James Johnson and Otto Porter Jr. have some similarities as do-everything forwards and are next to each other in the rankings this week, but they are moving in opposite directions. Johnson is up 27 spots now that he's healthy and playing a bigger role for the still-injury-hampered Miami Heat. Porter is down seven spots and falling after a sustained run of weaker play, and now he's dealing with another hip injury.
Michael Beasley and Caris LeVert are both down, about 20 and 30 slots, respectively, as both of their roles diminish. Beasley burst onto the scene as an alternate offensive engine for the New York Knicks, but with Hardaway back it seems that Beasley's role is drying up. LeVert was rolling before an injury last month, but he hasn't regained full form and now could see his role diminished by the return of a healthy D'Angelo Russell.
Ben Simmons (six slots) and Kevin Love (10 slots) are both down in the rankings this week. Simmons dropped a few weeks ago on the basis of his rookie slump when teams started playing him to take jumpers, and he slides again this week on his thus-far inability to adapt. Love has struggled through injury and poor play all month. His team reportedly had issues with him sitting out sick this weekend, and his role could shrink as the team reconfigures to include Isaiah Thomas.
LaMarcus Aldridge jumped 16 spots due to Kawhi Leonard's presumably extended absence. He's been an impact player all season with Leonard out and apparently will have that opportunity for the foreseeable future.
Larry Nance Jr. and Kyle Kuzma are both Los Angeles Lakers forwards and are near each other in the rankings, but they are moving in opposite directions. Nance is up 28 slots on the strength of his strong play of late, even off the bench, while Kuzma falls again (32 slots) based on his production slowing of late as his role has diminished to fewer minutes off the bench.
Hassan Whiteside is starting to play to expectations, which has him up eight slots in the rankings this week.
Enes Kanter had been falling due to the rise of Michael Beasley, as they overlap in responsibilities and minutes played. However, Hardway's return -- which has limited Beasley's role -- has served to bolster Kanter's, good for an eight-slot raise in this week's rankings.