Marcin Gortat's early season struggles seem so far away. The Wizards' starting center has the award to prove it.
Gortat was selected Eastern Conference Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. The "Polish Machine" keyed Washington's 3-0 week by averaging 21.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.67 blocks.
The 6-foot-11 center's production this season initially suffered as the Wizards incorporated their new pace-and-space offense. All of Gortat's stats are up in December. He's averaging 17.0 points on 57 percent shooting, 10.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 0.9 steals per game.
He's also doing of his best work against some of the game's best centers. One of two double-doubles last week came against Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins as Gortat had 27 points and 16 rebounds in a 113-99 win. On Dec. 26, Gortat posted 25 points and seven rebounds during a 111-96 win over Brook Lopez and the Brooklyn Nets, which helped the Wizards improve to 14-14 on the season.
Another interior battle takes place Monday as Gortat and the Wizards host DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers.
Apparently Gortat was napping when the NBA announced the award at 3:00 p.m. ET. He received a shock upon waking.
Omg!! When i woke up and I checked my phone I had about 20 messages!! I though I was traded.... Gzzzzzz #dcrising
— Marcin Gortat (@MGortat) December 28, 2015