Around the NBA Eastern Conference: Jan. 18
Host Zech Lambert alongside Logan Bourandas, Ben Serfass and Gabe Angieri take a look around the NBA.
In the Eastern Conference, there’s a huge gap between the surging Milwaukee Bucks and the five dominant teams that sit at least 7½ games behind them. As we head into the midpoint of the regular season, the race to round out the remaining playoff spots in the East is far from decided.
Team of the Week
Currently on a five-game win streak and coming off a huge 128-123 win over the Boston Celtics, the Milwaukee Bucks are simply unstoppable. Giannis Antetokounmpo has led the team, averaging 30.1 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. Add in Khris Middleton, who shined with 23 points against Boston, and George Hill, who went perfect from beyond the arc in the win over Boston, and you have a stellar team.
Look out for the Bucks, as they ride this momentum beyond the All-Star Break and into the postseason. They are back in action on Saturday night on the road against the declining Brooklyn Nets, which have dropped their last two games.
Player of the Week
The Philadelphia 76ers are on the rise again, trying to separate themselves from the pack of five that are almost locks for the playoffs. In the absence of an injured Joel Embiid, shooting guard Josh Richardson has risen to the occasion, dropping an average of 21.2 points in his last five games.
If the Sixers are serious about their bid to return to the postseason, Richardson must continue to serve as an extra asset to this team. His high-scoring ability will certainly contribute to the Sixers as they make their way through the rest of the season, even if he comes off the bench.
On Monday, the Toronto Raptors cross the border and head down to Atlanta to play the Hawks for an afternoon special. The Hawks are sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference but recently beat the Suns and are hoping to earn a nice home upset and get their 11th win to leapfrog the Knicks. Look forward to the game of the week on Friday, when the Clippers travel to Miami to battle the Heat in a contest of two really good, surging teams.
As mentioned before, Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid dislocated his finger and his condition has worsened, despite him re-entering the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was recently cleared for non-contact conditioning and will be re-evaluated in one to two weeks.
Josh Portney is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.