Around the NBA: Feb. 27
Host Zech Lambert and analysts Logan Bourandas, Ben Serfass and Gabe Angieri take a look around the NBA.
Coming out of the All-Star break, teams around the league are fighting to secure the best seed, while other teams are trying to make a push for the playoffs. Also, some players are making cases of why they should have been a part of All-Star weekend.
The New Orleans Pelicans are shocking the basketball world and making a push back into the playoff picture, thanks in large part to rookie phenom Zion Williamson. Ever since Williamson has returned, the Pelicans have looked like a new team.
Currently, New Orleans sits just three games behind the struggling, eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot.
Since returning from injury, Williamson has led the Pels, averaging 23.3 points and 7.1 rebounds on 53.3% shooting.
If the Pelicans can get the eight seed, a potential Lakers-Pelicans first round matchup could be exciting to watch.
The Philadelphia 76ers are known for their history of injured rookies. Right now, though, the Sixers have injured stars.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are dealing with back and shoulder injuries, respectively. Simmons will be re-evaluated after two weeks, and Embiid is being held out of Thursday's contest against the Knicks after leaving the Sixes loss against the Cavaliers early.
Philly needs its superstars back. They are currently the five seed in the East and are in danger of falling further as the Pacers are only a game and a half behind them.
The 2019-2020 season continues to be disappointing for the 76ers, and if they lose their stars for too long, it could turn from bad to horrible for them.
Chicago Bulls rookie guard Coby White was not a part of the rising stars game during the all-star festivities due to an underwhelming rookie season thus far. However, White is showing that leaving him out could have been a mistake.
In his last three games, White has averaged 33.7 points per game. He has set and broken his career-high in points during this stretch.
One negative, though, is that White recently aggravated his back and is considered day-to-day, although he did not practice Thursday.
It would be a shame to see White have to sit out considering the tear he has been on, but if he can keep this up, the rising stars game will for sure see him be a part of it next year.
Arguably the best two games in a row by a single player this season, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal dropped 50 points in back-to-back games. Despite this, the Wizards lost both games.
Beal set a career-high with 53 points against the Bulls, then broke it the next game by scoring 55 against the Bucks.
Beal is continuing his otherwordly season and has increased his points per game to 30.1 for the year.
How Beal was left out of the all-star game is still a mystery to fans across the NBA, but he is doing his best to remind everyone how big of a mistake it was.
Zech Lambert is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.