Around the NBA: Jan. 22
Host Zech Lambert and analysts Logan Bourandas, Ben Serfass and Gabe Angieri take a look around the NBA and discuss potential All-Star selections.
As the NBA season reaches its midway point, teams are beginning to separate themselves as contenders. Several players are also making their final case to the fans as to why they should be a starter in the All-Star Game, as voting ends Thursday.
Player of the Week
Ever since Toronto Raptors’ guard Norman Powell returned from his injury, he’s been nothing but spectacular. Since Jan. 12 against the San Antonio Spurs, he’s averaged 23.6 points per game on 59.2 percent shooting from the field and a staggering 52.9 percent from behind the three-point arc.
In the five games since Powell’s return, the Raptors are 4-1 with their only loss coming to the Spurs by one point. His recovery is exactly what Toronto needed and has spurred the Raptors up to third in the Eastern Conference.
If Powell can continue to play at this level, he and forward Pascal Siakam could be one of the most feared duos in the East, come playoff time.
Team of the Week
Coming into the season, the outlook wasn’t great for the Indiana Pacers, as their star, Victor Oladipo, was slated to be out until the All-Star break. However, thanks to great seasons from players like forwards Domantas Sabonis and T.J. Warren, in addition to guard Malcom Brogdon, Indiana has managed to stay right in the thick of the Eastern Conference.
Last Week, the Pacers knocked off two playoff teams in the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets, as well as beating the Minnesota Timberwolves twice. They currently sit at sixth in the East, only a half game behind the Sixers and two-and-a-half games behind the second seeded Miami Heat.
With Oladipo’s return right on the horizon, the Pacers are poised to make a late push to the top of the Eastern Conference standings and put together a run in the postseason.
Oladipo is slated to return to action Jan. 29 against the Bulls as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic. He has been out since January 2019 with a ruptured quad tendon.
New Orleans Pelicans’ forward Zion Williamson will make his long awaited debut on Wednesday against the Spurs. The first overall pick in the 2019 draft has been sidelined all season, but averaged 23.3 points on 71 percent shooting in the preseason.
Point guard Stephen Curry will make his return to action for the Warriors March 1 as reported by Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Curry had surgery on his left hand Nov. 1.
Wednesday’s slate includes the 76ers heading to Toronto for a meeting with the Raptors, as well as the struggling Rockets hosting the Nuggets.
Friday has the game of the week when the Los Angeles Clippers head to South Beach to take on Jimmy Butler and the Heat.
The Lakers will take on the Sixers in Philadelphia on Saturday, and the Nuggets and Rockets will match back up on Sunday, this time in Denver.
Zech Lambert is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.