Around the NBA: Nov. 20
Host Zech Lambert alongside Ben Serfass, Gabe Angieri and Logan Bourandas discuss the latest in the NBA:
Week four of the NBA season came and went with some notable headlines. From James Harden leading the Rockets to an eight-game winning streak, to Bradley Beal doing everything he can on a struggling Wizards team, to Caremlo Anthony finding a home in Portland.
Team of the Week
The Houston Rockets were unstoppable this past week, winning every game they played. As a matter of fact, they are currently riding an eight-game winning streak. This is thanks in large part to their MVP candidate James Harden. Last year Harden averaged 36 points per game, but this year he has taken yet another step forward and is up to 39 points per game. Harden is also second in the entire NBA with a 31.59 player efficiency rate (PER).
Russell Westbrook has proven to be a nice compliment to Harden as well. Westbrook is averaging 22 points, seven assists and eight rebounds. Westbrook has been able to lead the offense while Harden is off the court, making the Rocket’s offense even more lethal than they were in years past.
This past week, the Rockets defeated the Pelicans, Clippers, Pacers, Timberwolves, and Trailblazers. The Rockets are up to second in the Western Conference due to their winning streak, which has been propelled by the elite play of James Harden.
Player of the Week
Much has gone wrong for the Washington Wizards this season, but there is one thing that hasn’t - Bradley Beal. Beal had an incredible week, dropping 44 points twice, and 34 points in the other game. Even though the Wizards lost two of those three games, Beal was unbelievably efficient, and were the main reason they beat the Timberwolves.
Against the East-leading Celtics, Beal put up 44 points on 17-of-27 shooting, and kept the Wizards right there the entire game. In the win against the Timberwolves, he again poured in 44 points on 15-of-22 shooting, while also picking up 10 assists. Beal’s week was so spectacular that his worst game was a 34 point, six rebound, eight assist loss against the Magic. Even though the Wizards have been atrocious this season, Bradley Beal has been a light in the darkness for the Wizards.
Carmelo Anthony has finally signed a contract. Anthony signed with the Portland Trailblazers and will be active for their Tuesday night game against the Pelicans. How large of a role he plays remains to be seen, but the Blazers are struggling this year at 5-9 and 13th in the West, so giving Melo a shot can’t hurt.
Week five of the NBA has a few good games on the docket. The Rockets will put their eight-game winning streak on the line against the Nuggets, and then match up against the Clippers on Friday. The Nuggets will also face off with the Celtics on Friday. Before their battle with the Nuggets, though, the Celtics will play the Clippers Tuesday night.
The Warriors have been struggling this season and they have lost their leading scorer D’Angelo Russell for at least two weeks with a thumb injury.
Kawhi Leonard has missed the Clippers past three games with a left knee contusion and is currently listed as day-to-day. Fortunately for LA, Paul George has been playing very well in Kawhi’s absence.
Zech Lambert is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.