Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

1

9

29-13

Seventy. Freaking. Points. Joel Embiid put an exclamation point on a transcendent first half of the season by dropping a 70-piece on the Spurs on Monday, which just so happened to cap off a 4-0 week for Philly. Earlier in the week, Embiid put up 41 in a win over MVP rival Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Not a bad couple of days.

2

34-10

The Celtics beat the Spurs, Rockets and Mavericks this week, but the game that stands out is their two-point loss to the Nuggets in a potential Finals preview. Jayson Tatum averaged 26 points and eight rebounds for the week, but shot less than 40% from the field. Kristaps Porzingis only played in two of the games, but dominated with 32 points and five blocks in the win over Houston.

3

3

31-14

The Nikola Jokic-Joel Embiid showdown didn’t go the Nuggets’ way, but they followed it up with their best win over the season in Boston and another victory over the Wizards on Sunday. Jamal Murray once again displayed his penchant for the big moment, putting up 35 points, eight rebounds and five assists against the Celtics. Jokic’s shooting is bordering on extraterrestrial, as he hit 64% for the week while averaging 34 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.

4

3

30-13

The Bucks were dismantled by the Cavs without Giannis Antetokounmpo, then bounced back by beating the lowly Pistons in consecutive games. Damian Lillard put up a season-best 45 points and 11 assists in Saturday’s win over Detroit.

5

4

28-14

The Clippers won both their games this week, taking down the Thunder and the Nets while averaging 127 points per game. Paul George averaged 25 points and seven rebounds on 42% 3-point shooting, while Russell Westbrook turned in one of his best games of the season against Brooklyn with 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists on 10-for-16 shooting in 31 minutes.

6

2

30-13

The Thunder started off the week with a loss to the Clippers, but bounced back to take down the red-hot Jazz and the West-leading Wolves. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 28 points in the three games, including a dagger step-back 3-pointer to complete the comeback effort in Minnesota. Jalen Williams put up 24 points and six assists per game for the week on 59% shooting.

7

1

26-15

The Cavs aren’t just winning without two of their best players (sometimes three) — they’re straight-up smashing people. All three wins this week came by at least 21 points as the offense put up an ungodly 129 points per 100 possessions, while holding the opposition to 98.3. Donovan Mitchell averaged 25 points and nine assists for the week, but the contributions have come from up and down the roster.

8

5

30-13

The Wolves beat the Pistons and Grizzlies to start the week, then blew a late lead in a loss to the Thunder before an embarrassing home loss to the Hornets in a game that Karl-Anthony Towns scored a franchise-record 62 points. Weird stuff. The performance boosted Towns’ average to 31 points for the week, while Anthony Edwards put up 21 points and seven assists per game.

9

4

27-17

After a brief misstep, the Knicks train kept on rolling this week with comfortable wins over the Rockets, Wizards and Raptors. New York has been simply unstoppable so far with OG Anunoby — they’re outscoring opponents by a ridiculous 38 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor as they’ve won nine of their last 11 games.

10

6

25-18

And here come the Suns, who have won five straight after beating the Kings, Pelicans and Pacers this week. Devin Booker went off for 52 points in the win over New Orleans, then Kevin Durant took the helm and dropped a 40-piece on Indiana. They each averaged over 30 for the week. Thus the power of the Phoenix offense.

11

1

26-18

The Pelicans went 1-1 this week, blowing out the Hornets and then being blown out by the Suns. Brandon Ingram had his first triple-double of the season against Charlotte, putting up 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on 7-for-11 3-point shooting.

12

5

22-23

The Lakers picked up convincing wins over the Mavericks and Blazers this week, with a rough home loss to the Nets in between. D’Angelo Russell was the offensive story of the week, as he averaged 28 points and six assists on torrid 58/61/100 shooting splits. LeBron James was no slouch himself, putting up 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game.

13

1

24-20

The Pacers are 0-2 without Pascal Siakam — time to hit the panic meter. We kid, of course, as Indiana made a potentially franchise-altering trade this week, bringing the versatile All-Star forward aboard. He averaged 18 points, five rebounds and five assists on 54% shooting in his first two games as a Pacer.

14

1

24-18

The Kings saw their losing streak reach four games after dropping games to the Suns and Pacers to start the week, but they bounced back to beat the Hawks on Monday. Domantas Sabonis put up gaudy numbers with 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists per game, while De’Aaron Fox added 23 points per game on 41% 3-point shooting.

15

4

24-19

The Mavs only had two games this week, losing to the Lakers and Celtics. Luka Doncic returned from a three-game absence to average 33 points, 15.5 rebounds and 11.5 assists in the two games, while Kyrie Irving put up 17.5 points per game while shooting just 36% from the field.

16

9

24-19

Rough week for the Heat, who lost to the Raptors, Hawks and Magic. Curiously, the slump coincides with the return of Jimmy Butler, who averaged 19 points, four rebounds and four assists on 61% shooting for the week. Miami mustered fewer than 104 points per 100 possessions in the three games.

17

1

23-21

The Magic were happy to get Franz Wagner back this week, who helped them to their lone victory of the week over the Heat, with losses to the Hawks, 76ers and Cavs. Wagner averaged 18 points in the two games he played on 40% 3-point shooting.

18

13

22-23

The Jazz finally came down to Earth this week, losing close games to the Thunder and Rockets. The offense was still solid, but the defense let them down, allowing over 122 points per 100 possessions. Collin Sexton went wild, averaging nearly 30 points and six assists on combined 6-for-14 3-point shooting in the two games.

19

1

21-24

The Bulls beat the Raptors and Grizzlies to start the week before suffering a close loss to the Suns on Monday. Coby White and DeMar DeRozan each averaged over 21 points per game, while Nikola Vucevic put up 18 points and 14 rebounds per game on 58% shooting.

20

1

18-25

The Hawks extended their modest winning streak to three games with victories over the Magic and Heat to start the week, but lost to the Cavs and Kings to round things out. Dejounte Murray — he of the incessant trade rumors — averaged a sparkling 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game this week on 50/43/93 shooting splits, including game-winners in consecutive games against Orlando and Miami.

21

1

20-22

Houston lost to the Knicks and Celtics this week, while outlasting the Jazz in overtime. Alperen Sengun continues to impress, averaging 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the week on 53% shooting. Rookie Amen Thompson filled in for the resting Fred VanVleet against Boston on Sunday, putting up 15 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in his first career start.

22

1

18-22

The Warriors didn’t play any games this week due to the death of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.

23

7

10-31

Charlotte picked up two wins this week — one against the worst team in the Western Conference and one against the best. LaMelo Ball averaged 25 points, nine assists and four rebounds in the 2-2 week on 38% 3-point shooting, while rookie Brandon Miller played in three of the four games, putting up 25 points and six rebounds per game on 61% shooting.

24

5

12-31

The Blazers beat the Nets and the Pacers to start the week before being blown out by the Lakers on Sunday. Jerami Grant led the way with 28 points and five rebounds per game, while Malcolm Brogdon averaged 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds on 50% 3-point shooting.

25

1

17-26

The Nets lost to the Blazers and Clippers this week, with a hot-shooting win over the Lakers in between. Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas each averaged over 20 points for the week, while Spencer Dinwiddie added 18 points per game on 61% 3-point shooting.

26

7

16-27

The injury-riddled Grizzlies managed to pull off a victory over the Raptors this week, with losses to the Wolves and Bulls. Jaren Jackson Jr. has no choice but to lead the offense, averaging 30 points this week on 56% shooting. Luke Kennard has stepped up as a secondary option, putting up 17 points and five assists per game on 52% 3-point shooting.

27

2

16-28

The Raptors are still finding their legs after trading away OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam, beating the Heat this week with losses to the Bulls, Knicks and Grizzlies. RJ Barrett led the team with 23 points per game on 56% shooting, while Scottie Barnes averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the week.

28

2

8-35

The Spurs won a game this week, so we’ll ignore the fact that they gave up 70(!) points to Joel Embiid on Monday. Victor Wembanyama is coming into his own, averaging 28 points, seven rebounds and three blocks this week on much better efficiency — 51/38/82 splits.

29

2

4-39

The Pistons had a tough draw this week, losing once to the Timberwolves and twice to the Bucks. Jaden Ivey led the team with 22 points and six assists per game as they await the return of Cade Cunningham.

30

2

7-35

The Wiz went 0-3 this week, including an ugly home loss to the lowly Spurs in which they blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead. Marvin Bagley III immediately impressed in his first action after coming over from the Pistons, averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds on 52% shooting in three games.

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