Another wild week in the NBA has seen the Boston Celtics continue to impress, and the team that beat them in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors, continue to struggle. There are players on both squads in our latest edition of Who’s Hot and Who’s Not, and perhaps a little insight into their recent play will help you at the sportsbook.
Eastern Conference Who’s Hot
- Joel Embiid – By now, you’ve heard of Embiid’s preposterous 59-point, 11-rebound, 8-assist, 7-steal line he put up against Utah on Sunday. Incredibly, 26 of his points came in Philadelphia’s 27-point fourth quarter. What you probably didn’t hear was that he went off for 42 points the night before, giving the 76ers’ big man 101 points in roughly 24 hours of action. Remember when this guy couldn’t even play both ends of a back-to-back?
- Darius Garland – Joining Embiid in the 50-point club this week was Garland, who put up 51 while making 10 of 15 3-pointers against Minnesota on Sunday. The 2022 All-Star is averaging 8.7 assists over his last seven games and has 22 helpers with only three turnovers over the past three contests. Clicking on all cylinders.
- Payton Pritchard – You could practically put any Celtic here, and a bet online on that team almost always pays off as they pile up the wins. This week we’re going with Pritchard (Sam Hauser was last week), whose energy off the bench has been massive, especially with fellow reserve Malcolm Brogdon sidelined. Pritchard averaged 10.0 points in 17.2 minutes on 57% shooting over his last four games, making 7 of 14 3’s for red-hot Boston.
Western Conference Who’s Hot
- Domantas Sabonis – The Kings are very quickly improving their NBA playoff odds, and Sabonis is a big reason why, as he’s averaged 20.0 points and 11.8 rebounds in four games – all wins – over the past week. He put up a 26-point, 22-rebound, 8-assist line in a win over the Warriors and has made 10 of 11 shots (plus all 12 of his free throws) in the two games since.
- Stephen Curry – Well, of course. His team is struggling to figure things out, but Curry is doing what he does best, maybe at the best clip of his incredible career. In the week since our last edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not, Curry has a 40-point game and a 50-point game. He’s averaging 36.5 in his last six games and is currently sporting career highs in scoring (32.8) and field-goal percentage (53.1).
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Another guy who could probably be here every week, Gilgeous-Alexander put up scoring totals of 37 points, 37 points, and 42 points this week. All the games were on the road, and his upstart Oklahoma City Thunder won two. Oh, and he’s also shot 58 percent and handed out 7.7 assists on the road trip, which was to wrap up Friday night with a juicy matchup with Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Eastern Conference Who’s Not
- RJ Barrett – One of the primary culprits for a New York Knicks team that struggles from long range, Barrett has missed all 16 of his 3-point tries over the last three games. He’s also been rocky on 2-point shots (11-for-30) and at the foul line (11-for-18). Way too many misses.
- Duncan Robinson – At some point in the next month or so, Robinson will become the Miami Heat‘s all-time 3-point king, surpassing Tim Hardaway’s team record of 806. However, it may take a little longer at the rate he’s going. Robinson, not too long ago an absolute weapon on the perimeter for the Heat, is 8-for-39 from long distance over a seven-game stretch and threw in his second 0-for-6 of the season this week.
- Ayo Dosunmu – The Chicago Bulls have been a disappointment early on, and Dosunmu’s recent struggles haven’t helped. He’s not even close to the primary scoring option, but he can fill it up from time to time, and the Bulls would like to see numbers better than those the second-year guard has put up in the past three games: 6.0 PPG, 0-for-7 3-pointers.
Western Conference Who’s Not
- Klay Thompson – While Steph soars, Klay crumbles in Golden State, and many are wondering if Thompson will ever regain that deadly stroke again. It’s not really fair. The guy lost two full seasons to injury and has played in just 44 regular-season games since his comeback, even sneaking in an NBA title. But when the bar is set so high, it’s notable when you’re last in the NBA in field-goal percentage (35.1) among qualified players.
- Jordan Clarkson – A key to Utah’s surprising start, Clarkson has tailed off just a bit. He’s posted a scoring average of 15.0 points in the last three games – down from 20.3 in the previous seven. And the former Sixth Man of the Year is 7-for-26 from a 3-point range in that span. He was drawing rave reviews for his passing early in the season but had just eight assists against seven turnovers in those three games – all losses.
- Paul George – The Western Conference Player of the Week earlier in the month, George has hit a rough patch. In four games since the last Who’s Hot/Who’s Not, he’s averaging 19.5 points while shooting 34%. The seven-time All-Star also had a career-high 10 turnovers in a loss at Dallas on Tuesday.