Another outstanding week in NBA action and a wild weekend up ahead. It’s a great time to think of some NBA betting. To help you along at the sportsbook, here is our weekly look at who’s tearing things up in the Association and who isn’t. We will always include some of those players who don’t always get the headlines.
Eastern Conference Who’s Hot
- TJ McConnell – He’s never mentioned with Westbrook and Brogdon and teammate Mathurin, but McConnell deserves at least some consideration in the Sixth Man of the Year voting. Actually, he’s had multiple times where his bench contributions have been ignored. In 2020-21, he averaged 6.6 assists to lead all subs and led EVERYONE in total steals and still finished 11th in the voting. This is largely due to the fact that he doesn’t put up big scoring figures, but he has been lately. McConnell is averaging 15.8 PPG on 63% shooting (5-for-7 on 3’s) to go along with 8.0 assists and 2.0 steals over his last five games.
- Jrue Holiday – Giannis has been out, so Holiday has stepped up. He scored a season-high 37 points Tuesday against Toronto, one night after scoring a season-high (at the time) 35 points against Indiana. Overall, the Milwaukee Bucks point guard is averaging 27.0 points and 8.8 assists over a five-game span.
- AJ Griffin – We had this Rookie of the Year candidate here in the past and his streaky ways have him in the spotlight again, even though other Atlanta Hawks have been putting up some gaudy numbers. Griffin is shooting 68% off the Hawks bench over the last seven games, making 10 of 18 3-pointers in that stretch. He also has three straight double-digit scoring games, during which he’s played 65 minutes without a single turnover.
Western Conference Who’s Hot
- Damian Lillard – Before a rough shooting night (6-for-21) in a loss to Philadelphia on Thursday, Lillard was in one of his trademark grooves. In a six-game stretch, he averaged 39.0 PPG while hitting 54% from the field. The six-time All-Star has had his own little parade to the foul line, too, and he doesn’t miss many of those. He is 67-for-69 over his last six games.
- Desmond Bane – It took some time for Bane to find his 3-point stroke after a long layoff, but he seems to have located it. The man who finished second in the NBA in 3-point percentage last season is up to eighth this season on the strength of a 24-for-40 stretch over the last six games. He averaged 22.5 points in that span as Memphis has pushed its winning streak to 11 games.
- Reggie Bullock – How about a little love for a veteran having an otherwise unspectacular season? Bullock, whose name is being tossed around in trade rumors quite a bit, is heating up in a big way. He made 8 of 10 3-pointers in a 24-point performance at Portland on Saturday and followed that up with two more double-digit scoring games (he’s averaging 6.1, so that’s significant). He’s posted a scoring average of 17.3 PPG while making 14 of 23 3-pointers in the last three games.
Eastern Conference Who’s Not
- Tyler Herro – Herro had an Achilles injury, and while he was sidelined, he and his girlfriend welcomed a baby girl, their second child. So you can excuse this man for having some issues getting that engine going. He’s 1-for-15 from long range since returning to action. Actually, he was missing plenty even before the baby and the injury, hitting 28.6% of his 3’s over the last nine games.
- Dennis Smith Jr. – Smith started the season as a starter for Charlotte, got hurt, and is now struggling to find the range off the bench. He’s never been a great 3-point shooter, but his current 0-for-12 run over the last eight games is notable. In nine games since returning from injury, he’s averaging 6.0 points in 22.1 minutes on 31.7% shooting.
- Grant Williams – This Boston Celtics super sub (sometimes starter) was a big part of their record-setting pace from beyond the arc early in the season. He did have a recent 20-point outing but overall has had less of an impact in the box score (he does other things) of late. The former Tennessee star is averaging 7.0 points on 32.4% shooting over the past five games and is hitting 23.5% from the arc in January.
Western Conference Who’s Not
- Dennis Schroder – The veteran guard for the Los Angeles Lakers had games with 32, 21 and 27 points in a hot stretch earlier this month. Since then, he’s averaging just 8.6 on 28.0% from the floor, including a woeful 1-for-15 from long range. LeBron James outscored his fellow Lakers starters 32-20 in their last game. He needs some help and Schroder isn’t providing much over the past week.
- Luka Doncic – We’re splitting hairs here, obviously. He’s still stuffing the stat sheet, but you can legitimately call this a rough stretch for Doncic relative to what he usually provides. Not only has he missed two of the last six games due to injury, but he’s also averaging “only” 22.5 points on 42.5% over the last two contests. That includes a 2-for-13 effort from long range. He’ll probably score 83 tonight against Miami just to shut us up. Or he’ll run someone over with this absurd machine just to prove something.
- Bones Hyland – Since we’re focusing on plenty of reserves this week, let’s end it with this quality backup for the Denver Nuggets. He’s a streaky one, and right now, he’s on a bit of a downturn, averaging 6.3 points – 4.5 below his season average – on 28.1% shooting over the last five games.