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NBA Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Cade Carrying Pistons, LeBron Lifting Lakers

Coming out of the All-Star break can lead to all sorts of trends as some players and teams hit the ground running while others are still wiping sand off their feet. It can probably affect your NBA betting, too, so here’s a quick primer on who’s playing well and who isn’t since the mid-season pause.


NBA Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Cade Carrying Pistons, LeBron Lifting Lakers
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons | Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Eastern Conference Who’s Hot

  1. Cade Cunningham – The Pistons are 5-10 in their last 15 games and are out of last place in the East. Compared to where they were earlier this season, that’s a sure sign of growth, and Cunningham’s play is another. The star guard has exploded out of the All-Star break with a 28.5 PPG average in four games to go along with 6.3 assists and a 57.1% mark from long range. He had 15 second-half points to lift the Pistons in Chicago the other night.
  2. Jaylen Brown – Brown missed the final game before the break and then had a busy All-Star weekend, but he seems to have somehow recharged. In three games since the return to action, Brown is averaging 27.3 PPG on 62% shooting. His 11-for-14 effort vs Philly on Tuesday gave Brown his best FG% of the season at 78.6. His Celtics haven’t lost in a month and remain the favorite at the sportsbook to win it all.
  3. Immanuel Quickley – This guy made an appearance here soon after he was traded to Toronto with some solid play. After a few games off and a slight shooting slump, he’s back with a strong run of games for the Raptors. Quickley had 28 points – his high with Toronto – against Dallas on Wednesday and is averaging 23.8 points while shooting 51.4% from the arc in four games since the break.


Western Conference Who’s Hot

  1. LeBron James – We often try to find some lesser names to highlight but we often can’t ignore the top dogs, and this week LeBron gets his due. He outscored the Clippers 19-16 on his own in leading a fourth-quarter comeback on Wednesday while making a season-high seven 3-pointers and scored another 31 the next night in an OT win over Washington. While some players can hit a wall this time of year, this 39-year-old is averaging 30.8 PPG on 58.1% shooting since the break. His Lakers are becoming a more popular item on the everyday NBA bet slip.
  2. Herbert Jones – This is a defensive specialist who is starting to come into his own on the other end for the Pelicans. He doesn’t put up gaudy numbers but has found a consistently successful game on offense to round out his overall contributions. Jones, who averages just 11.5 points per game, has put up at least 13 in nine of his last 10 games. Over the last five, he’s averaging 16.0 PPG on 64% shooting, including 12-for-19 from the arc.
  3. Keegan Murray – This streaky second-year pro has been on both sides of the hot/not arena this season. The break seems to have given him a boost, as Murray is averaging 19.0 points – 3.9 over his season mark – on 56% shooting since then. He has back-to-back 20-point games for the first time since early January.


Eastern Conference Who’s Not

  1. Coby White – This Bulls guard has carried a heavy load this season, so one might expect a slump at some point. He has yet to miss a game and enters Friday second in the league in total minutes behind teammate DeMar DeRozan. But since the break, White is shooting just 26.1% from the floor. He’s 4-for-27 from long-range over the last three games. Perhaps a night off would help.
  2. Tobias Harris – Joel Embiid has said that he intends on playing again this season. While the Sixers wait, they’re sinking down the East standings and searching for answers on a nightly basis. Harris hasn’t been able to provide much lately, shooting 31.3% over his last five games, averaging just 10.8 points.

  3. Mikal Bridges – He helped the Nets to a win over Atlanta on Thursday with 15 points and seven boards, but it’s been a bit of a slog for this Iron Man since the break. He’s made 9 of 44 3-pointers (20.5%) in that span, an even worse 5 of 34 (14.7%) over the last four games.


Western Conference Who’s Not

  1. Brandin Podziemski – This is the time of year when you often see some first-year guys start to struggle. Perhaps Podziemski has hit a bit of a rookie wall, as the young Warrior has managed just 13 total points in his last three games – all starts. He’s 4-for-19 from the arc since the break. Golden State is heating up, so it doesn’t matter much.
  2. Gordon Hayward – We’ll cut this veteran a little slack. He’s early in his time with a new team and just recently returned from a long layoff due to a calf injury. Still, Hayward has been pretty slow to get going in OKC, posting three scoreless efforts in his five games with the Thunder. He’s shooting 25% in that span and hasn’t even attempted a 3-pointer in 72 total minutes.
  3. Kris Murray – How’s that for symmetry? His brother, Keegan, takes up the last spot in Who’s Hot out West, and Kris slides into the final Who’s Not position. This Portland Trail Blazers rookie missed all six of his shots in his last outing and hasn’t hit a 3-pointer in his last 14 attempts over a span of three-plus games.



Questions Of The Day

What should those doing some online betting look for with these players on Friday?

See if you can find some NBA lines on Cunningham as his Pistons host Cleveland. He’s scored at least 19 points in all three meetings against the Cavaliers while taking at least 16 shots each time, so expect a high volume of activity on his part.

Which star figures to be on the Who’s Hot list soon?

Victory Wembanyama probably deserved to be recognized this week, so we’ll give him a mention here and keep an eye on his hot streak for next time. He’s posted five straight double-doubles out of the break while averaging 22.6 PPG.

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