The Toronto Raptors have finally strung together wins while the Philadelphia 76ers are making statements with wins over the Lakers and the Celtics. After another week of NBA action, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves on top of the East with a 13-6 record followed by the Bucks, the Pacers, and the Nets to round off the top 4. The Celtics are in the middle of the pack after dropping a couple of games thanks to their absences while the Cavs find themselves still at .500 after some gritty performances and wins. The Hawks are also at .500 while the Knicks find themselves at the 8th seed tied with the Orlando Magic. I think this is how the East will look like moving forwards just instead of the Hawks and the Knicks and maybe even the Cavs it will have the Heat, the Raptors joining the top 8. This means that one of the Knicks or Cavs may find themselves in a playoff spot which is insane to think about. But with this season who knows? The Wizards continue to struggle and Bradley Beal continues to look miserable. Maybe signing that extension wasn’t a good idea huh, Brad? This week, I want to put the Wizards in the spotlight.

The Wizards are in some deep you know what. They are at the bottom of the East with a 3-11 record and a tough schedule on the horizon. Their next couple of games will be against the Hawks, the Nets, the Blazers, and the Heat. A very tough stretch for a struggling team. A team with two All-Star caliber players though. A team that has been decimated by missed games and player absences due to COVID and the league’s Health & Safety Protocols. This is me looking on the bright side, but maybe when they get guys like Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija back, they can put together a couple of wins. Now if I were to look on the dark side, that won’t be enough. The roster is plain and simply not good enough. Russell Westbrook is just not Russell Westbrook anymore. I don’t think he is falling off a cliff of regressing, but he has been hampered by injuries. What we’ve seen from him the past two games can be what we expect moving forward. So for all my Russ owners my condolences, but he will continue to sit out B2Bs while being inefficient and having high turnovers unless something changes drastically. Now, I am excited for Rui Hachimura to come back as I do like him and expect to have an alright fantasy season moving forward. He is going to get chances to score and rebound more than usual as he will be probably utilized more than before. Robin Lopez has also emerged as an option for some deeper leagues out there as he has been averaging 10.6 points and 4.3 rebounds since the Wizards have returned to play in a little under 26 minutes a game. We should also keep an eye on the rookie Deni Avdija as he returns since he can do a little bit of everything in terms of creating and scoring amongst other things. However, he has had a couple of duds this season, but that can be expected from a rookie. There will always be ups and downs with young guys, but Deni is one for the future. The Wizards will have an interesting upcoming week or two. It might be crazy to say, but for all we know Bradley Beal might be on a different week in two weeks time. 

Best Performers of The Week

  • Joel Embiid: Embiid is having a magnificent season and had a standout week as well. He is actually having an MVP caliber season. He posted averages of 33 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists with 1.3 blocks a game. As long as he is healthy, and that sadly has been a problem, this type of production will continue. He seems poised enough to even lead Philly to the top seed in the East!
  • Bradley Beal: Beal’s case is so bittersweet. He is an amazing player in a not so amazing predicament over in Washington. He finds himself in a losing situation and it may only be a matter of time before he requests to be out of there. But, it is well-known that Beal wants to win in Washington. I doubt that happens, so the best thing for him would probably be to leave the Wizards. I mean the man averaged 37 points in the last three games and they were all losses. Let’s at least make this man an All-Star. He deserves it!
  • Jaylen Brown: This guy right here might be the player that has impressed me the most. He has gotten better in pretty much everything, surpassing my expectations as I did not expect such a jump. He is a better scorer and even a playmaker this year. The sky is truly the limit for Brown. In the last four games, he has scored 31.25 points a game while handing out almost three assists a night. He also contributes on the defensive end with steals and a couple of blocks here and there. Some may also say that he is having a better year than his now partner in crime Jayson Tatum. 


Waiver Wire Adds

  • TJ McConnell: TJ was a surprise to me. He was not on my radar at all but after looking at his past couple of games, he might find himself on my team. He doesn’t score much but he is an excellent source of assists, steals, and even some rebounds as he does rebound well for a guard. He seems to have locked in his role in the second unit and his minutes also seem set. He is a good option if you need assists and steals and are just punting points in general. It may also be sustainable as his role does not seem to be diminishing. 
  • Wayne Ellington: Ellington has been on fire as of late shooting a ridiculous 60% from the beyond the arc in his last four games. Of course, this is not sustainable, but while he’s hot, get on it. Ride the wave as Coach Casey seems to have locked him in as the starting 2 guard and is getting ample minutes to produce in areas like points and threes. When he does fall off, because it is bound to happen, you can cut him loose and look for someone else. 
  • Norman Powell: Powell started off the season in a well, not so good manner. But lately, he has picked it up. He has scored 20 points or more in his last four games and can also grab a few boards and dish out a couple of dimes. He was very good for the Raptors last season, which is why his slow start this season was unexpected to me. Maybe he has turned the corner so I will be keeping my eye on him and so should you.

In this upcoming week, we will see if the Sixers can keep their hot streak going against teams like the Pacers and the Hornets while teams like the Knicks and the Magic will have to fight it out to see who can remain inside that final playoff berth. Also, the Heat will be an interesting team to watch as they start getting players like Jimmy Butler back. They’ve been underwhelming and cannot afford to drop more games, so they will have to ramp it up sometime soon. Good luck on your matchups guys and if you want more from me, check out my podcast, Overtime Zone, out wherever you get your pods. I’ll be back next week. Until then see ya!