Joel Embiid and James Harden headline weekly NBA action

Philadelphia 76ers have won five straight while Detroit Pistons lost last four


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While no Cougs were selected in the 2022 NBA Draft, five players with ties to the state of Washington were selected on June 23, 2022

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

This week’s NBA action saw the Philadelphia 76ers win five games in a row to skyrocket them to second place in the eastern conference. At the bottom of the conference sit the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets. The Pistons have a 12-37 record and the Hornets have a 13-36 record. 

For the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets sit atop the standings with a 34-14 record as center Nikola Jokić is putting together another MVP-like season. The Houston Rockets take the worst record in the league into the end of January with an 11-36 record. 

Memphis Grizzlies (31-16):

After the Grizzlies won 11 games in a row they are currently on a three-game losing streak with losses to the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. Against the Lakers, the Grizzlies had a double-digit lead in the second half of the game, but could not close against LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley. Ja Morant leads the Grizzlies with 27.2 points and 7.9 assists per game. Steven Adams is grabbing 11.5 rebounds per game for Memphis as he has complete control of the boards whenever he is in the game. 

The Grizzlies have a tough stretch of games coming up as they take on the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers. 

Portland Trail Blazers (22-25):

One team who was one of the hottest teams in the league to start the season has crashed and burned out as of late. In January, the Trail Blazers won four games and lost eight with three games left to play in the month. Their last game was a 147-127 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. Damian Lillard has led the team in scoring 23 times out of the 35 appearances he has made this season. 

The Trail Blazers are a well-rounded team, with three players averaging over 21 points per game; Lillard (29.3), Anfernee Simons (21.9) and Jerami Grant (21.2). Lillard also has 7.4 assists per game. Center Jusuf Nurkić is averaging 14.2 points with 9.9 rebounds for the Blazers as well. The starters for the Blazers are not the problem their cold spell has come when the starters are out of the game. If the Blazers want to get back on track this season, something needs to happen in the front office before the trade deadline expires. 

Philadelphia 76ers (30-16):

The hottest team in the league currently is the Philadelphia 76ers, who holds a record of 30-16 while riding a five-game winning streak after victories over both LA teams; the Blazers and the Kings. Embiid is making his case for MVP once again as he is scoring 33.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game, He has only appeared in 34 of the 46 games. James Harden is running the show at point guard for the Sixers, scoring 21.5 while dropping 11.2 assists a game. He also has a 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio so far. 

Coming up this week the Sixers take on the Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and the Denver Nuggets twice as they look to extend their winning streak as the All-Star Break draws close.