3 Things To Know is NBC’s 5-times-a-7 days wrap-up of the evening before in the NBA. Verify out NBCSports.com each and every weekday early morning to catch up on what you skipped the night prior to moreover the rumors, drama, and dunks that make the NBA ought to-watch.
1) Is it time to acquire the Clippers significantly as contenders?
“Then I’ll get on my knees and pray… We don’t get fooled once again.”
It is really hard not to have the traditional rock anthem by The Who functioning through your intellect when thinking about the Clippers as a possible title threat, but they are setting up to glimpse like it.
The Clippers are 10-4 in their past 14 video games with the most effective offense in the NBA about that stretch, with the most current of those wins coming Thursday night in the closing video game prior to the All-Star break, a 116-107 acquire over the even now-shorthanded Suns, behind 26 a piece from Paul George and Terrence Mann. Kawhi Leonard included 16.
Clippers lead by 8 with 1:25 remaining on TNT pic.twitter.com/3Y3EOf4ZPI
— NBA (@NBA) February 17, 2023
“We have anything we want. We have scorers, playmakers, and defensive stoppers,” Paul George explained right after the video game. “We just have to convey that all with each other and find an identification to carry us through online games. We approach to have a extended postseason, so we program to have an identity to carry us as a result of that final stretch.”
The vital to this Clippers run has been Kawhi Leonard getting on the ground for 16 of the team’s very last 19 video games — he continues to play at an All-NBA stage when he is out there. In his very last 15 games he is averaging 27.1 factors per activity on 51.6% shooting, with 6.3 rebounds a night time as well.
“I like how we glance. I consider we match up with any person, but I assume it is gonna be a challenge no matter,” George said of the Clippers in a conference that just saw the Suns increase Kevin Durant and the Mavericks increase Kyrie Irving. “I imagine we have the group to really go out there and contend.”
The knock on the Clippers as contenders is that all through this extend of 15 online games, they have the 19th-rated defense in the league — that will not be very good plenty of arrive the postseason. But the protection was not the problem most of the season (it is 12th in the league for the season, making use of Cleansing the Glass’ numbers to filter out garbage time), it was the offense. The other worry is that the Clippers have been a single of the luckiest teams in the league, outperforming a net rating that implies they are a .500ish crew. Possibly that is altering, as well.
“We nevertheless acquired to get superior,” Leonard explained. “I never consider we’re actively playing at a championship stage however but we’re slowly getting better and we acquired to preserve obtaining superior.”
The Clippers sit as the No.4 seed in the West heading into the All-Star break, and despite the historical past they are a team to enjoy.
2) Bucks prolong gain streak to 12 but Antetokounmpo injures wrist
The storyline ought to be that the Bucks head into the All-Star crack profitable 12 in a row — beating the Bulls 112-100 on Thursday at the rear of 33 factors from Brook Lopez — and looking like authentic title contenders.
Instead, it’s Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s wrist, which he sprained in the 2nd quarter falling into the stanchion, breaking his tumble with his ideal hand, and he still left the match not to return.
This replay angle exhibits Giannis running into the stanchion just after trying to get the chasedown block on Coby White.pic.twitter.com/YdDxRIfcMv
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 17, 2023
Mentor Mike Budenholzer explained soon after the activity the X-rays had been thoroughly clean and this was just a sprain, and he sounded optimistic about Antetokounmpo’s recovery. Having said that, whether he performs in Sunday’s All-Star Video game, exactly where he is a captain alongside with LeBron James, stays to be seen. The Bucks are not heading to rush their star back again.
3) Beal normally takes more than late, scores 35 to cap off Wizards’ comeback more than Timberwolves
Bradley Beal took more than when it mattered, scoring 13 of his 35 points around the last 4:30 of the activity to aid the Wizards complete a 20-issue comeback to beat the Timberwolves.
Bradley Beal and Ant Edwards dueled tonight in Minnesota 👀
Beal: 35 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 4 3PM
Edwards: 34 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL
Wizards came again from down 20 to select up the W. pic.twitter.com/7muzd3ZiuK
— NBA (@NBA) February 17, 2023
Which is the 3rd time in four game titles Beal has scored 30+, and the Wizards received a improve from Corey Kispert off the bench with 15 points, knocking down 4-of-6 from 3.
When the Wizards have work to do over the season’s ultimate third, they sit as the No.9 seed in the East and seem like a postseason crew. How massive a menace they are in the postseason remains to be viewed.