NBA Recent Trends: Joel Embiid scoring leader

Joel Embiid is hot. The Phoenix Suns are not. The Memphis Grizzlies are hot. The Charlotte Hornets and Washington are not.

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The NBA only has four games on the schedule for tonight December 15th, 2022. In two early games, the Miami Heat will be in Houston to take on the Rockets, games that will be starting soon.

Also, the Milwaukee Bucks will take on the Memphis Grizzlies in a battle between high-ranking teams. Later in the evening, New Orleans will face the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns will face the LA Clippers. Here’s a look at the trends in the NBA heading into what will be a fairly quiet night in the association.

Recent trends in the NBA – Eastern Conference

The hottest team in the Eastern Conference right now is actually the New York Knicks. They defeated the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night to win their 5th game in a row. They are 15-13 overall and, despite their good play of late, won’t be expected to contend in the Atlanta Division. However, the Knicks are looking like a playoff-bound team — maybe even without the need for their conference’s play-in tournament.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the coldest teams in the Eastern Conference are both the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Hornets. Washington has lost eight games in a row following a defeat on Wednesday to the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets lost in overtime at home to the Detroit Pistons. Both Washington and Charlotte play in the weak Southeast Division.

Charlotte needs LaMelo Ball to inject some life into the team. He returned from injury on Wednesday in the loss to the Pistons. The Wizards could use the return of Bradley Beal to inject some hope into their season. Not only is their eight-game losing streak the worst in the Eastern Conference but it’s currently the worst one league-wide.

Western Conference Trends

The Phoenix Suns have been on the slide lately. They have lost five straight and that has reopened matters in the Pacific Division.

The Suns entered Thursday with a slightly better winning percentage than the Clippers, however, the teams are tied when it comes to games-ahead and games-back. The Suns have two recent losses to the Houston Rockets so something definitely seems to be amiss with Phoenix.

The hottest team in the west is Memphis. The Grizzlies have won six straight entering Thursday, a mark that gives them the best winning streak league-wide in the NBA. They are tied with the New Orleans Pelicans in the Southwest Division: each team has a record of 18-9 at this point.

Players that are trending: points, assists, and rebounds

Joel Embiid has emerged as the statistical leader for points per game this season. Embiid scored 53 points in a recent game and his December totals are mind-boggling. The center is averaging 39.2 points per game so far this month. When you factor in his rebounding, Embiid is hitting double-doubles on most nights.

Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers is the statistical leader for average assists per game. However, he is regressing a bit right now. Haliburton’s December average is 9.0 assists per game. He was at 12.3 apg for November.

Anthony Davis leads the NBA in rebounds per game at this point with 12.4 per game. He has been good for a double-double in nearly every game this season. His Lakers are still underachieving but they seemed to be improving a bit of late.

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