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HomeSportsThanks to the Lakers' recent rebound, the Pelicans' chances of signing Victor...

Thanks to the Lakers’ recent rebound, the Pelicans’ chances of signing Victor Wembanyama are starting to fade.


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Shed a tear for the New Orleans Pelicans, folks. The No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, owners of 10 first-round picks overall in the next seven drafts along with three potentially valuable trades, are fading from Victor Wembanyama’s career. This, of course, has nothing to do with his own performance. Frankly, it would have been practically unfair to give such an incredible prospect to a team that already ranks in the top six on both offense and defense. No, his hopes were pinned on the rapidly rising Los Angeles Lakers.

After a 2-10 start that included literally the worst shooting streak in NBA history, the Lakers are working their way back to .500 behind the same player who put New Orleans in the race for Wembanyama in the first place. place. Anthony Davis looks like an MVP candidate again, LeBron James is hitting all of his 3-pointers, Russell Westbrook has embraced the bench, and if this continues, New Orleans will have to settle for three and a half All-Stars. dozen or more bright young prospects you already have. One of Wemby Watch’s staple franchises is leaving the competition. So who replaces the Lakers in the bottom seven? There were a few candidates, but one team stood out.

Wemby stay hot, just like Mets 92

Mets 92 and Wembanyama stayed hot on the pitch this week as Mets 92 won and Wemby continued his wild production. In a 96-85 win over Fos this week, Wembanyama had 32 points, 10 boards and four blocks, his fourth straight outing in which he has posted at least 30 points.

Wembanyama also played against Roanne on Tuesday and was up to his usual, highly unusual tricks, turning a blocked shot on one end into a step-back 3-pointer on the other as only he can.

Wemby finished with 15 points in a 102-77 loss, his second-lowest scoring total of the season and the Mets 92’s second loss all year as they fell to 9-2.

watching wemby

Up next for Wembanyama is a home game against Monaco this weekend followed by an away game at Paris Basketball the following weekend. Both games will stream for free on the NBA app.

  • Sunday, December 11 — vs. Monaco, 11 a.m. ET
  • Saturday, December 17 — at Paris Basketball, 2 pm ET

For Wembanyama, it will pit him and his Mets 92 squad against former NBA rotation player Mike James, 2018 second-round pick Elie Eokobo and former Alabama defensive standout Donta Hall for Monaco. The matchup against Paris Basketball features a matchup against former Clemson star Aamir Simms, who was a multiple-time All-Conference player during his tenure with the Tigers.

race to the end

Each week, we’ll rank the seven teams most likely to win the coveted #1 spot on lottery night. These rankings will take into account current record, recent performance, upcoming schedule, and injuries to subjectively rank the worst teams in the NBA.

7. Chicago Bulls: Three candidates had real arguments for the bottom seven. Washington and its No. 25-ranked net rating make a compelling case, but the Wizards are so invested in mediocrity that they escape Wemby Watch for now. Indiana had lost four of its last five games before Monday, but then beat Golden State on the road, so for now, we’ll assume they still intend to be competitive. And then we have the Bulls, who ranked 24th in both net ratings and wins. Lonzo Ball’s injury remains one of the league’s great mysteries. Zach LaVine’s offense has dipped in almost every way. Twitter is already assigning Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan to the Lakers. They even lowered the price this offseason to avoid the luxury tax. We’re one contract dispute away from Bulls Bingo here, and with no signs of improvement, Chicago looks like this season’s unexpected Wemby Watcher. Remember, Chicago keeps their first-round pick if they fall in the top four, so the Bulls are incentivized to lose if they make the decision to do it fast enough.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder: Hey Oklahoma City, can you make up your mind? Check out how hot this Thunder team has been this season:

  • Lost their first three games
  • He won his next four
  • He lost his next four
  • won three out of four
  • He lost five of his next six
  • He won his next three

This team is impossible to rank because every time I try, they do a 180.

5. Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets are quickly becoming one of the great loss buffets in the NBA. Every night is something new and equally miserable. On Saturday, they lost to a Bucks team that is without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday at home. Did any Buck intervene in his absence? Well not really. Bobby Portis led Milwaukee with 20 points. It just turns out that it’s hard enough to lose a game when you win the battles of rebounds, turnovers, assists, blocks, fouls, and 3-pointers, so despite employing a minimal team, Milwaukee stole a road game it didn’t have. why win Two nights later, they became a footnote in the return of Kawhi Leonard, as the former Finals MVP defeated them with game-tying, game-winning shots in the final 40 seconds. You never know what you’re going to get when you watch the Hornets. Well, except for the loss of Charlotte.

4. Detroit Pistons: Well, we can say it: Wemby Watch saved Killian Hayes’ career. In his last nine games, he is averaging 13 points per game on over 44 percent from 3-point range along with over seven assists per game. That stretch began on November 18. November 16, we’re essentially labeling him Detroit’s tank commander. Now he’s just stealing games from Luka Doncic in overtime. It’s the best of both worlds for Detroit. His draft position isn’t compromised, but one of his oldest lottery picks is finally finding his footing in the NBA.

3. Houston Rockets: The basketball gods must have decreed that Texas can’t have the two worst teams in the NBA. The Rockets started 2-12 and are 5-5 since. The Spurs started 5-2 and their record is just a capital “LOL” ever since. Houston’s rise is probably not sustainable. Rocket’s opponents are hitting about 31 percent of their 3-pointers and less than 30 percent of their mid-range shots in the fourth quarter of this stretch, suggesting luck is contributing to some of their close wins, but give credit where credit is due. Last year’s Rockets weren’t even good enough to benefit from good luck. That may sound like weak praise, but it’s the difference between losing and falling apart.

2. Orlando Magic: The Magic saw what was happening in San Antonio and declared “challenge accepted.” Orlando has lost nine straight. They rank 28th on both offense and defense in that span, and the Magic aren’t helping with their lineup choices. Lineups with Terrence Ross have actually been decent for Orlando, being outscored by just 1.1 points per 100 possessions. Ross started the first eight games of the season and has since come off the bench. Ross isn’t a superstar, but teams this young desperately need veterans for stability. Until Gary Harris is healthy, Orlando really only has one, and by allowing opponents to build leads before bringing him into the game, the Magic are sticking their thumbs on the losing ladder enough to drop to the bottom of the standings.

1. San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs are in rarefied air. The NBA has tracked offensive and defensive rating since 1997, and in that time, only two teams ranked last in both: the 2018 Suns and the 2012 Bobcats. The 2012 Bobcats are a historical anomaly, the worst team in the league. NBA history by a mile with a 7-59 record and a -15 net rating. The Spurs almost certainly won’t be as bad, but they’ll likely surpass the 2018 Suns. Their net rating is 2.6 points per 100 possessions worse, and while they currently rank 29th in offense, it’s worth remembering that Charlotte has been without the LaMelo Ball for most of the season. If Ball returns healthy for any significant length of time, San Antonio could easily slide to 30th in offense to match their 30th-ranked defense. Face it, folks. We are looking at a historic level of losses here.

loss of the week

Players don’t tank. This is one of the pillars of losing in the NBA. No matter what your organization does to maximize your lottery odds, players will always prioritize their careers over their ambitions. However, there are more subtle ways in which losing can lead to more losses. Let’s take a look at one of the closing plays from that Clippers-Hornets game we mentioned earlier.

With about 25 seconds left on the clock, Terry Rozier beats Kawhi Leonard on the dribble and dives for the rim. He is not going to score at the basket. There is just too much help there. But for a moment, it looks like Rozier may fly away. He takes his jump, but at the last second, he kicks the ball to Jalen McDaniels for an open 3-pointer. This is not necessarily a bad decision. Rozier was reading what the defense was giving him and McDaniels has shot pretty good 3-pointers this season.

But Rozier is also shooting below 26 percent in the clutch this season and below 32 percent from midrange. Those numbers don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. They’re a 20-game sampler for a reliable scorer. But the question can arise when a player and a team are struggling as much as the Hornets have this season. Rozier has never lacked confidence. He’s the type of player you’d expect to take a shot like this. We’ll never know why he didn’t, but it’s hard not to wonder what the result would have been if he had put that float on.

weakling games

Wednesday, December 7: Wizards at Bulls: Conveniently for our No. 7 dilemma, Washington and Chicago immediately square off to help us crown our new Wemby Watcher. Bradley Beal is injured, but hey, this wouldn’t be one of the weakling games if both sides were healthy, would it?

Thursday, December 8: Rockets at Spurs: There is no such thing as a game that must be lost, but if the Rockets are going to have the worst record in the NBA, they probably need to lose this one against the Spurs. A win would give them a two-win cushion, and at the rate the Spurs are winning, they may not get another two wins until Martin Luther King Day.

Sunday, December 11: Lakers at Pistons: Yeah, yeah, I know, the Lakers graduated from Wemby Watch, but this is the last game of a long road trip for them. If they’re going to drop back into the bottom seven, this would be the time for it to happen.

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