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NBA Daily: Post All-Star Break Brilliance

Lang Greene focuses on some of the unheralded guys around the NBA putting in work so far in the second half of the season.

Lang Greene



The NBA regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. The action after the All-Star break is filled with teams giving younger players an extended look, franchises making a deliberate playoff push while trying to sneak in rest for their stars and some squads dare we say it – tanking.

Every season there are more than a few breakthroughs after the All-Star Game and this year is no different with a surprising mix of young players and some established veterans making a resurgence.

This list won’t include the James Harden’s, Karl-Anthony Towns’s and Donovan Mitchell’s of the world. Instead we will focus on some of the unheralded guys around the league putting in work.

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

Pre: 16.9 points, 7.6 assists, 41% FG, 31% 3PT, 79.8% FT
 29.4 points, 9.3 assists, 47.4% FG, 47.3% 3PT, 91.2% FT

Much of the early season conversation surrounding Young revolved around Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk’s decision to trade the No. 3 overall pick (Luka Doncic) in the 2018 draft to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the No. 5 overall selection (Young) and a top-five protected 2019 first round pick.

Doncic came right out of the cereal box with a short learning curve. Young, on the other hand, took a bit to find his pro rhythm. Fast forward post All-Star break and Young is putting up silly video game stat lines and is just a shade away from the 50/50/90 club through seven games. The Mavericks pick, as things stand currently, would convey which would give the Hawks another asset in their rebuilding plans.

Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers

Pre: 17.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 48% FG, 29% 3PT, 66% FT
 27.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 57% FG, 53% 3PT, 75% FT

The Lakers are a mess. Rumors are swirling around the job status of head coach Luke Walton, the Anthony Davis trade talk seemingly sucked the life out of the locker and injuries sapped the squad of the necessary depth needed to navigate the challenging Western Conference.

But Ingram has up his game post All-Star break in most relevant metrics. Ingram will undoubtedly continue to hear his name in trade talks over the next few months, but his recent play hasn’t been a hype job.

Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks

Pre: 8.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 58% FG, 24% 3PT
 16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 62% FG, 56% 3PT

It’s easy to get lost on a team with the arrival of rookie Luka Doncic, the possible retirement of future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki and the trade for big man Kristaps Porzingis, but Powell’s play since the All-Star break stands out. Powell is playing 32 minutes per game since the break and has maximized his increased role in head coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation.

Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana Pacers

Pre: 16.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 49% FG, 43% 3PT
 24.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 54% FG, 45% 3PT

With All-Star guard Victor Oladipo on the shelf, Bogdanovic has emerged as a go-to scorer for Indiana and the team sits third in the Eastern Conference standings. What most don’t realize is Bogdanovic has increased his points and rebounds per game production every season since entering the league in 2015.

Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers

Pre: 20.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 50% FG, 43% 3PT, 87% FT
 24.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 53% FG, 40% 3PT, 89% FT

Harris has dismantled any belief it would take a lengthy amount of time to get adjusted to his new surroundings in Philadelphia. Instead, Harris has quickly maximized his role in the rotation and become the team’s leading scorer since the All-Star break.

New York Knicks Duo

Alonzo Trier and Mitchell Robinson

Credit to the Knicks’ front office for finding two valuable young assets to aid in their rebuilding plans. Robison was selected with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2018 draft. The rookie big man is averaging 10.7 points and 9.5 rebounds on 78 percent shooting from the field since the break. But most importantly, Robinson has emerged as elite-level rim protector averaging 2.3 blocks on the season and 3.7 swats since the break.

Trier signed a two-way contract with the team last summer and has exceeded expectations. The wing has emerged as a consistent double-digit scorer for the season and is averaging a whopping 19 points per game on 56 percent shooting from three-point range since the All-Star break.

Detroit Pistons Trio

Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard and Wayne Ellington

The Pistons have had only one playoff berth since 2010, but currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference, winning eight of their past 10 contests. Big men Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are the best players in Detroit but Ellington, Kennard and Jackson have been lights out since the break – especially from three-point land. Jackson (44 percent), Kennard (54 percent) and Ellington (45 percent) are all well-above 40 percent from beyond the arc post All-Star combining for 9.3 three-pointers made per game.

Chicago Bulls Trio

Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Robin Lopez

The Bulls are 4-3 post All-Star break and this trio has been the primary driver of the surprising above .500 play. LaVine is averaging 27 points per game since the break and Markkanen is posting 24.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per night. Lopez, the veteran of the group, has turned back the clock by averaging 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 33 minutes of action.


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Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders



From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

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We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

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#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz



With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler



What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:


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