FOX Sports NBA Reporter
Another week, another NBA stock watch.
Players and teams in the league on the rise are: It’s the opposite direction.
rise: Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson couldn’t help himself when the clock ran out in a game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns.
he was open minded. And he was playing against the team that eliminated them in the playoffs last season. At that moment, he violated the League’s unwritten code. This expects players to run out the clock in the final seconds of a non-close game.
Instead, Williamson was promoted to the Spinning Windmill Jam and gave his team a 128-117 victory, thrilling the Smoothie King Center crowd and enraging the Suns.
Whether or not you think Williamson’s dunks are unsportsmanlike, one thing’s for sure: he’s looking good and having fun. It’s a relief to basketball fans after Williamson missed all of last season due to his leg injury and was mercilessly ridiculed for his weight gain during that time.
Williamson shined last week, averaging 33 points on 70.4% shooting and 8.3% rebounding. He led the Pelicans to a three-game winning streak before losing Tuesday night. They hold the best Western Conference record with his 18-9.
To add insult to injury to the Suns, the Pelicans’ two wins last week came at their expense.In both games, Williamson scored 35 points.
Falling: Phoenix Suns
The Suns suffered their biggest rut of a young season with a five-game losing streak. To date, they have never dropped him more than two games in a row.
They fell twice to Dallas, Boston and New Orleans. They lost to the Rockets on Tuesday night. The loss to the Celtics was particularly embarrassing, as he scored 27 at home on the court.
Over the past five games, the Suns have the second-lowest ERA (122.4, behind the Wizards) and Offensive Rating (107.5) in the league. To put that into perspective, this season they are seventh in defense (111.5) and fourth in offense (115.7).
So why did it decline?
For starters, Devin Booker is averaging 14 points on 31.8% shooting over his last three games, down from 27.4 points shooting average of 47.8% this season.
Then there’s Chris Paul, who has missed 14 games due to a sore heel and is still working on his comeback. .
rise: Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid has long been scratching his head as to why he never won an MVP award. Those who watched him play last week are scratching their heads for the same reason.
Embiid has scored at least 31 points in each of his last five games, including an impressive 53 points and 12 rebounds against Charlotte on Sunday.
He leads the league in scoring, averaging career-best 33.3 points, 53.8% shooting percentage and 9.7 rebounds.
Embiid has also remained competitive with the 76ers despite James Harden and Tyrese Maxie largely missing due to injuries.
The 76ers are 15-12 in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, six games behind the top-ranked Celtics (22-7).
Drop: Washington Wizards
The Wizards had the longest losing streak in the league.
To make matters worse, they are about to embark on a six-game trip, with five teams with winning records, including Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix, Utah and Sacramento.
The only team they’ll face in that stretch without a winning record is the Los Angeles Lakers, who recently won 130-119.
It doesn’t look like things will turn around anytime soon for the Wizards, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games and are plagued with injury bugs.
Their hope is that Bradley Beal (hamstring strain) recovers as soon as possible. Beal was cleared to resume on-court basketball activity, but the team added that his return would be determined by “his clinical evolution.”
Melissa Rohlin is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. She has previously covered the league for Sports Illustrated, Los Angeles Times, Bay Area News Group and San Antonio Express-News. Follow her on her Twitter @.melissa rollin.
Get more information from the National Basketball Association Follow your favorites to stay informed about games, news and more