Six reasons to tune to NBA TV for a marquee doubleheader
POSTED: Feb 23, 2016 4:33 PM ET
Davis and Lillard on Fan Night
The newest members of the 50-point club, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard prepare to take the court again on NBA TV's Fan Night.
Nightly Notable: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis pours in 59 points and hauls down 20 rebounds in the Pelicans 111-106 win over the Pistons.
Pelicans big man Anthony Davis dominated against Detroit for 59 points (on 24-for-34 shooting) and 20 rebounds on Sunday. He's the first player since Chris Webber in 2001 to tally 50-plus points and 20-plus rebounds in a game and he joins Shaquille O'Neal as the only two players to score 59 points and grab 20 rebounds over the last 45 seasons. It was an unbelievable performance, which came with a heavy heart as Davis mourned with his former coach Monty Williams. After his game on Sunday, Davis spoke with Williams and said his former coach told him to, "use all this anger and pain that's bottled up inside you and use it as a tool to go out there and play." Davis sure did that on Sunday and it wouldn't be a surprise if the 22-year-old puts together another remarkable performance tonight.
GameTime: Anthony Davis
The GameTime crew discusses the significance of Anthony Davis' 59 point, 20 rebound performance Sunday versus the Pistons.
The Wizards made one of the biggest moves of the trade deadline when they acquired forward Markieff Morris from the Suns last Thursday. Morris has struggled all season after offseason turmoil in Phoenix caused him to feel betrayed by management. However, he's just one season removed from averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals as the focal point of the Suns. The Wizards hope the 26-year-old forward can get back to that level as they will need his extra offense off the bench if they hope to earn a spot in the playoffs. They currently sit 3.5 games behind Chicago for the No. 8 seed. Morris is averaging 5.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals over his first two games with the Wizards. He should have plenty of opportunities to produce against the Pelicans' defense, which has allowed 107.8 points per game over their last five contests.
We all know about John Wall. The dynamic point guard leads the Wizards attack with averages of 19.9 points, 9.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 36.0 minutes this season. You probably know less about Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans point guard was an All-Star with the Sixers in 2013, but leg injuries have derailed his promising career. He currently looks healthier than ever as a Pelican with averages 23.0 points on 48.4 percent shooting, 9.0 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 steals over his last five games. Both point guards are incredibly quick, which should make for an electric matchup in D.C. tonight. The Wizards have won three straight at home while holding their opponents to 89.7 points per game.
Davis or Lillard: Better Weekend Performance?
59 points or 51 points? Who had the better weekend showing?
The only player arguably playing better than Anthony Davis right now is Damian Lillard. The Blazers leader has scored 30-plus points in four straight games, including an explosive, 51-point, zero-turnover game in a 32-point win over the Warriors on Friday. He's the first Blazers player to score 30-plus points in four straight games since Clyde Drexler in 1991. Thanks in large part to Lillard, the Blazers enter on a five-game win streak, winners of 14 of their last 17 games, and just a 1/2 game behind Dallas for No. 6 in the West. And to think some people thought this would be a rebuilding year for Portland.
Brook Lopez remains a constant for the Nets as they begin a long, difficult rebuild. The eighth-year center is averaging 20.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks on the season with 23 double-doubles in 56 games. He's averaged 26.5 points over his last four games against the Blazers and the Nets will need production like that for a chance to win tonight. Brooklyn has lost its last 21 games when held below 100 points and enters on a six-game road losing streak. The Nets are 5-14 under interim coach Tony Brown and have lost 16 of their last 19 games in Portland.
Lillard isn't the only bright spot on the sizzling Blazers. Shooting guard C.J. McCollum and forward Maurice Harkless are quickly turning heads as well. McCollum has been strong all season with averages of 20.9 points on 44.5 percent shooting, 4.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 35.0 minutes. The Blazers are 8-3 when he scores more than 27 points. Harkless is just starting to enter his zone with five straight games in double-digit scoring as he shoots 63.0 percent from the field over that span. McCollum (24 years old) and Harkless (22 years old) are clear signs of the bright future in Portland. Look for them to have another big game tonight on NBA TV.
NBA.com staff reports