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Joel Embiid Helps Lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a Victory Over the L.A. Clippers

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Joel Embiid may not be the most popular man in Philadelphia right now, but the 76ers need their All-Star if they are going to compete this year.

Embiid alienated the fan base this week by first shushing the home crowd in a game against the Bulls and later sending some cryptic messages on social media.

When Embiid was introduced to the home fans ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, he was met with boos.

Then the game started.

Embiid went on to have a great game, scoring 26 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a block.

Philadelphia’s other All-Star had a brilliant performance as well, as Ben Simmons recorded a 26-point triple-double.

While the All-Stars carrying the team throughout, it was Josh Richardson that was the star of the fourth quarter.

Richardson dropped 17 points in the final period to close out the Clippers, scoring baskets from all over the floor to help lead his team to the victory.

Richardson is an often overlooked contributor on this team, but his impact was clearly felt against the Clippers. Richardson had a team-best +/- of +24 on Tuesday, as he brings great value on both ends of the floor.

Back on January 22nd, Richardson was forced to leave the lineup due to a hamstring injury. In the seven games they played without him, the Sixers were 2-5.

In the three games since Richardson has returned from the injury, Philadelphia is undefeated.

While Richardson starred in this game, the storylines still revolve around Joel Embiid.

Embiid was not without conflict during this game against the Clippers, as he got into a scrum with the newest Clipper, Marcus Morris.

Double techs were issued for the altercation, but that did not impact the game, as the Sixers came away with the victory.

Embiid tried to make nice with his fan base after the game, both through the post-game interview and on social media.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been the most disappointing team in the NBA this season, yet still find themselves with the fifth seed in the East due to their 25-2 record at home.

On the road the Sixers are an ugly 9-19, but if they can figure that out before the playoffs, Philadelphia has the talent to make a run this year.

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Mike Conley Jr. Removed From the Utah Jazz Starting Lineup Amid Slump

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When the Memphis Grizzlies traded for Mike Conley Jr. in July, it appeared that he was the finishing piece that would put their roster over the top.

Conley was coming off a season with the Grizzlies in which he averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game as one of the best point guards in the NBA.

Utah expected him to be the perfect fit alongside All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell in the backcourt, but that hasn’t worked out as planned.

Now the Jazz have decided to make a move to spark their team after losing eight of their last 12 games by sliding Conley to the bench.

The move to add Royce O’Neale into the starting lineup is aimed to bolster the defense of that group, with O’Neale being the teams best perimeter defender.

By moving O’Neale to play with that unit, Joe Ingles can slid into the backcourt alongside Mitchell and take on a more prominent role on offense.

Ingles and Rudy Gobert are potent together in the pick and roll and taking the ball out of Conley’s hands with that starting group is aimed to help that pairing flourish as well.

On the other hand, Conley now moves to the bench, where he can form a really dynamic scoring punch with Jordan Clarkson.

Conley is averaging 13.4 points and a career-low 4.1 assists per game across 34 games played with the Jazz.

Next year will be the final season of a massive five-year, $152.6 million contract he signed with the Grizzlies. The Jazz are on the hook to pay Conley $34.5 million for the 2020-21 NBA season.

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Hornets’ Guard Malik Monk Suspended Indefinitely for Violating Anti-Drug Policy

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Malik Monk was in the middle of his pivotal third season in the NBA and was just hitting his stride with a recent hot streak.

Unfortunately that string of good play now comes to the end due to his conduct off the court, as Monk has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA for violating their anti-drug policy.

There is no indication what Monk has failed the test for, but he will need to follow the NBA’s program to be reinstated into the league.

Monk was the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, after being the SEC Player of the Year in his lone season at Kentucky.

Since entering the league, Monk has struggled to find his footing and that same level of success, but he was just recently on a great run of scoring.

The suspension paired with his better play has led some to question whether it was performance-enhancing drugs that he was suspended for, although we don’t know that at this time.

When Deandre Ayton and John Collins were suspended this season, each received 25-game bans and were then able to return to the floor.

The substances they were suspended for were also announced to the public at the time of their suspensions.

The fact that we don’t know what he was suspended for, or how long of a suspension he will receive is certainly an interesting distinction when it comes to Monk.

It will be interesting to see what information comes out about Monk’s suspension in the coming days and if an actual timetable is put on his return.

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Stephen Curry to Return to the Lineup on Sunday Against the Washington Wizards

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The Golden State Warriors season essentially ended on October 30th, when an awkward fall resulted in a broken hand for Stephen Curry.

Curry has since been sidelined for four months and in his absence, the Warriors have gone 11-43 and sit with the wowarst record in the NBA.

Luckily things are about to get a lot better for Warriors fans, as Curry is set to return to lineup for Golden State on Sunday.

Adding a six-time All-Star, three-time champion and two-time MVP back into the starting lineup is sure to help the Warriors win a few more games down the stretch.

In the four games Curry played this year he shot 24% from three-point range, which is something he will look to clean up over the final games of this season.

Golden State has their eyes toward the future, looking to land a top lottery pick to their roster and incumbent Big Three of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

The Warriors have 25 games left this season and are four games behind the closest team for the worst record in the NBA.

As long as Golden State finishes with one of the three worst records in the NBA, they will have the best possible odds of winning the lottery. So Curry’s arrival should not hurt their position in that regard.

Instead Curry will bring some excitement to an ailing fan base, while building some chemistry with Andrew Wiggins and the other young Warriors that may be on the roster next season.

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