Westbrook, Embiid, AD amongst NBA stars ‘beneath duress’

The NBA is ramping again up now that the All-Star break is within the books, and all eyes are on what occurs subsequent for a handful of groups and gamers.

Unsurprisingly, there’s one acquainted face atop Chris Broussard‘s newest “Under Duress” record for the second week in a row.

Here’s the “First Things First” host’s prime three NBA stars whom he believes should step up instantly.

Let’s get to it!

3. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

The outlook: Embiid is averaging 33 factors per sport, which is second-best within the league behind solely Luka Dončić (33.2 factors), on 53% taking pictures this season. He’s additionally including 10.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per sport. The Sixers (39-19) are on a five-game profitable streak and sit third within the East, one sport behind Milwaukee and three video games behind Boston.

Broussard’s ideas: “Joel Embiid has not been quiet about wanting to win an MVP award. He is certainly playing at an MVP level. He has been great, and he demolished the guy that it looks like is going to win the MVP in Nikola Jokić for the third straight year. Embiid ate him up head-to-head. Joel, control what you can control — you might not be able to control the MVP situation, but you can control the NBA title situation. Alright, and you haven’t yet even been to the conference finals. You’re playing with a great point guard. James Harden, when he wants to be a point guard, is phenomenal. He’s playing well. Regardless of what you think about Doc Rivers, he is an all-time top-15 coach officially. … You got other scorers in Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris and a sixth-ranked defense in the NBA. So what’s the excuse? There is no excuse to [not] go deep in the playoffs, if not to the Finals. You’ve got to stay healthy. He [has] already talked about a foot ailment, but I saw you out there Sunday night in the All-Star Game, so I don’t really want to hear about the foot ailment anymore. Go out there and play. … Joel, I do believe in you. Go out there and get it done.”

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2. Russell Westbrook, LA Clippers

The outlook: Westbrook was just lately traded by the Lakers, the place he appeared in 52 video games (three begins) and averaged 15.9 factors, 6.2 rebounds and seven.5 assists whereas taking pictures 41.7%. The 34-year-old veteran signed with the Clippers shortly after he was purchased out by the Jazz.

Broussard’s ideas: “I’ve got to be objective. You’ve been on five teams in five years (Thunder, Rockets, Wizards, Lakers, Clippers). … You have a chance, Russ, to change the narrative. You have a chance to make people say, ‘You know what, in Houston, it wasn’t Russ. It was James Harden.’ You have a chance to make them say, ‘In Washington, he just didn’t have enough help.’ You have a chance to make them say, ‘In L.A., it wasn’t just Russ.’ … You change the narrative. If you go to the Clippers and contribute to a deep playoff run — heck, maybe even to the Finals — it would change the way people view you. I believe in you.”

1. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

The outlook: Davis is averaging 25.6 factors, 12.3 rebounds and a couple of.5 assists per sport up to now through the 2022-23 marketing campaign whereas taking pictures 56.2%. But he has appeared in simply 36 video games (34 begins) for the Lakers (28-23), who’re presently thirteenth within the West and sit 1.5 video games out of the final play-in spot.

Broussard’s ideas: “Anthony, it wasn’t Russ. It certainly wasn’t LeBron James. It wasn’t Darvin Ham or Frank Vogel. It’s you! It’s the fact that you don’t stay healthy, or when you do, 70% of the time you don’t play up to your potential. Lately, you’re sulking. Anthony Davis, you are one of the best players in the world when you put your mind to it, and that does mean playing through some pain, some aches. You have a chance to do something special over these next few months. I believe that you can do it. Here’s what I want you to do: take the torch! LeBron is begging you to take the torch. Go take this torch from LeBron James, lead the Lakers into [and] through the play-in. If you get through the play-in, I think you’ll be a dangerous team because you’d have some momentum, and it likely means you have taken the torch.”

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