And-Ones: Scoring Race, Lottery Teams, EuroLeague, Cole

The NBA’s 2021/22 scoring race could end up being one for the ages, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. As Reynolds outlines, the league is currently on pace for its closest three-way scoring race of all-time.

Currently, Lakers forward LeBron James leads the pack with 30.0 points per game, followed by Sixers center Joel Embiid at 29.8 PPG and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo at 29.7 PPG.

Five more players are averaging at least 27.0 PPG, but are unlikely to crash the top three even with strong finishes. Nets forward Kevin Durant (29.6 PPG) would have made it a fascinating four-way race if were able to meet the required minimum of 58 games played, but he’ll fall just short of that threshold.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Dan Devine of The Ringer takes a look at the 10 teams who appear likely to miss the playoffs and the play-in and identifies one silver lining for each club. Devine’s list includes Anfernee Simons‘ breakout for the Trail Blazers, Markelle Fultz‘s return for the Magic, and Kyle Kuzma‘s development for the Wizards.
  • After initially suspending the Russian teams in the EuroLeague and EuroCup, the Euroleague has opted to expel those clubs for the rest of 2021/22, writes Aris Barkas of The decision, made in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, will affect CSKA Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg, and UNICS Kazan in the EuroLeague and Lokomotiv Kuban in the EuroCup.
  • In other international basketball news, former NBA point guard Norris Cole has signed with JL Bourg in France, while journeyman wing Sean Kilpatrick has joined Spanish team Zaragoza, according to press releases from the respective clubs. Cole has played in 360 regular season NBA games, while Kilpatrick has appeared in 157, but both have been out of the league for a few years.
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