Evan Evaluations: March Madness Begins in the NBA

Welcome, all!

In this new weekly segment called, Evan Evaluations, I will discuss my top 2 most exciting games to look forward to throughout the week, along with 1 for the weekend. I’ll be breaking down teams’ players, numbers, and their respective conference standing outlook.

Let’s get started!

Evan’s Top 2 Games Of The Week:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (32-27) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (36-24)
    • 8:00 P.M. ET- Thursday, March 1, 2018
  • Toronto Raptors (43-17) @ Washington Wizards (36-26)
    • 8:00 P.M. ET- Friday, March 2, 2018

Weekend game:

  • Boston Celtics (44-19) @ Houston Rockets (48-13)
    • 8:30 P.M. ET- Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Eval

Philadelphia 76ers @ Cleveland Cavaliers


Coming off a 2 game losing streak, the 76ers will have a tough challenge against LeBron James and the Cavs entering Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday. I’m excited to see how Joel Embiid will contribute on the court with Ben Simmons after missing the last match-up with Cleveland. His 7’0 foot body by the basket will help the 76ers defensively without a doubt, but also on the offensive end as well. Shooters J.J. Reddick and Robert Covington helped the team’s offense in the previous match-up, scoring nineteen points apiece. LeBron watched the rest of the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers game on Tuesday in the Cavaliers locker room and caught Dwyane Wade hitting that game-winning shot.

I’m not surprised at all that working out with LeBron over the summer has paid off for Ben Simmons. His playmaking skills have been apparent as he has become a natural leader on the court. I’m excited about his match-up against James and am looking forward to seeing if Simmons and Embiid can help lead this team to a victory.

Ben Simmons

PGG: 16.6, RPG: 7.7, APG: 7.4, SPG: 1.8, BPG: 0.9

Joel Embiid

PPG: 23.9, RPG: 11.1, APG: 3.2, SPG: 0.7, BPG: 1.8

Cleveland Cavaliers:

It has been fun watching the young, new Cleveland Cavaliers team with the addition of Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., and Rodney Hood. What makes this game even more exciting is that LeBron is having an unforgettable month, averaging a triple-double in February. He could test free agency next year and Philadelphia has a possible chance of landing him. That, of course, won’t affect his gameplay on the court.

Coming off a triple-double performance with 31 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, and a win against the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland is coming in with momentum. A win against Philadelphia on Thursday, without Kevin Love, would put Cleveland up three games in this year’s series and four games ahead of them in the Eastern Conference. A loss could potentially drop them out of the 3 seed with the help of Washington winning their game as well so it should go without saying that this is a very important game for Cleveland.

LeBron James

PPG: 26.7, RPG: 8.4, APG: 9, SPG: 1.5, BPG: 1

Jordan Clarkson

PPG: 14.5, RPG: 3, APG: 3.1, SPG: 0.7, BPG: 0.1

Toronto Raptors @ Washington Wizards


The Toronto Raptors have been playing to their potential as a team this season. Sitting atop the Eastern Conference at 43-17, they are not looking past their opponent, the Washington Wizards. The backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan is still leading their team to the post-season with their excellent play.

What excites me about this team is Derozan’s ability to drive and finish at the rim as well as Kyle Lowry’s ability to facilitate and initiate the offense. A win for Toronto would keep them slightly above the Boston Celtics for the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference while a loss to Washington could move them to the number 2 seed if Boston continues to win their games this week.

DeMar DeRozan

PPG: 23.8, RPG: 3.9, APG: 5.2, FG%: 46.2%, BPG: 0.3 ,

Kyle Lowry

PPG: 16.6, RPG: 5.7, APG: 6.4, BPG: 0.1, FT%: 86.3


The Washington Wizards are still in the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference despite missing star point guard, John Wall. Bradley Beal may have had a rough game on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors being held to only 8 points all game, but 1 game won’t determine a player’s success all season. Shooting 4-6 behind the 3 point line, Otto Porter Jr. finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds, helping the team score on offense with his consistent knockdown jump shot from behind the arc. Other players like Markieff Morris, Kelly Oubre, and Tomas Satoransky have played their role and contributed to their team’s success.

I’m excited to see Bradley Beal have a bounce-back game and give DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors a true battle. A win for the Wizards could potentially put them into the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference, but a loss would keep them at the 4th or 5th seed with the Indiana Pacers being right behind.

Bradley Beal

PPG: 23.4, RPG: 4.5, APG: 4.5, SPG: 1.2, FG%: 46.2

Otto Porter Jr.

PPG: 14.9, RPG: 6.5, APG: 2.1, SPG: 1.6, 3P%: 41.9

Otto Porter



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