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NBA

Best games to watch today on NBA League Pass

There's plenty going down on NBA League Pass on Wednesday and we're here to help sort through the biggest names and storylines.

What will Zion do next?

Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans - 6:30am IST

There's this rookie.

His name is Zion Williamson.

Perhaps you've heard of him?

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In just 15 games, the No. 1 overall pick from last year's draft has taken the league by storm as he's averaging 24.1 points per game on 59.3 percent shooting and leading the Pelicans back into the playoff mix. The 19-year-old is coming off a show-stopping performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday in which he dropped a career-high 35 points and he has scored at least 20 points in 11 straight games the longest streak of its kind by any teenager in NBA history.

With 22 games left in the regular season, the Pelicans currently sit 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot. FiveThirtyEight's odds gives the Pelicans a 62% chance of catching the Grizzlies in part due to a much easier schedule over the final quarter of the season.

MORE: The best games and moments from Zion's rookie season

Potential playoff preview for Kawhi and the Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder - 6:30am IST

If the season ended today, the Clippers and Thunder would face off in the first round.

Although they've split two meetings already this season, this is the first time Kawhi Leonard has seen OKC as he missed each of the first two meetings. With both teams at full strength, this is the first chance to truly glean anything from this matchup and there are matchup questions all over the floor.

  • Can OKC slow down both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George?
  • Can Steven Adams punish the smaller Clippers inside?
  • Can Chris Paul's NBA-best clutch play translate against LA's stout D?
  • Can Shai Gilgeous-Alexander guard one of LA's big wings?
  • Can OKC overcome its lack of depth against the league's deepest team?

Leonard is in the midst of a career year and through his tea's first 60 games, has actually played more (47) than he did last year at this same point with the Toronto Raptors (44). Both the Clippers and Thunder are playing perhaps their best ball of the year which makes Wednesday's tilt all the more juicy.

Nikola Jokic dropping dimes

Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets - 7am IST

There was an outside chance Stephen Curry would be back for this game, but that appears to be delayed as he may not return until Friday against the Toronto Raptors.

But rest assured, there's still plenty to check out in this one, namely, the absurdity of Nikola Jokic.

Seriously, look at this pass...

He's coming on strong and could be a top-five MVP candidate for the second straight year.

LeBron James is on a roll

Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers - 8:30am IST

In that game against the Pelicans on Monday, James served up his second statement game in under a week against the up-and-coming rookie. Just days after torching the Pelicans for a season-high 40 points, the four-time MVP yet again defied Father Time en route to 34 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds.

MORE: Who are the biggest early playoff threats to LeBron?

In his 17th season, James continues to mount an MVP case as he's tied for the league lead with 13 triple-doubles, leading the league with 10.6 assistrs per game and together with his scoring, responsible for over 52 points per game. All while running away with the Western Conference.

Although some of the shine is taken away from this marquee matchup given the injuries to both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, it's still a big game for the Lakers who are gearing up for a big week. After this one, the Lakers have games against the Bucks and Clippers. What LeBron does on Tuesday could set the stage for a pair of momumental showdowns later this week.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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