Bradley Beal and Joel Embiid are vying to be the second-best player in the Eastern Conference

NBA All-Star Weekend is done and finished.

But it seems like one person still hasn’t forgotten about it.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the Eastern Conference. But the battle for second best player in the Eastern Conference is heating up.

And after the All-Star break, both men vying for second have come out swinging.

Let’s start with our first contender, Bradley Beal.

It started on Sunday, when Beal torched Chicago – the same city that hosted this year’s All-Star Weekend.

Beal is the only player in the NBA in the top 10 of scoring that was not named an All-Star. He’s second in the NBA in scoring (30.1), trailing only James Harden (35.3).

Furthermore, 16 of the top 20 scorers were selected for the All-Star Game.

But Beal wasn’t done after Chicago.

By golly, was he not done.

Second night of a back-to-back against the NBA’s best team?

Consider us impressed, Brad.

In the footprint of Kobe, Beal has long been one of the NBA’s elite scorers.

Unfortunately, his ability to put the ball in the basket hasn’t translated into wins for the Washington Wizards, at least this season.

To Beal’s credit, he was in no way excited about his 108 points in two games.

In fact – by the looks of it – he was downright mad.

The stats support his frustration.

Beal is a victim of playing on a bad team. The Wizards are ninth in the East with a record of 20-36.

It’s the reason he’s not on national television much. It’s the reason he wasn’t an All-Star. And it’s the reason that the race for second best player in the Eastern Conference is still being run.

That brings us to our second contender, Joel Embiid.

Just last week, Embiid proclaimed himself the best player in the world.

He might be a little off, but we love the confidence.

However, if Monday night was any indication, he’s definitely in the running.

But unlike Beal, Embiid doesn’t suffer from being on a bad team. In fact, it’s the opposite.

He suffers from not being able to carry a good team.

The Sixers are 36-22 this season and currently sit at fifth in the East.

But is that really good enough for a team with Embiid, Ben Simmons, Al Horford and Tobias Harris?

Now, with Simmons hurt, we’ll get to see how Embiid can operate in murky waters, similar to what Beal is forced to deal with nightly.

On the season, Beal is averaging 30.1 points, 6.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals. Embiid averages 23.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 blocks.

Clearly, if you just look at their stats, both have an argument for second place.

But, the one difference – which is at this point is out of Beal’s control – is that Embiid will challenge for a trip to the NBA Finals.

Beal will not.

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Until Beal can pair some wins with his outstanding individual performances, it will be hard to put him above Embiid.

Here’s hoping the tide shifts for Bradley the next time he drops 50.