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Welcome back to NBA Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the players getting the most buzz around the league. Inclusion on this list isn't necessarily a good thing -- it simply means you're capturing the NBA world's attention. This is also not a ranking. The players listed here are in no particular order. This column will run every week throughout the regular season.

Doncic continues to haunt the Phoenix Suns, this time putting 50 points, 14 assists, six boards, four steals and three blocks on them in Dallas' 128-114 win on Christmas. 

Doncic has now scored at least 30 points in 14 of his last 15 games; the one he didn't he had 28 and missed a triple-double by one rebound. Bum. 

During the Phoenix game, Doncic became the sixth player in history to cross the 10K career-point mark before his 25th birthday (joining LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Tracy McGrady), and the fastest active player to do so at 358 career games -- 10 fewer games, as it happens, than LeBron required. 

Doncic now how six 50 point-games in his career. That is more than every other player in a Mavericks uniform combined. Dirk Nowitzki only did it twice in 21 seasons. 

Since his return, Morant is averaging 29 points, 8.5 assists and five boards on better than 50% shooting. He hit the game-winner in his first game back, and was named Western Conference Player of the Week in his first week back. 

The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are 4-0 with Morant in the lineup, with the latest victory being a fourth-quarter rally past the Pelicans (the team Morant also sunk with his aforementioned game-winner). This one went into OT, where Morant scored five of his 31 points on the night. He's 5-of-7 so far in clutch minutes. 

Morant can't make a thing from 3, but his downhill attacks are so athletically forceful that you could put an actual wall in front of him and he would either explode through it, jump over it, or herky-jerky his way around, or even underneath the damn thing. Dude is going to get the ball in the basket somehow. We haven't seen a finisher with this combination of power and in-air acrobatics since prime Derrick Rose

This illustrates the contortionist aspect of Morant's finishing well:

To think that Morant is still finding his conditioning and general rhythm is scary. To me, he already looks like he's in peak form. Aside from making a few more 3s, how much better can he be?

Embiid is averaging 40 points, 13 rebounds and five assists on 61/42/92 shooting splits for December. He didn't play on Christmas. In the four games before that, Embiid went for 42 and 15, 40 and 14, 51 and 12, and 31, 10 and nine with four blocks. The numbers are preposterous. 

I'm with everyone else who doesn't like the foul baiting in which Embiid aggressively engages, but I blame the officials more for this epidemic. They're the suckers. It's not just Embiid. It's everywhere. 

As Steve Kerr said after Nikola Jokic -- who is not a regular participant in this grifting act, it needs to be pointed out -- was awarded with 18 free throws on Christmas, it's disgusting to watch, but there's also an argument to be made that if you don't flail, even if you are legitimately fouled, you won't get the whistle. It falls on the officials to call the actual play and not the reaction. 

People say officiating an NBA game is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It's true. The athletes are so big and move so fast, that everything is a split-second judgment. But you know what else is hard? Playing in the NBA. There's a reason only the best in the world get to do it. NBA officials should be held to the same standard. They need to be better. 

This is not an honest attempt at a jump shot that was interrupted by a foul. This is a blatant attempt to draw a foul via an absolutely dishonest jump shot. It is not a one-off by any stretch, and it was, as usual, rewarded. 

Young joined Oscar Robertson as the only player in history to record seven straight games with at least 30 points and 10 assists. Even in the most statistically inflated time in NBA history, those numbers are not to be taken lightly. 

Young had a chance to break Robertson's record but finished with a ho-hum 21 and 13 in a loss to the Bulls on Tuesday. 

And therein lies the rub of Young's offensive boom, which has more or less been happening his entire career: Save for a bracket-friendly 2021 playoff run, it doesn't lead to winning. The Hawks have dropped eight of their last 11. Considering what is a legitimately talented roster, the Hawks are rocking an almost embarrassing 12-18 mark for the season. If the postseason started today, they wouldn't even be in the play-in. 

This is not all Young's fault. But he's at the core of Atlanta's biggest issue: defense. Particularly, perimeter containment. You can think the Hawks' point-of-attack defense should be at least OK with Dejounte Murray in the fold, but you'd be wrong. For starters, he gets beat more than you'd think, but beyond that, Young is a turnstile, as is Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Garrison Mathews, and pretty much on down the line. 

Even if Atlanta had Rudy Gobert as a rim protector, that kind of consistent perimeter puncturing is almost impossible to overcome. Schematically, the Hawks prioritize running teams off the 3-point line as often as possible -- which is a difficult strategy to employ when you're asking half-hearted defenders like Young to make multiple efforts after closing out hard -- is over 38% of the shots they defend coming at the rim, the third highest frequency in the league via Dunks and Threes. 

All told, Atlanta sports the third-worst schedule-adjusted defense in the league. Young is the single biggest culprit. There's no denying his offensive brilliance, but given his size and general defensive apathy once the action moves beyond his initial responsibility, whether on or off ball, the Hawks, taking their lead from their best player, are playing uphill every night.