The first half of the NBA regulat season is in the books. There’s been a lot of great stories and games so far. Let’s take a look at some of the things that happened earlier this year that we should keep an eye on later on this year. Here are the top five stories going on in the NBA:
1. Kevin Durant leads the NBA in scoring…again. The Durantula has been on a hot streak ever since Russell Westbrook got injured. His ability to put the ball in the basket has been phenomenal this year. He leads the NBA in points per game with 31.5. Carmelo Anthony is the closest to that mark with 27.3 and LeBron James is right behind him with 26.5. This could be the year that Durant has been waiting for. His Oklahoma City Thunder team has the best record in the NBA with a 43-12 record, which is four games better than the San Antonio Spurs’ 38-15. Unless something drastic happens to Kevin Durant, he could finally win that MVP award that has eluded him so many times.
2. DeAndre Jordan is having a stupendous year! The big man had a nasty dunk last year that took over the SportsCenter Top Ten plays for months! This year he’s playing like a true All-Star, leading the league in rebounds (14 rpg) and field goal percentage (65.9 percent). He’s also a great defender with 2.4 blocks per game, which is 4th in the NBA right now. His L.A. Clippers are also 4th in the Western Conference standings and have the 2nd best offense in the NBA, averaging 107 points per game. As the season dwindles down, the Clippers could go far into the playoffs and DeAndre Jordan could be that cornerstone in the Clippers’ title hopes.
3. How good are the Portland Trail Blazers? Last year, the Trail Blazers went 33-49, ending their disappointing season on a 13-game losing streak. This year, they’re 5th in the Western Conference standings with a 36-17 record! They also have the number one offense in the NBA and lead the league in rebounds per game! Head Coach Terry Stotts has led a great turnaround for this basketball club in his second season. The former Dallas Mavericks assistant has this team headed in the right direction although they are 4-6 in their last 10 games. They hope to rebound next Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs with superstar power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and young point guard Damian Lillard leading the way.
4. The East will be won in either Indiana or Miami. The Eastern Conference of the NBA is definitely weaker than expected. Indiana and Miami are number one and number two in the conference respectively and by a long shot. Third place belongs to the surging Toronto Raptors with a 28-24 record. LeBron James is holding the Heat together without an injury plagued Dwyane Wade and he’s looking more dominant than ever. However, the Indiana Pacers boast the NBA’s best defense with only 90.3 points allowed per game. Guys like Roy Hibbert and Paul George are doing a great job at keeping this team at the top. These top two teams will be a great preview for the Eastern Conference Finals game unless teams like Toronto or Chicago step up.
5. Houston does not have a problem. So far it looks like Houston was the right fit for All-Star center Dwight Howard. The Rockets are 3rd in the league with points per game (105.5) and are 8th in rebounds per game (44.9). James Harden is leading this high soaring club with 23.9 points and 5.3 assists per game. Howard is also having a fantastic season with 18.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Coach Kevin McHale has this team headed in the right direction and could prove a legitimate threat in the Western Conference playoffs once things roll around.
So as you can see, the NBA season is getting more and more interesting. The second half will provide all the drama a basketball fan could want. Which teams in the East are going to make the playoffs? Who will win MVP? Who’s poised for a championship run? All of those questions will be answered after the All-Star break.