Since we are at the halfway point of this lockout shortened NBA season I will be giving you guys my Mid-Season All NBA Team and some other mid-season awards. I will also lay out my 3 stories to watch in the 2nd half of the season.
Mid-Season All NBA Team:
PG: 1st Team: Steve Nash 2nd Team: Russell Westbrook
I don’t think you could go wrong with either of these guys but I think Nash is having one of the best seasons of his Hall of Fame career. Leading the league in assists and is the only bright spot for the horrible Suns. Westbrook is a better scorer and defender but his turnovers move him below Nash on my rankings now.
SG: 1st Team: Kobe Bryant 2nd Team: Kevin Martin
Kobe is playing with less and he is being asked to do more now and he is delivering. His 29 ppg leads the NBA and he has playing at a high level while being banged up. Kevin Martin is having a good year for the Rockets and now is the second best SG in the league until James Harden takes a bigger role.
SF: 1st Team: Lebron James 2nd Team: Kevin Durant
Lebron is having maybe the best season ever right now. He is the unquestioned leader of the Heat and they are playing great and as a unit. If Kevin Durant keeps the Thunder going like they are we may be watching these two guys go at it in the finals.
PF: 1st Team: Kevin Love 2nd Team: LaMarcus Aldridge
I think Kevin Love is having an All-Time great season for a big man. His 25.5 ppg and his 14 rpg prove he is the best double-double each and every night player in the league. LaMarcus Aldridge is also having a great year in Portland but his lack of rebounds keeps him from the Kevin Love class.
C: 1st Team: Dwight Howard 2nd Team: Greg Monroe
Hands down the best defensive player in the league the first half, Howard is playing through the distractions and performing. As great as he has been in the first half I think that if he moves he will be even better in the 2nd. Greg Monroe is a monster in Detroit. Already one of the best young big men in the league, he will get better.
MVP: Lebron James
He is having the best year of his career and is the best player on the best team in the league.
Defensive Player: Dwight Howard
Rookie of the Year: Ricky Rubio
It was very close between him and Kyrie Irvin but Rubio does more on the court to help his team.
6th Man: James Harden
Best player off the bench and the best beard in the league.
1st Half Surprise Player: Jeremy Lin
This one is not even close. No one has surprised more than Lin this year.
1st half Surprise Team: Philadelphia 76’ers
Doug Collins has this team playing great ball. Seeing if they can continue is something to watch in the 2nd half.
Here are 3 stories to watch in the 2nd half of the NBA season.
- Jeremy Lin/New York Knicks- Can he keep it up and get the Knicks into the NBA playoffs? The Knicks brought Stoudemire and Carmelo together for the purpose of competing with the Miami Heat but it hasn’t worked. The Knicks have not come together like they were supposed to but the addition of Jeremy Lin has started a turnaround. The second half will show us if the Knicks and Mark D’Antoni can mesh together as a team and not just make the playoffs but be a team that will have a deep run.
- Can Miami and Lebron James win the NBA Title? Lebron is great and there is no question about that but if he wants to be at that next level with Jordan, Bryant, Magic and Bird he has to win a title. Right now the Heat and Lebron are the best team in basketball and if I was betting I would put good money down that they win the championship. Can Lebron perform in the finals is what we all want to see. If Lebron steps up his game in the playoffs like the greats before him have then it is their title to lose.
- The trade deadline is looming over a lot of guys now and it could shake up the playoff picture. Will Dwight Howard be a Laker? Will Pau Gasol be a Laker? Who will be a Laker? A move by Howard to the Lakers would move the Lakers to the front of the West and would make them a title favorite. The front office of the Lakers has made some questionable decisions this season already and this could turn golden. I think a Howard move will be made someone since the Magic will lose him outright if they let him hit free agency.
This will be an exciting 2nd half to the NBA season and I am looking forward to it. Will the Heat and Thunder meet in the finals our will an experienced team of aging veterans like Dallas or San Antonio be able to grab one last ring? It’s going to be fun to find out.