The NBA All-Star weekend is in the book and that means we are only a day away from the start of the second half of the NBA season. That leads me to 5 questions that need answering before the second half of the season gets underway.
1) Who will win the NBA MVP?
This is a tough one for me, but I think the clear front-runners are Lebron James and Kevin Durant. Durant is averaging 31.5 points while Lebron is averaging 26.5 points per game just behind the number of Durant. Durant is without Westbrook and while he’s is still clearly the best player on the team his points per game should go down a bit when Westbrook comes back to help him out. Lebron is pretty much carrying the Heat at times on his shoulders as Wade is missing games left and right this year. I think this is the year Durant will get his first career MVP though as he is having the best statistical season of his career. You still even at this time can’t discount Lebron as a front-runner for the award with a whole half a season left yet to play.
2) Who is the NBA rookie of the year going to be?
This award without any question has to go to Michael Carter-Williams as he does everything on the basketball floor. He’s not only scoring, but dishing out assists while swiping steals as well. He’s carrying a young 76ers team when he’s on the floor and that was proven this year as they lost 10 of the 11 games he missed.
3) What team can we expect to make a big trade deadline move?
The rumors will run rapid between now and Thursday, but the feeling is that there won’t be any big names moved before the deadline. The Denver Nuggets are one team to keep an eye on as they may look to move Kenneth Faried or Andre Miller, but outside of those two guys there is nothing major brewing on the trade front. There will be a ton of team mentioned, but in the end it will be a ton of team just sitting tight on what they have.
4) Which team currently not in playoff position can make a big push to get in contention?
The Memphis Grizzlies haven’t been healthy all year it doesn’t seem like. They have finally gotten big man Marc Gasol back on the inside, but are still missing the NBA’s best defensive player in Tony Allen who’s missed several games now. The Grizzlies currently sit in the 9th position in the conference and have won 7 of their last 10 games. They will of course need some teams to struggle ahead of them, but you can expect a strong finish from this team as they all come together. They just need to stay healthy for the second half to the season to be able to get into the playoffs this year.
5) Who wins the NBA championship this year?
This year comes down to a couple of things for me to deciding who will win it. Can Wade and Westbrook come back and finish the second half of the season strong to help carry their teams to the top? When those two guys are one the floor healthy they change the whole look for me of those teams. I don’t think Wade will come back as he’s just getting to old to a point to where he can help Lebron overcome a very good Pacers team. The Pacers will be the team to come out of the East this year and then on the other side I believe they will meet the Thunder. That’s right it will be the Pacers and Thunder in this year’s NBA finals and in the end the NBA will be crowning the Pacers the champions this year.