Here we are at the midseason point of the NBA - plus one week - but we are still not at the point where it all starts to take shape.
The league has a buzz about it because the first half of the season has been a rather exciting one. All of the major markets are in play. Boston is tops in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers are two-time defending champs and holding steady at the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. New York has had a resurgence. Chicago is a legitimate threat and not even fully healthy. And the Big Three in Miami overcame a rough start to answer the hype and become the team we thought it could; the Heat are not at full strength, either.
The announcement of the All-Star teams this week will add even more buzz. The debate in the West as to whether Blake Griffin or Kevin Love should find their way on to the roster, or in the East whether or not Derrick Rose will be one of the starting guards.
However, as always, we can not get a full understanding of who will be what come playoff time until the next 31 days are over.
When Monday morning hits, we will be exactly 31 days away from the trade deadline. Which teams will try to bolster their roster, add that missing piece? Which teams will be dumping salary from their rosters, thus perhaps giving another team that missing piece it has been searching for?
The league really starts to take shape once that trade deadline has passed. I find it useless to jump into the “if the season ended today” talk because it seems there is no other league in pro sports where that talk is as useless as it is in the NBA. Thus it is useless to talk that way until the trade deadline has come and gone.
Talk to me in another month and a half and it will be pretty clear, assuming a team’s health, that we will know who will be the clear favorites with another month and a half to go until the postseason begins.
- Corby A. Yarbough @AthlonCorby on Twitter