As we enter the NBA all star weekend this is a perfect time to reflect on the 10 biggest stories of the first half of the season.
1. Blake "The Barbarian" Griffin.
2. The Moheatos. The big three in Miami took a few weeks to gel, but since their 9-8 start the heat are 33-7. They will finish with the best record in the Eastern conference and barring injury Lebron, D-Wade, and Chris Bosh will contend for a spot in the NBA championship.
3. Laker Nation. The Lakers have battled adversity and apathy all season long, yet they are still in a position to end up with the #3 seed out West. As a veteran team the Lakers know how to pace themselves for the long grueling post season. No need to panic, the Lakers will return to the championship so long as Kobe Bryant doesn't experience any baby mama drama down the stretch. That's a big if.
4. Philly is good. As is stands right now the Philadelphia 76ers are the 7th seed in the Eastern conference. Jrue Holiday is coming into his own and Elton Brand is playing inspired ball. Kudos to Doug Collins on doing a magnificent coaching job. No one saw this coming.
5. Tony Parker and the Spurs. The San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the NBA thanks to Tony Parker. He's been able to block out all the off the court distractions to lead the Spurs to a 46-10 record. If the Lakers slip look for "Mr. steal your girl" to pick up his 4th ring.
6. The Cavs prove Lebron's worth. It's not often you see the absence of one player so dramatically change the fortunes of one team. Without Lebron the Cavs have been historically bad and currently have a .179 winning percentage. By taking his talents down to South Beach Lebron effectively ruined the Cave for the next decade. Contrary to what Dan Gilbert says Miami will win a championship before Cleveland does.
7. Jerry Sloan loses power struggle. I don't think Deron Williams gave Utah an ultimatum, but the writing was clearly on the wall. The player and the coach couldn't co-exist so the coach had to go. There are lots of fond memories for Jerry Sloan in Utah and he will truly be missed.
8. The Rooks. There are only 3 to talk about. John Wall has battled injuries, but you see the potential. It will get worse before it gets better and if John Wall can endure the hard times he will become the Wizards franchise player. DeMarcus Cousins is who we thought he was, a supremely talented immature headcase. At 20 years old there's too much upside to walk away, however Zach Randolph Jr. will be more trouble than he's worth at times. Eventually you'll get your 20 and 10 if you have the patience. And what about the 3rd rook? That would be Blake "The Barbarian" Griffin.
9. The 5 players to watch. On September 22nd I told you guys the players to watch this season were Rudy Gay, Brandon Jennings, Brook Lopez, Russell Westbrook, and Blake "The Barbarian" Griffin. Brandon and Brook have some work to do.
10. LeMarcus Aldridge. Since his all star snub LeMarcus has been averaging 30 points a game. It seems the lack of respect has fueled his game and created a monster. If Brandon Roy can stay healthy and Portland gets a few of their big men back the Trailblazers could be a dangerous team come playoff time.