Midseason NBA report

The National Basketball Association will reach its official midway point come Valentine’s Day weekend. There have been a lot of compelling story lines so far, so here is a rundown of what has went has occurred up until this midseason mark. The Atlanta Hawks are the best team in the Eastern Conference. With a record of 41-9 and a 20-game win streak going, they’re one of just two teams with fewer than 10 losses this season.

That other team comes from the Western Conference—the Golden State Warriors with a record of 37-8 heading into their matchup with the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday Feb. 4. For the Warriors, guard Klay Thompson set an NBA record with 37 points in one quarter of a game versus the Sacramento Kings. Thompson was 9-for-9 from beyond the arc and finished 13-for-13 from the field that quarter. He ended the game with 52 points.

Thompson, veteran guard Mo Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves and All-Star guard Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers are the only players this season to notch 50-plus point games. We’ve seen the return of Derrick Rose to the Chicago Bulls, only to bring about question of whether or not he will ever be an MVP caliber player again.

Meanwhile, Rose’s teammate forward Pau Gasol has resurrected his career by making the All-Star team as a starter—his first selection since 2011. His brother Marc Gasol currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies and is starting for the West at forward. This will be the first time in NBA history that two brothers face each other in the all-star game.

One of the favorites to win Rookie of the Year––Milwaukee Bucks guard Jabari Parker––went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the remainder of the season. The league has had major trades take place. Guard Dion Waiters went to the Oklahoma City Thunder and guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert left the struggling New York Knicks to join the contending Cleveland Cavaliers. In addition, guard Rajon Rondo left a desperate Boston Celtics team to take the helm on a Dallas Mavericks team that could be scary good come playoff time.

Of course, every midseason report has to mention LeBron James. Returning to Cleveland as a member of the new big three—with Irving and fellow forward Kevin Love—James is pushing Cleveland back to the top of the Eastern Conference. Averaging 26 points, seven assists and six rebounds a game, I guess you could say he feels like he never left.

This season has been one for the books so far, as we have seen no shortage of alley-oops, show time assists and rising stars step up for the challenge. After the break, the main question will be about who will lift that gold trophy in June.