We've reached the All-Star break, and every NBA team has played just about 50 games. Last night we witnessed a lackluster All-Star Saturday Night, and tonight in the All-Star game. Regular season games resume on Tuesday and we're ready for the home stretch of the season. Before that happens, let's take a quick look back at the happenings so far in this 2012-13 season:
Biggest Surprise- Obviously the Los Angeles Lakers are in the running for the biggest disappointment in the history of sports. We all learned with the 2010-11 Miami Heat that basketball is all about chemistry and how players fit together. The Heat were disjointed that year, made the Finals only because they had three really good players, yet couldn't overcome the good team play of the Mavericks. I think we all assumed that the LA Lakers would have some issues, but nothing like what we are all witnessing. Mike Brown was stupidly fired five games into the season (my feelings towards that: if he was so bad, they would have realized that over the summer and fired him then. Nothing he did over the first five games were drastically different than anything he did last year). The coach needed time to work out the fit with each of the players, we all understand. No one could have predicted being under .500 by the All-Star break and headed for the Draft Lottery.
Best Team- Miami Heat, what did you expect. They're coming off of a championship and it seems that LeBron James has gotten even better.
Worst Team- Much like last year, the Charlotte Bobcats are a completely incapable NBA team.
Sleeper Team (Watch Out in the Second Half)- The Indiana Pacers are one of the league's best defenses, and they'll be getting a boost on both ends when Danny Granger comes back. Roy Hibbert will have to improve offensively for them to make noise in the playoffs, but I believe it's possible. I thought the Pacers were championship material last year until they ran into the Miami Heat buzzsaw, and it's relatively the same roster. Paul George has taken a step forward and deserved his All-Star berth.
Good to Great- Jrue Holiday and Paul George have seemingly put it all together this year.
Great to Elite- Kyrie Irving is the most talented point guard in the NBA. Not the best, the most talented. He's maximizing his potential. Now if only his teammates were worth something...(Kidding, Tristan Thompson has been very good this year).
Overrated and Overpaid- Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Rudy Gay. Williams hasn't been elite since joining the Nets for whatever reason, and is spending too much time complaining rather than working on his game. Johnson and Gay are decent scorers who aren't very efficient and are being payed a ton of money for no reason.
MVP- LeBron James. Enough of this voter fatigue argument, he's by far the best player in the game.
Rookie of the Year- Damian Lillard is showing how valuable four years of college can be. He has stepped right into a leadership role.
Most Improved Player- No one cares because this is the worst award in basketball
Defensive Player of the Year- I'm giving this one to my boy, one of the slowest and lankiest people I've ever seen, Marc Gasol.
Sixth Man of the Year- Jamal Crawford has been much better in a smaller role this year. He's an important part of the Clippers team. I put him over J.R. Smith because he's been more efficient.