NBA MIDSEASON REPORT by Eric T. Compton
This 2018-2019 NBA mid-season snuck up on us fast. January has almost come and gone and we have already come to the mid-way point of the season. Which by far has been one of the better seasons in recent memory. Some of us have gotten some things right and some of us have gotten things mistakenly wrong. We will look back on some of the biggest story lines of the NBA season and also go in depth on what to look for going forward on the last dash towards the playoff race.
1. Is it time for the Boston Celtics to make a trade this season?
The Celtics are the gift and the curse of having too many assets in this day and age. Boston has a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward and two young studs in Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown for the first time ever. The Celtics also have a top 1 overall 2019 draft pick from the Sacramento Kings as well. With all of these assets it appears as if the team is not meshing as well as Brad Stevens once envisioned. With NBA Finals expectations for the Celtics could it be time to move some of these assets to get some role players that will work well with the scheme of the team?
2. Can a healthy Houston Rockets team take off in to the atmosphere?
The Rockets have been hit with the injury bug worse than any team this season. Chris Paul has missed significant time with a hamstring injury and Clint Capela is also out with a thumb injury. The Rockets may be missing some key players but reigning MVP James Harden has done everything to hold the fort down. Harden who is averaging a league high of 36.3 points a game and also a top 5 assist leader has taken the league by storm and has made himself just about the most unguardable force in the league. If the Rockets can get healthy and right the ship this team might be able to steal a first round playoff series if matched up with the right opponent.
3. Can any team dethrone the Golden State Warriors this season?
While most experts are thinking that this will be the final dance with the Golden State Warriors and their championship run that came out of nowhere dating back from the 2015 season. It appears that the Warriors are lining up for their 3rd consecutive Larry O’Brien trophy and their 4th in 5 years. The only thing that can get in their way will be the injury bug. DeMarcus Cousins has made his return and the Warriors and this is the first time ever in their historic run that they have a big man of his caliber. Expect the Warriors to make a mad dash to lock up one of the top 2 seeds in the west rather quickly so that they can get their proper rest heading in to the postseason.
4. Is Luka Doncic the real deal?
Luka Doncic looks as if he has already wrapped up this year’s Rookie of the Year award and we are just about half way through the season. Doncic has been on a tear the past month in the NBA and has some league experts saying that this players is so special that his rookie numbers are looking very similar to one LeBron James. With the 19-year-old Slovenian averaging an impressive 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists these are some numbers that no one can scoff at. Could we be seeing a legend in the making? Only time will tell.
Be sure to check your local listings for some of the biggest games that will be played in this late dash to the playoff push.