NBA: 10 issues to know and count on coming into the second half of the season

NBA: 10 issues to know and count on coming into the second half of the season

This is 10 issues to learn about what’s occurring, what would possibly occur and what to look at the remainder of the way in which.

The All-Star break, such because it was, is over.

The NBA returns Wednesday with a pair of video games: Washington at Memphis and San Antonio at Dallas. One other 21 groups begin their second-half slates on Thursday, and the 5 remaining groups get again on the courtroom Friday.

This is 10 issues to learn about what’s occurring, what would possibly occur and what to look at the remainder of the way in which:

NO MORE ADVANTAGE

House groups have gone 285-248 this season, a .535 profitable proportion. It is on tempo to be the bottom in NBA historical past.

The document in that division is .551, set final season — and it was trending that means even earlier than the pandemic. The bubble and enjoying the ultimate 88 regular-season video games with out followers had nothing to do with that change; in actual fact, “residence” groups within the bubble received 56% of their video games at Walt Disney World.

However this 12 months, groups consider the dearth of followers elements into home-court benefit not that means a lot. Plus, street groups are getting extra relaxation than common — they’re typically in a single metropolis for a number of days to play a pair of video games and usually cannot go away their lodges for something apart from basketball.

HEAVY CROWN

Utah has the very best document on the All-Star break, which clearly suggests the Jazz are a title contender.

Current historical past says in any other case.

Within the earlier 11 seasons, 9 groups that had the very best document on the break did not win the championship. The one exceptions: Miami in 2012 (the Warmth have been tied with NBA Finals runner-up Oklahoma Metropolis that season at 27-7 through the break), and Golden State in each 2015 and 2017.

3’S STILL WILD

Even with shortened schedules — groups enjoying 72 video games as an alternative of the standard 82 — there’s a probability the document for 3-pointers made league-wide in a season will get damaged.

NBA groups are on tempo to make 27,731 3-pointers this season. That will be simply 224 shy of the document, which is 27,955 set in 2018-19.

Groups are averaging 12.8 made 3’s per sport, so the league is on tempo to interrupt that document for the ninth consecutive season.

They’re additionally averaging 34.9 makes an attempt from 3-point vary per sport, which will likely be a document for a tenth consecutive season — and practically double the speed from a decade in the past.

EAST BEASTS

Washington’s Bradley Beal leads the NBA in scoring at 32.7 factors per sport, and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid is second at 30.2 per contest.

The Japanese Convention having the leaders on this class is a brand new twist.

No participant from an East group has received a scoring title since Carmelo Anthony did for New York in 2012-13. And the final time the East had the league’s two main scorers for a full season was 2008-09 — when Miami’s Dwyane Wade received the title, and Cleveland’s LeBron James was second.

SECOND-HALF SPURS

There are 4 groups with lively streaks of no less than 5 consecutive seasons with profitable data after the All-Star break.

Toronto has 5, Portland seven and Houston eight. And so they’re all gentle years away from San Antonio.

The Spurs have a profitable post-All-Star document in 22 consecutive seasons — a streak so lengthy that it predates the final time the league did not have an All-Star Recreation. The Spurs went 22-12 after the break in 1997-98, there was no sport due to the shortened season in 1998-99, and the San Antonio streak has saved going yearly since.

The Spurs are 449-192 within the final 22 post-All-Star stretches, a 70% profitable clip.

HECTIC TIME

The primary half was hectic. There have been 533 video games within the season’s first 72 days (excluding Christmas Eve, all the time an off day for the NBA), for a mean of seven.4 video games per day.

The second half may very well be busier.

If each remaining sport will get performed — in equity, that is a really massive ‘if’ — the league would have 547 video games over 68 days within the second half, or a mean of simply over eight video games per day.

RISING SUNS

Phoenix hit the All-Star break with the league’s second-best document at 24-11.

It’s a main turnaround.

The Suns’ data on the final 5 All-Star breaks have been terrible: 22-33 final season, preceded by a league-worst 11-48 in 2018-19, 18-41 (tied for worst within the league) in 2017-18, 18-39 (twenty ninth out of 30 groups) in 2016-17 and 14-40 (tied for third-worst) in 2015-16.

The final time the Suns have been over .500 on the break had been 2014-15, after they have been 29-25. And the final time they have been this good by the break was 2007-08, after they have been 37-16 — with present Brooklyn assistant Mike D’Antoni teaching, present Golden State coach Steve Kerr working the entrance workplace and present Nets head coach Steve Nash enjoying level guard.

CP3 NEARS 10,000

One other be aware on Phoenix: Chris Paul stays elite.

He is 47 assists away from 10,000 in his profession, a milestone solely 5 different gamers — John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson — have reached.

That is Paul’s sixteenth season. The New Orleans/Oklahoma Metropolis Hornets had a dropping document within the video games that he performed over his first two seasons, a tough time for that franchise following the relocation brought on by Hurricane Katrina.

His groups have accomplished nothing however win massive since.

This would be the 14th consecutive season wherein Paul’s group has a profitable document when he performs; the Suns are 23-11 with him within the lineup this season.

All 5 of Paul’s groups over these previous 14 seasons — the Hornets, the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston, Oklahoma Metropolis and now Phoenix — have no less than a .600 profitable proportion in his regular-season appearances. Mixed, his groups over these 14 years have received 66.4% of their video games when he performs.

WORST BEST

It isn’t a simple season for any group, with the video games coming in a short time, not numerous observe time and rosters tending to be in flux due to virus-related issues.

Maybe that is why no group has some type of super-gaudy document on the break.

Utah’s 27-9 mark after the primary half is the league’s “worst finest” mark since Sacramento was 37-13 to guide the league going into the 2004 All-Star Recreation.

JIMMY’S ART

Miami’s Jimmy Butler is likely one of the league’s few gamers who thrive within the mid-range sport.

That features the unguarded 15-footer.

Butler would possibly do one thing the league hasn’t seen in 12 years. The final time somebody averaged no less than 20 factors per sport and acquired no less than 35% of these factors on the foul line was 2008-09 when Sacramento’s Kevin Martin did it — averaging 24.6 factors, getting 36.4% of them on the stripe.

Butler is averaging 20.5 factors this season, 35% of that from free throws.

Final season, Butler got here shut, with 37.9% of his factors from the foul line. However he averaged 19.9 factors, solely three factors shy of averaging precisely 20.0.

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