Five NBA Players Poised for a Big Second Halfby Jackson Caudell February 25, 2022 0 comments
While they have played more than 41 games, the NBA All-Star Break is what NBA fans consider the halfway point of the season. Right before the break, there was a major shifting in the NBA landscape. A little more than a year after being traded to Brooklyn, James Harden is now in Philadelphia. He now has a couple of months to form a rhythm with Joel Embiid. The Nets will be looking to incorporate Ben Simmons in the lineup and climb out of the play-in tournament. The storylines for the second half of the NBA season are endless. The Eastern Conference has five teams in contention for the top seed. In the Western Conference, Phoenix has a healthy lead.
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5. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
We are starting off with an obvious choice. However, DeRozan is not getting the love that he should be. The offensive games he has had lately have vaulted him in the MVP conversation. He is also on track to be an All-NBA First Team pick. Chicago is still dealing with injuries to guys like Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball, and Zach LaVine. For Chicago to be a contender for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, DeRozan is going to have to continue to be dominant. He will and more credit should be given to him in the MVP race as he has a monster second half of the season.
4. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Like DeRozan, Doncic was red hot before the All-Star break and started to look like the top-five player that he is. At the start of the season, Doncic was not very good and was banged up. That is some of the reason that he was not able to make it as an All-Star starter and the Mavericks record was below expectation. Now, Doncic is helping Dallas become one of the top teams in the Western Conference and scoring at a high level. Look for him to continue his dominant play and help keep the Mavericks moving up in the standings.
3. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
The award for the most exciting player in the first half of the season has to be given to Morant. He has turned the Grizzlies into must-watch tv whenever they are on and is electric on the court. He has Memphis higher in the standings than anyone thought that he could. If Memphis is going to be taken seriously in the playoffs, they are going to have to have Morant be one of the top players in the NBA. He will do that and have just as big of a second half to the season as his first half.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
For a player of his caliber, Antetokounmpo does not seem to be getting the credit he deserves this season. Not only is he having an MVP type of season, but he has a legitimate case to be the defensive player of the year. The reason why he will have a big second half is simple. The Bucks are really going to need him to. Milwaukee has one of the toughest schedules in the NBA remaining, and they are currently fifth in the standings. For Milwaukee to get homecourt advantage and have the best possible chance to repeat, Antetokounmpo is going to have to have a big second half of the season.
1. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Booker gets the top spot on this list due to an injury on his own team. Chris Paul is going to be out up to eight weeks and that could help weaken Phoenix’s grip on homecourt in the playoffs. For that not to happen, Booker is going to have a big second half of the season. For the Suns to remain on top of the NBA world, Booker is going to have to take on more responsibility on the offensive end. Everyone knows he can score, but Paul’s playmaking ability and the skill to run an offense are going to be missed. Booker has the ability to do that and keep the Suns on top, but only if he is an elite player.
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Main Image Credit: From SportingNews.com