What to watch for in the NBA’s second half: Steph Curry, LeBron chasing records (and rings)

It’s been a week and the NBA’s All-Star Weekend is already a distant memory, gone too is the trade deadline and the chaos (or lack thereof) that accompanies it. Now we face a two-month slog to the finish line and the start of the NBA Playoffs in the third week of April. Fortunately, for us depraved, hoops-addicted few, even the darkest hours of the season/winter have glimmers of light for us to enjoy. Take a look at what the second half of the NBA season offers as you search for meaning in such brutal (nationally aired) games as: LA Lakers @ Chicago, Memphis @ LA Lakers and Golden State @ LA Lakers.

Up for grabs records:

Stephen Curry is playing like a man on fire and having a season even more statistically ridiculous than his MVP campaign of a year ago. He doesn’t have a “legit shot” at breaking his own NBA record for made threes, he would have to slow down his torrid pace for that to be the case; no, instead, he’s on pace to SHATTER his own record for made threes in an NBA season. Astonishing. Also, as you may have heard, the team Steph plays for isn’t half bad either. The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors are ahead of the pace set by the 72-win Chicago Bulls at this point in the season for most wins in a season. Time will tell if they can catch MJ and Co. but nobody has won games like this (or with this much fun…ever.)

Steph and the Warriors aren’t the only ones flirting with rare air either, none other than King James is also having a monumental season. LeBron is on pace to become the first NBA player ever to average at least 25 points per game for 12 consecutive NBA seasons. He’s already tied with legends Jerry West and Karl Malone with 11-straight seasons of 25 ppg. and we’re at the place in LeBron’s career where he’ll be pushing and breaking these types of records and benchmarks on a season-by-season basis now.

Other things to watch:

 

#KATmageddon


Karl-AnthonyTowns has officially arrived. He may have “only” won the Skill Challenge at All-Star Weekend, but make no mistake, KAT is the real deal. At the All-Star break he was averaging a monstrous line of 17.1 points, 10.1 boards and, YAWN!, 1.5 blocks/game. What’s fascinating about Anthony-Towns, too, is his composure and singular focus on honing his craft. When I spoke to him on Sunday at the NBA Legends brunch in Toronto he had the quiet fire to state that he was “leaving after this brunch, because he’s got too much pride to hang around at a game I wanted to be voted in to,” and that he would “be ready for Charlotte next year.” There are very few guarantees, but Towns as Rookie of the Year seems a certainty at this point, and he’s got 28 more games to cement his status.

The Eastern Conference Playoff Chase

The worm has turned in the Eastern Conference and with Charlotte and Detroit bolstering their rosters before the trade deadline, no seeds are guaranteed (aside from Cleveland and Toronto.) Grab the popcorn and tune in for the cage match that will be the Eastern’s chase for the remaining six playoff slots.

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