The NBA is at their midway point and with the Trade Deadline looming there are teams looking to put their team’s logo into the playoff picture. As we look back at the first half of the season and offer up a Mid Sean NBA Power Rankings we do so with JUST the first half in mind. There will be no jump for the New Orleans Pelicans due to the DeMarcus Cousins trade or any other trade. First half storylines only.
30. Brooklyn Nets: The Nets belong in the D-League. We figured they would have a rough year but this is getting out of hand. What happened to Jeremy Lin? Did management just decide to dial the season in and keep him in street clothes the rest of the year? Brook Lopez, Trevor Booker, and Sean Kilpatrick are the only bright spots.
29. Phoenix Suns: Was I one of the few that was actually rooting for the Suns this season? I love the makeup of this team but it seems that the pieces do not fit. A trade needs to be made for an enforcer. The Suns are guard heavy which means too many perimeter shots and not enough of an inside presence.
28. New York Knicks: Just being a resident of New York has me wanting to jump out a window. The Knicks are a complete disaster from the court up to the front office. If it’s one team that needs to hit reset it’s the Knicks.
27. Orlando Magic: The Magic have underachieved. They should clearly be a top defensive team in the league and their offense should score at will but why the struggles? The trade of Serge Ibaka will not help their cause and they have done nothing to add balance to the roster.
26. Los Angeles Lakers: It started out great for the Lakers then it fell apart just as fast. Luke Walton has tried to instill a bit of the Golden State Warriors into this lineup but the talent is not there. D’Angelo Russell has not progressed and Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle look as if they’re lost on the court. Walton must find balance.
25. Dallas Mavericks: The Mavericks made a run towards the end of the first half but it will not be enough to earn them one of the top eight spots. Dirk Nowitzki has lost more than a step but the surprise play of Harrison Barnes has kept the Mavs competitive.
24. Minnesota Timberwolves: What has happened to the Timberwolves? A team that was viewed to make a run has fallen so bad that every player is now on the trade market.
23. Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers are not as dysfunctional as the Knicks but they deserve the same level as WTH given to the Knicks and Timberwolves. Damian Lillard has done his best Westbrook impersonation but the team has not followed.
22. Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker can now say that he’s an All-Star but will he be able to brag about being the reason the Hornets make the playoffs?
21. New Orleans Pelicans: The DeMarcus Cousins trade means the Pelicans will surely jump but this is based on pre-Cousins. Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis are a great combo but they are in desperate need of perimeter help.
20. Philadelphia 76ers: They have been a surprise. After losing rookie Ben Simmons before the start many figured this would be another dreadful season but the play of Joel Embiid has energized the team.
19. Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks cannot catch a break to save their lives. Just when they were getting healthy with the return of Khris Middleton they lost Jabari Parker for the season.
18. Miami Heat: The Heat have clawed their way back into the playoff race with an impressive win streak right before the break. Can they keep it up? Hassan Whiteside has played well but the contributions from Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters have helped carry the team.
17. Detroit Pistons: The Pistons are another team that has let many down this season. A lineup that features an explosive guard and a dominating big man should not be fighting to make the playoffs. Their role players are above average, however, with recent trade rumors, this may be the end what was expected to be their rebirth.
16. Sacramento Kings: The Kings are not as bad as many would think. They are still in the playoff hunt but that will change after the trade of Cousins. The first half saw them lose Rudy Gay but Omri Casspi, Matt Barnes held it down, now both are gone.