By Assane Drame
Now that the highly acclaimed All-Star weekend & the first half of the NBA season is in the books, we can now all look forward to some 2nd half action of the best basketball league in the world. We now look forward to playoff pushes/the actual playoffs itself and team shake-ups (thanks to the trade deadline). Everybody has thoughts on what they think will happen in the next chapter of the 14-15 NBA season including me! So here are some of my predictions on what will happen for the rest of the season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder make the playoffs;
Watch out Western conference, here comes the Oklahoma City Thunder. KD & Russ look healthy now and are ready to dish out pain. Not only that, but on NBA Trade Deadline day, they addressed every issue they had as a ball team. They bolstered their bench by acquiring Kyle Singler, Steve Novak, & DJ Augustin, they upgraded at the center position by acquiring Enes Kanter, and most importantly all of this one done by just giving up Kendrick Perkins and a disgruntled Reggie Jackson. While the Suns took someone of a step back by trading Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, the Thunder took 3 steps forward. Add along one of the easier schedules of the playoff contenders and OKC might not only be able to make the playoffs but climb up into a top 5 seed.
The Miami Heat climb in the Eastern Conference
The Miami Heat also made a move on deadline day by trading with the Suns. The Heat received one of the top PGs in Goran Dragic along with his brother Zoran. Meanwhile, they gave up Norris Cole, Danny Granger, Shawne Williams, Jordan Hamilton, and two draft picks. This was basically a coup. A starting lineup of Dragic-Wade-Deng-Bosh-Whiteside could be very dangerous if Wade’s legs can hold up, and if it does, expect the Heat to move up in a very open Eastern Conference.
Andrew Wiggins wins Rookie of the Year Award
The Timberwolves own Wiggins tops all rookies in minutes played and points per game. He had had multiple 20 point games and has been doing it in an efficient way. He also tops all qualified rookies in 3pt% and has played good defense as many expected him to do. Kevin Martin coming back from injury does raise concern though, as he is known to be a high volume shooter on the wings and it is yet to be known how the wolves handle that. However, for Wiggins sake let’s just hope they figure it out or else we could see Nerlens Noel who has also been a top notch rookie take home the honors.
The New York Knicks secure the number 1 overall pick in the draft
It is a sad time to be a Knicks fan. *Cue world’s smallest violin by Mr. Krabs* Carmelo Anthony has shut it down for the season to nurse his knee, Amare is gone, JR is gone, and Imam is gone. Now the NYC spotlight is on a bunch of young players such as Cleanthony Early, Travis Wear, Langston Galloway, Shane Larkin, Tim Hardaway, also rookie head coach Derek Fisher. Phil Jackson has a plan I’m sure of it and maybe in the near future the plan may work. For now though, Spike Lee’s beloved squad is in an arms race between Jim Buss’s Lakers, the Tankadelphia Sixers, and the Minnesota Puppies (Wolves) for the top pick in the draft. With not enough talent, having 10 wins, and letting go of vets, the top pick may be easy to gain for the Knickerbockers.