Most Surprising Team:
When Jeff Hornacek took the Suns job he thought he was going to be coaching a lottery team and not a potential playoff squad. Phoenix is 30-21 at the break and currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference. The man they expected to lead the team, Eric Bledsoe, has only played in 24 games and has not been the go to guy they hoped. Goran Dragic is running the point like a pro and averaging 20 points and 6 assists per game. The inside presence of the Channing Frye and Miles Plumlee has been impressive and the Morris twins have been a threat in the paint and on the perimeter. Although they don’t have as much talent as much of the Western Conference, they had a great first half and will be in it in the second part of this season.
Most Disappointing Team:
New York Knicks
After a solid 2012-13 season, the Knicks were expecting good things to continue in the Garden. New York has been somewhat snake bitten by injuries, but even with that they have still extremely underachieved. Carmelo is having a solid season but still struggles on the defensive end and is still lacking that second option around him. Tyson Chandler has had trouble staying on the court only playing 28 games in the first half. J.R. Smith is having an average season and is butting heads with Mike Woodson and being a problem on and off the court. Andrea Bargnani has not turned into the player the Knicks were hoping he would become in this offense. If they cant turn it around in the second half expect Woodson to be fired and Carmelo to take his talents elsewhere.
Rookie of the Year:
Michael Carter Williams
He has been the bright spot in a dreadful season that has the Sixers heading towards the lottery. Carter Williams is averaging 17 points, 6.5 assists and 5 rebounds a game in 42 games. He is shooting 40 percent from the field and 29 percent from three and has a knack for getting to the hoop. There is not much around Carter Williams, but within the next few years he will have some play makers to set up. The only other rookie that is close to MCW is Victor Oladipo in Orlando.
Coach of the Year:
The Pacers have made a major statement in the first half and that is due in large part because of Frank Vogel. He had the Pacers inches from the NBA Finals last season and has them with the second best record in the NBA at the break. Their starting five is an all star team with West, Hibbert, Stephenson and George and have solid bench guys in Scola and Granger. They have been able to go toe to toe with the Heat in the first half and are headed for a battle in the playoffs. Vogel has been given tons of talent and he isn’t wasting a moment of it.
LeBron James may be the best all around player in the NBA, but Kevin Durant has been a monster in the first half. Durant is averaging 31 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists per game and is the leading scorer in the NBA. He is shooting a ridiculous 51 percent from the field and a impressive 41 percent from three. Durant is also putting up these numbers without his sidekick Russell Westbrook for most of the first half. He is also getting it done on the defensive end averaging and steal and a block per game while guarding most teams best player. KD has the Thunder with the best record in the league at 43-12 and a chance to get back to the Finals.