- Miami Heat (36-14)- The Miami Heat have won their last seven games and are 8-2 in the past 10 games. They will probably began to get more focused as we begin to move closer to playoff time. I think that LeBron James guy will look to prove some things after his All Star weekend with Kobe Bryant. The Heat start the second half off with the Atlanta Hawks.
- San Antonio Spurs (42-12)- The Spurs are 9-1 in their last 10 games and have won their last three in a row. The Spurs are once again holding the best record in the NBA, but will their age allow them to continue to play defense in playoff time, the way that they have so far this season.
- Los Angeles Clippers (39-17)- The Clippers have won their last four games and are finally starting to operate at full strength. The Clippers blew out the Lakers in their last game by a score of 125-101 and will begin part two of their season with the San Antonio Spurs. If Chris Paul is to contend for the league's Most Valuable Player, he will have to start there.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (39-14)- OKC is 6-4 in their last 10 games and they lost the last one to the Miami Heat before the All Star Break. Look for Kevin Durant to try to put the team on his back as he and Russell Westbrook try to catch up with the Spurs for the number one spot in the West.
- Memphis Grizzlies (33-18)- Memphis has done surprisingly well since trading away Rudy Gay and according to Zach Randolph they are better equipped for the playoffs now. They have won their last three games since losing in Atlanta to the Hawks and will start the second half of the season at Detroit and at Toronto.
- Indiana Pacers (32-21)- Paul George has been holding down the Pacers until Danny Granger gets back into the mix. Indiana's defense has also been a big help, they begin the next phase of the season with a game against the New York Knicks and then two against the Detroit Pistons.
- Denver Nuggets (33-21)- The Nuggets are 7-3 in their last 10 games, even though they have lost their last three games. The energy and hunger of this young team should carry them all the way to the playoffs.
- Houston Rockets (29-26)- The Rockets are riding off the talent off James Harden and if he can get some help in the offense department then Houston may be able to hold on to the last playoff spot in the West. It won't be easy as they start off the second half of the season with Oklahoma City and then at Brooklyn.
- New York Knicks (32-18)- The New York Knicks stumbled into the All Star Break by losing two games. The rest of February looks favorable as they take on Indiana (away), Toronto (away), Philadelphia (home) and Golden State (home). The Knicks need to continue to focus on defense and rebounding if they plan to have a good playoff run.
- Atlanta Hawks (29-22)- The Hawks closed out the first half of the season with two wins and three out of the last four. The four wins were quality wins against Memphis, Dallas and a blowout against Orlando. If Josh Smith and Al Horford continue to tear up the stat sheet the Atlanta Hawks could work their way up closer to the middle of the pack to position themselves for a better playoff run.
Tags: Al Horford, Atlanta, Atlanta Hawks, Basketball, Chris Paul, Danny Granger, James Harden, Josh Smith, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, NBA, Paul George, Zach Randolph
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