Curry, Bryant, Knicks Headline First Half of NBA Season

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison, Wikipedia

As the NBA All Star Weekend, starting this Friday, approaches, we have seen an exciting first half of the 2015-16 NBA season.

Some of the popular storylines from the first half of the season include the incredible start for by Golden State Warriors, as well as the success of New York Knicks rookie sensation and big man Kristaps Porzingis, Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour, and the recent firing of New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher.

After beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals last year, the Warriors had to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke, and they have been doing their best to do just that. The team from the Bay Area is on pace to break the NBA single season wins mark of 72 set by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls, as they stand at 48-4.

Stephen Curry, last year’s MVP, has led the way for the Warriors, who started their season 24-0, setting an NBA record for the most consecutive wins to start the season. Curry is currently averaging 29.8 points and 6.6 assists per game. In addition, he is on pace to shatter his own single-season record for most three pointers made, which he set last year with 286. So far this season he has hit 245 three-pointers, putting him on pace for over 400 three-pointers made on the season.

“He is the most unstoppable offensive player in the game, and to me he is the best player on the planet on the best team,” said senior Vik Pawar.

Although the Knicks aren’t exactly a force in the Eastern Conference, Porzingis, the 7 foot 3 inches rookie forward from Latvia, has shown glimpses of being a potential super star. 

Through 54 games, he is averaging 13.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, to go along with 1.9 blocks per game. He has posted double doubles in 18 games so far this season, which is second among  the rookies in the league.

Before this season began, Kobe Bryant announced that this would be his final season. He will go down as one of the greatest offensive players in NBA history, and he will be a first ballot Hall of Fame selection.

Although Bryant isn’t having the season he hoped he would, averaging just 16.9 points per game and shooting 35 percent from the field, he has shown glimpses of his vintage self. In his last six games, he is averaging 24.8 points per game and has knocked down 26 three-pointers over this stretch.

“He is doing pretty well lately and I am happy that he is performing better than he was early in the year. As one of my idols I hope that he can continue playing like he has recently for the rest of the season,” said senior Ryan Schofield.

On Monday, the Knicks fired second-year head coach Derek Fisher after the team dropped its fifth straight game – the ninth out of the last 10 games. After going 17-65 last season, the Knicks showed some improvement starting this season 22-22, but are now 23-32 and are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.

The first half of the NBA season has had some great storylines and a lot of excitement, especially in the Western Conference. The Spurs are breathing down the Warriors’ necks, currently trailing them by 3.5 games for the top Western Conference seed. In the East, the Cavs hold a two-game lead over the Toronto Raptors, who have had terrific guard play from DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

Stay tuned, for the second half of the season to see if the Warriors can continue their success, if Porzingis can continue the solid start to his career and if Kobe Bryant will cap off his storied career.