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Second Half NBA Championship Odds With NBA StoryLines

Although we are a bit over halfway there, the NBA All Star game usually marks the halfway mark of the season for most teams. And now that we are in the home stretch, it’s only right that we take a look at how things might shake out in the coming months. After all, some slight changes in the league could have huge implications for where you put your bets to win it all in June. Here’s a look at some things to keep an eye out for.

Can Indiana Hold Off Heat?
Hone court in the NBA Playoffs has proven time and time again to be incredibly valuable. After all, it was the Heat needing all seven games, including the last one in Miami, to close out the Pacers in 2013. This year, Indiana will hope to turn the tide and have things on their home court come playoff time. At the All Star break, the Pacers have a 2 ½ game lead over the Heat for the top spot in the East. The teams will also play each other two more times, after splitting the first two meetings before the break.

How Will The West Shake Up?
Unlike in the East, where it’s clearly a two-team race, it’s anyone’s conference in the West. Keep in mind that while the margin between second and third place in the East is a difference of 10 games, only six games separate first from sixth in the West. Kevin Durant has been unstoppable lately as he’s been on a tear that has almost never been seen before in the NBA; which has helped the Thunder claim the top spot in the West. The Spurs, well the Spurs are the Spurs and they keep doing Spur things. You know that no matter where they fall in the playoffs, their maturity and experience will do them well in the playoffs. Houston has all the pieces with Harden and Howard. The Clippers, when healthy, may be one of the quickest and flashiest teams in the West. And Portland has been the surprise team to everyone this year that keeps sticking around. Then you have teams like Dallas, Golden State, Memphis and Phoenix all vying for that last spot. The West is stacked this year and it should make for an entertaining race to the playoffs.

Who Will Get Traded?
The trade deadline is on February 21st. There has been tons of rumors swirling about who may get traded, but most noticeably the name that keeps coming up is Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks moved mountains to bring Melo to New York, yet he hasn’t had much success during his tenure. Now, with the Knicks currently out of the playoff picture, could Melo land elsewhere before the season is over? Quite possibly he certainly could. Look for a team that is on the cusp of the playoffs look to make a move for Melo as they try and round out their own roster and make a deeper impact on the playoff picture.

Can Durant Unseat James As MVP?
It’s been a while since the NBA has seen a truly great rivalry between two world-class players who continually go at one another on a regular basis. But with the way Kevin Durant has been playing lately, LeBron James may need to prepare himself. James is a four-time MVP, including two years in a row. While he will look to tie Jordan with his fifth MVP trophy this year, Durant will look to unseat him as the best player in the league. The best part about these two players is, despite the fact that they will only play each other one more time (later this week by the way), expect both Durant and James to dominate the second half as they continually try and one up the other in order to prove why they are the best in the universe.

Can The Lakers Really Be The Worst In The League?
What NBA storyline would be complete without having at least a bit of Lakers action? Especially when they are having a historically horrible season. At the break, the Lakers are in the 7th seed and 13 games out of the playoffs. We heard that Kobe would be back by the end of the season, but if it’s too little too late, then why risk it? Instead, it’s possible that one of the most historic franchises in NBA history could tank the remainder of the way in hopes of getting a lottery pick in the draft. That could give Kobe some seriously young talent to help him out next year, along with the potential of a few key free agents that will be shopping around this offseason as well.

Coaches on The Hot Seat
There is a bunch of coaches whose seats are getting lukewarm if not uncomfortably mild around this time of year. Maurice Cheeks was just recently fired in Detroit, and guys like Mark Jackson, Mike Brown, Rick Adelman, Mike Woodson might be right behind him. It’s ironic, and a bit sad, that some of the most touted coaches in the NBA are all on the hot seat with teams that are possibly tanking on purpose. But nonetheless, these coaches could be on the way out for their inability to get performance out of their respective teams.

Things have changed a bit as of late in terms of favorites to win the NBA Championship. Here is a look at the odds as they stand at the All Star break.

Indiana Pacers 11/5
Miami Heat 12/5
Oklahoma City Thunder 4/1
San Antonio Spurs 15/1
Los Angeles Clippers 15/1
Golden State Warriors 20/1
Portland Blazers 20/1
Houston Rockets 20/1
Brooklyn Nets 50/1
Memphis Grizzlies 60/1
Phoenix Suns 60/1
Toronto Raptors 80/1
Dallas Mavericks 85/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 125/1
Chicago Bulls 125/1
Washington Wizards 125/1
Atlanta Hawks 125/1
Detroit Pistons 150/1
New York Knicks 150/1
Denver Nuggets 400/1
Boston Celtics 400/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 1000/1
Charlotte Bobcats 1000/1
New Orleans Pelicans 1500/1
Philadelphia 76ers 9999/1
Los Angeles Lakers 9999/1
Sacramento Kings 9999/1
Utah Jazz 9999/1
Orlando Magic 9999/1
Milwaukee Bucks 9999/1

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