So we've reached the midway point of the NBA season and we're getting a clearer idea of the real title challengers for this year.
Unsurprisingly Indiana Pacers lead the way with their 32-7 and currently being able to boast the league's best defence. They've been the most consistent team in the league thus far and rank as the best defensive team of the last 37 years, allowing an excellent 10.3 points per 100 possessions less than the league average.
1) Indiana Pacers - 32-7
Lance Stephenson is pushing his case for a place on the all-star even more. And Paul George, who will definitely be there, is amazing fans all over with the performances he is managing to log consistently - 36 points against LAC last time out - (and his amazing dunks). The Pacers boast the league's best home record at 21-1 and hold a 3½-game lead in the Eastern Conference over two-time defending champion Miami. Still doubts about how well they travel. Do look set to be the number one seeds this year.
2) Portland Trail Blazers - 31-9
Wesley Matthews, Damien Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge have been excellent on offense, making the Blazers the number one team going forward. But they are only 20th in terms of defense and this could hurt them come the post-season. They are currently 3-0 on an four game road trip however, all against decent teams, which lets them now that at least they can outscore teams, even on the road. Be interesting to see how they fair against the scoring of Kevin Durant tomorrow.
3) San Antonio Spurs - 32-9
Whilst their eight game win streak was ended by the Trail Blazers, there is a lot to be optimistic about for the San Antonio Spurs. Tim Duncan is rebounding as dominantly as ever and they are getting all important points off the bench, which is vital for a team with some ageing stars. Patty Mills shot a high of 20 on the way to their trouncing win over the Bucks, but everyone beats the Bucks so it's not a huge biggie. Tony Parker's return will only make the Spurs better as well. Ominous.
4) Oklahoma City Thunder - 31-10
The world keeps spinning and Kevin Durant will continue to be the best scorer in the league. They miss Russell Westbrook immensely but at least the Thunder are finding ways to win without him. Durant is scoring more and Serge Ibaka is improving with almost every game in becoming one of the best power forwards out there. Reggie Jackson is doing an OK job as Westbrook's replacement while the youngsters like Jeremy Lamb and Steven Adams are contributing and getting more and more solid minutes.
5) Miami Heat - 29-11
Miami are just waiting for the playoffs and to get their big players back. Dwayne Wade's absence still proves that the Heat aren't just a one man team as they have definitely regressed whilst the flash has been out. Lebron is still doing everything that Lebron does and more, but at the moment it still isn't quite enough to overtake Indiana for that number 1 spot. It will be interesting to see how much Greg Oden will do in his continuing return.