The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Sidelines: NBA All-Star Weekend
The All-Star Game will be held in Indianapolis this weekend. (Photo courtesy of

The NBA season is halfway over, and there has been a mix of long-time dominant stalwarts in the East and surprising newcomers in the West.

The Eastern Conference has been dominated by the Boston Celtics once again. With a finals appearance in 2022 and an Eastern Conference Finals loss last season, the Celtics are looking to finally win an O’Brien Trophy this season. Led by Jayson Tatum, who is a starter in Sunday’s All-Star Game, the Celtics have been the number-one team in the league for what seems like all season.

Six games behind them are the Cavaliers, who have completely turned their season around. Star guard Donavan Mitchell has led Cleveland on a mid-season push that saw them win 16 of 17 games, rocketing them from a borderline play-in team to second place in the East.

The Bucks, Knicks and 76ers round out the top five, with all teams looking to make a late-season surge to the top.

The most publicized story in the East has to be the Detroit Pistons, and not for a good reason. The Pistons went two whole months without winning a single game. Their 28-game losing streak made history as the longest in a single season, with the team tying the record for most total consecutive losses. The Pistons have won four out of their last 10 which shows promise that they will get above 10 wins this season.

In the West, however, the battle for the top is a much closer race. The no. 1 Timberwolves and the fourth-seed Nuggets are separated by just two games. If the Nuggets keep up their current pace, with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic playing like the best center in the league, they still have the ability to repeat as champion.

The Clippers, filled to the brim with all-star talents including Kawaii Leonard, Paul George, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, have finally started to gel as a team. Despite this, the Clippers have failed to overtake the two top teams in the West as surprisingly the Timberwolves and the Thunder have been battling for the number-one spot all season. Minnesota, led by Karl Anthony-Towns and Anthony Edwards, has been playing at a level not seen in the city since the days of Kevin Garnett.

The Thunder, despite expectations that they were too young, have become a juggernaut, led by MVP candidate Shai Gileauos-Alexander. The Thunder also have Chet Holmgren who is in the race for Rookie of the Year. He has been toe-to-toe with all-time prospect Victor Wembanyama in the award odds, but Wembanyama has taken the lead going into the All-Star Break.

Questions do still remain for both teams regarding their long-term viability after failing to make major moves at the trade deadline despite their wealth of draft picks and tradable players.

One change this season is the creation of the In-Season Tournament. The tournament, played in October and designed to create more excitement during the early part of the season, was a part of the regular season games that each team played and consisted of group play and then a playoff format. The Los Angeles Lakers were this year’s champion with Lebron James winning tournament MVP — another accolade to add to a career full of them.

The All-Star Weekend festivities will take place in Indianapolis this year. New to the programming will be the Steph Curry and Sabrina Ionescu Three-Point Contest on Saturday.

In Sunday’s East vs. West game, the captains will be James representing the West and Giannis Antetokounmpo from the East. In a return to what many fans feel is the better format, the All-Star Game will cap off what has been an action-packed first half of the NBA season.

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