The NBA All-Star Game is out of the way now, and it is time to start the second half of the season. Most teams still have plenty to play for and I think the race for playoff spots and seeding will really heat up over the next couple months. Which teams went into the break red-hot? Here’s our bi-weekly look at the hottest and coldest teams in the league:
(Please note the statistics used are for games played between February 7 and February 17.)
Top Five “Hot” ATS NBA Teams
- Portland Trail Blazers (5-0 ATS) No team ended the first half of the season hotter than the Blazers. LaMarcus Aldridge averaged an amazing 34 points per game during this five game span. Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby are expected back this week at some point. This team has the potential to be a dangerous opponent in the playoffs.
- Chicago Bulls (4-1 ATS) The Bulls lost to the Blazers on February 7, then went on to win and cover in their last four games before the All-Star break. Derrick Rose continues to make a strong case for the MVP award. The Bulls will get another boost when Joakim Noah returns to the lineup this week.
- Orlando Magic (4-1 ATS) Orlando has been a streaky team of late, but it was really big for them to pick up a win over the Lakers just before the break. The Magic have struggled to beat other upper echelon teams, so maybe this win can boost their confidence moving forward.
- Dallas Mavericks (4-2 ATS) The Mavericks took a ton of momentum into the break. Dirk Nowitzki is healthy again, and this Dallas team is looking like a real contender for the title once again. Dallas is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- San Antonio Spurs (4-2 ATS) San Antonio continues to prove the experts wrong this season. It will be interesting to see if this veteran team hits a bump in the road at some point during the stretch. They start the second half of the season with games at home.
Bottom Five “Cold” ATS NBA Teams
- New Orleans Hornets (1-5 ATS) This is the second straight time the Hornets have been the single coldest team in the NBA. New Orleans is a miserable 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The schedule isn’t too tough for them coming out of the break, so they must get back on track right away.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (1-3 ATS) Oklahoma City lost to both Memphis and Golden State right before the break. This is a team that has been good this year, but they haven’t shown much improvement from a year ago. It will be interesting to see if the Thunder can improve on the defensive end of the floor.
- Atlanta Hawks (1-3 ATS) The Hawks offense was wildly inconsistent the last couple weeks. Atlanta is averaging just 96.8 points per game this year. In order for this team to make noise in the playoffs, they’ll need to improve their offensive efficiency. They start the second half with a daunting five game road trip.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (2-4 ATS) Kevin Love has been a star for Minnesota, but the team has continued to struggle mightily. Minnesota is allowing 108 points per game. Until they start playing a little defense, this team simply won’t be very competitive. Michael Beasley is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday.
- Detroit Pistons (2-4 ATS) Detroit has been on both sides of this list many times this year. The Pistons have the ability to step up and beat top teams occasionally, but they don’t bring their best effort each night. I don’t expect this team to improve in the second half, but the oddsmakers might give us a good value on them at times.