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Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors are the NBA Midseason Leaders, But Will They Be Standing in June?

Posted on January 31, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have the NBA turned upside down.

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have the NBA turned upside down.

At the halfway point of the 2014-2015 NBA season the league seems to be turned upside down.

The best records in the league are held by the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors, two teams with marginal pedigrees.

The Warriors last hoisted the NBA championship trophy 40 years ago when Rick Barry and Jamaal Wilkes led the way.

The last championship won by the Hawks was in 1958 when the team was based in St. Louis and Bob Pettit was the quintessential NBA star.

Conversely, two teams with nearly half of the titles in NBA history between them, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, are out of contention and already looking at next season.

According to top sports betting sites listed at, the Warriors and Hawks are now among the favorites to win the NBA title.

However, given that neither team has a great track record of playoff performance, it is hard to slot them in as the likely finalists just yet.

Even with a 36-8 mark to start the season and two legitimate stars in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, it will be tough for the Warriors to make it out of the tough Western Conference. With seven teams in the conference already with 30 victories, the Phoenix Suns close behind (28 wins) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (23-23) now healthy and likely to push for a spot in the playoffs.

If the playoffs started today the defending champion San Antonio Spurs (30-17) would be the seventh seed in the West, yet it is still hard to bet against them.

Other teams that will make it tough for the Warriors include the Memphis Grizzlies (34-12), Houston Rockets (33-14), Los Angeles Clippers (32-15), Portland Trailblazers (32-15) and Dallas Mavericks (31-17).

With only six teams in the Eastern Conference with a winning record, it might be a bit easier for the Hawks to get past the opening round of the playoffs. However, the Toronto Raptors (32-15), Washington Wizards (31-16), Chicago Bulls (30-19) and Cleveland Cavaliers (28-20) all would be a tough challenge in the next round.

Boasting proven superstars, the Bulls and Cavaliers would seem to be the teams most likely to challenge Atlanta for a spot in the NBA finals.

After missing most of the last two years, Derrick Rose is starting to round back in to shape. In addition, Jimmy Butler has emerged as an All-Star and Pau Gasol is still a top player and has a championship pedigree.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be getting hot at the right time.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be getting hot at the right time.

Speaking of championship history, LeBron James of the Cavaliers has been in the finals five times, including the last four years when with the Miami Heat. The Cavaliers seem to be rounding into form at the right time and James will certainly have them primed for a playoff run.

So while the Hawks and Warriors are the winners of the NBA race to mid-season, it will be interesting to see if they are still standing come June.

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