Halfway Home. Best Games, Who’s Hot, and Midseason MVP 1. What has been the game of the year thus far? Nick Knight, ClipsNation.com: The Clippers-Hornets first meeting. Even though Eric Gordon didn’t play much for the Hornets, it was a 121-10 win for the Clippers. Griffin scored 26 points with 12 boards whil CP3 had 22 points and 9 assists. The Hornets were led by O. Johnson with 30 points and Jared Dudley with 25 points and 10 boards. Also have to go with Cleveland taking down the Knicks, or should I say Kyrie taking the Empire State by storm. Ryan Coleman, Sol Invictus: I will be a homer and say the second Suns-Wizards game. Suns dropped a ten point lead before erasing a four point deficit in the last 30 seconds to miraculously tie it up and then win in OT. Drew Holoubek, Running of the Bulls: Probably the 2nd Cleveland vs New York game. The Cavs are the darlings of the League this year after their offseason and early season moves, but I think most expected the Knicks to flex their muscles and take down the new guys. Didn’t happen that way though. Mike Erickson, FourStageRocket.com: When Cleveland took down New York. That game proved a number of things, including that the Cavs are a title contender and that it is possible for the Knicks to be beaten! Justin Jones, WaitingForNextYear.com: Pulling the homer card here and going with the double overtime thriller the Cavs had in Brooklyn. I’ll be honest, I thought the Cavs had it won when they took the 7 point lead in the first OT, but the Nets did a great job extending the game and hitting 3’s when the Cavs could only get 2 with the fouls. Then with about 7 seconds left the Cavs took a 3 point lead and rather than foul, they decided to trap Deron Williams hoping he couldn’t get a shot off. Instead, Williams beat the trap getting just enough room for a clean look at a deep 3. He hit it sending the Barclay’s Center into a frenzy. Heading into the 2nd OT, I thought the Cavs were done. Somehow, the Cavs shook off the buzzer beater and dominated in the 2nd OT for the hard fought victory. 2. Give me your starting 5 in the East for the All Star game. NK: Rose, Irving, Melo, LeBron James, Brook Lopez RC: Derrick Rose, Monta Ellis, LeBron James, Josh Smith, Brook Lopez DH: Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Brook Lopez, Carmelo Anthony, Josh Smith ME: Rose, Irving, Melo, Josh Smith, Brook Lopez JJ: Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Josh Smith, Brook Lopez. Went with MKG here because he has arguably been the most balanced 3-man this season averaging 17 points, 6 boards, and 6 dimes a game. Plus he is just a thrill to watch. 3. Give me your starting 5 in the West for the All Star game. NK: CP3, Kobe, Durant, Griffin, Dwight RC: Ty Lawson, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard DH: Chris Paul, Ty Lawson, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin ME: Lawson, DeRozan, Durant, Griffin, Howard JJ: Ty Lawson, DeMarr DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard. Ty is having a career year and is definitely giving Derrick Rose and Kyrie a run for their money in the MVP race. DD is producing at a high rate this year as well in his first full season in the Desert. The other 3 guys are just elementary. 4. Has their been one team in either conference that has established themselves as THE team to beat just yet? NK: The West teams are starting to separate themselves, Blazers, Hornets, Spurs and Clippers. East teams are Knicks, Nets, Cavs and the Bulls. RC: I don’t think so, both conferences have some solid teams at the top, but its been proven that any of those teams can beat another on a given night. DH: I don’t think one team has done so, especially in the East. In the West, the Trail Blazers seem to be clicking and may be getting some separation from the pack. ME: I still believe that the Knicks are the team to beat in the East, but it is not as much of a lock as I once believed. Portland has the keys to the West. JJ: I would have to say it is the Portland Trail Blazers. They swept the Cavaliers this year and their roster just drips of insane talent. I don’t think ANYONE can match up with this team, especially in the bigs department. However, I do believe that the Blazers trading arguably their best all around defender in Taj Gibson was a mistake. If D3 or LA get in foul trouble, they really have no one on the bench to even sniff their production. 5. Who is your midseason MVP? NK: Derrick Rose easily, take him away from the Bulls and who knows where they would be. RC: I am going to go with Rose, he has been dominant so far this year. DH: I’m going with the obvious home pick – Derrick Rose. Of all the contenders, he has played with less offensive help than any of the others and has been leading the league in scoring and in the top 3 in assists nearly all year. ME: Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose Co-MVPs. Melo is simply the best player in the league and Rose has carried his team in the same way Allen Iverson carried his 76ers teams a decade ago. JJ: This is a 3 horse race. Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, and Ty Lawson. The edge right now I think has to go to Ty Lawson. With a GM that is CONSTANTLY turning over the roster (and not always winning the deals), Ty has been the rock of that organization. When your running mates are always changing, the performance of the guy who stays the course may suffer. Ty has blossomed. Bonus Question: Will the demise of the Miami Heat ultimately break up the Big 3? NK: The window is closing on them, Wade is older and it is time for LeBron to move again. RC: I believe so. One of those three will hit the FA market. DH: I think that all 3 are back next year, unless some of the Miami GM’s questionable contracts prevent them from re-signing all 3. ME: I say Bosh and LeBron move on. JJ: The South Beach Meltdown as its getting called here. You’d have to believe there will be some roster turnover if this continues. I think the Heat may try to keep them, but each player controls their own fate. LBJ, Bosh, and Wade got together to win. There hasn’t been a whole lot of that this season. With Miami’s inability to really change the supporting cast around the Big 3, I see at least 2 of them walking away from South Beach. That’s a wrap for this edition of 5-On-5.