All-Star Weekend is almost here, and it’s an exciting time for the league. It’s great to see the best players in the world showcase their particular talents, whether it’s the skills challenge, three-point contest, or dunk contest. The weekend is finished with the All-Star Game, where the best players in the world take the court together and put on a show. There are certain teams in the league who are looking forward to the days off more than others. Some teams have been rolling as the break approaches, while others are stumbling and need these days off to refresh. Let’s take a look at teams who are in need of the break.
NBA Teams in Need of the All-Star Break
The Rockets have been one of the biggest surprises in the league this season. They have rolled out of the gate and are currently sitting at 35-16. Although the record speaks for itself, the team overall has been struggling as of late due to injury and fatigue. The Rockets are 3-5 in their last eight games, with some of the losses being blowouts. They have played 51 games already, which is the most in the league out of all the teams. It also doesn’t help when 29 of those games have been on the road. With James Harden being the only player for the Rockets participating in All-Star Weekend, the break will be great for the rest of the team to re-energize and get back to playing like one of the best teams in the association.
The month of January has not been nice to the Cavaliers. The team finished the month 7-8, and questions about the team have been arising. LeBron James has publicly called out the team and management over the past few weeks, and was recently called out by Charles Barkley. Many of the losses for the Cavs in January have come to some of the worst teams in the league. James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love have all been selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. Expect to see them all be asked a lot of questions about the teams’ recent struggles. While the Cavs struggled throughout the month of January, their “rival”, the Golden State Warriors, went 12-2. With these two teams being the favorites to meet in the NBA Finals for a third straight year, it is easy to see why the Cavs have become stressed and uneasy. It will be interesting to watch how the team comes out post-break.
Out of the three teams mentioned in this column, the Raptors have arguably had the worst month of January. The Raptors are 1-6 in their last seven games, with four of the losses coming against sub .500 teams. During this rough patch, the team has slipped to 17th in defensive rating and 27th in rebounding. They have also let the Boston Celtics take over sole possession of the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. Until the Raptors get their defensive woes figured out, the rough stretch is only going to continue. With the trade deadline just a few weeks away, it will be interesting to see if they decide to make any moves, as they have been rumored to be involved in some trade talks.
CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 16: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the first half while taking on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)