Milwaukee is currently on a 70-win pace as we exit the All-Star break, and it hasn't exactly been a grueling first half for the NBA's top team.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging just over 30 minutes per game, and 13 Bucks are averaging at least 13 minutes per game.
Mike Budenholzer doesn't have to lean on his stars. Milwaukee has been cruise control for much of the season.
Can the Bucks match the Warriors'73-win season? Milwaukee has the fifth-hardest schedule remaining, and it could give Giannis games off in the final weeks.
Still, Milwaukee is deep enough and talented enough to make a serious run at Golden State, especially as they run rampant through the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee may fall short of the all-time record, but they'll likely come quite close before the postseason begins.
Speaking of light schedules, no team has an easier road ahead than the Pelicans.
New Orleans entered the All-Star break with six wins in its last 10 games, and Zion Williamson has quickly proven to be the real deal. With their team finally healthy, is a playoff berth on the horizon?
New Orleans is still 6.5 games back of Memphis, though the Grizzlies coincidentally have the NBA's hardest remaining schedule.
They rank No. 7 in net rating and No. 5 in effective field goal percentage, and only the Warriors boast a better assist percentage.
An uphill climb awaits, but New Orleans has the talent to make a run for the No. 8 seed.
Philadelphia's point guard has made just two three pointers this season. He's attempted just six triples in 2019-20, and he hasn't attempted more than one in a single game. So why will Simmons can multiple threes in a game?
Perhaps some good-old-fashioned pressure will do the trick. Simmons'stroke isn't completely broken, and as the postseason approaches, perhaps he'll be more inclined towork on his corner three.
Simmons is a stubborn sort, and the public mockery has yet to force his hand. Yet with the postseason approaching, perhaps Brett Brown can finally get through to hismercurialpoint guard.
It's a testament to Harden's dominance that he's averaging 29 points per game in his 15-game "slump."
The two-time scoring champion is shooting just 39.3% from the field since Jan. 11, looking fatigued in spurts as Westbrook unleashed an MVP-caliber stretch.
We should see a better Harden in the season's final stretch as he exits All-Star weekend at 35.3 PPG.
Harden was on a historic tear for much of 2019-20, averaging 39.3 points per game in his first 25 contests of the season.
The Beard banged home step-backs with ease, and he was going to the free throw line nearly 14 times per game.
A slate of traps dampened his scoring to a degree, though the defensive scheme's frequency has dipped of late as Westbrook destroys teams on drives to the rim.
Expect Harden to start cooking again if he consistently faces single coverage. Passing Michael Jordan's non-Wilt scoring record of 37.1 points per game is still certainly in play.
Jayson Tatum continues to emerge as a legitimate top option, capping the season's first half with a dominant 39-point effort against Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers on Feb. 13.
The performance marked the end of a career-best stretch from Tatum in which he averaged 26.7 points per game while making 44.9% of threes in the process.
Tatum's shot chart continues to improve. He's attacking the rim with a fearlessness we didn't see last season,
and his step-back is one of the silkiest in the NBA. Tatum is clearly the Celtics' most valuable asset (no disrespect to Jaylen Brown).
Expect his ascentto continue through the rest of the regular season.
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