NBA: Takeaways for all 30 teams at the midway point of the 2019-20 season

NBA Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
NBA Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Exploring mid-season takeaways for every NBA team at the halfway point of the year

Having surpassed the halfway mark of the 2019-20 NBA season, here’s a look at how each team has fared, as well as what you can expect the rest of the way (teams sorted by winning %)

1. Milwaukee Bucks (40-6)

There’s not much to complain about when you’re first overall and boast an 87 percent winning-percentage. Giannis Antetokounmpo is once again in the running for MVP (averaging 30.0 PTS, 12.9 REB, 5.6 AST), though it remains to be seen whether he can get the Bucks back to their first NBA Finals since 1974. Khris Middleton continues to be a reliable second option (almost) justifying his recently signed five-year, $178 million contract.

While the Bucks also have a solid supporting cast of Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez, and Donte DiVincenzo (to name a few), Giannis’ suspect shooting percentages (33% FG3%, 62.1% FT%) could come back to haunt Milwaukee come playoff time, especially when teams (namely Toronto and Philadelphia) are likely to stack big bodies in the lane to mitigate his drives. I also have a hard time believing the Bucks are any better than they were last year, (specifically with the loss of Malcolm Brogdan and Nikola Mirotic), though Milwaukee should still be considered a slight favorite to win the East.

Also looming over the organization is Giannis’ impending free-agency, and if the Bucks don’t win it all this year, it isn’t hard to envision the Greek Freak bolting Milwaukee to try to chase a ring elsewhere.

2.  Los Angeles Lakers (36-10)

The Lakers have been hot recently, completing a 10-1 stretch over the last three weeks before crashing back to Earth at the hands of the Celtics and Sixers. Considering the Lakers roster was largely in cash-strapped disarray for much of the off-season, GM Rob Pelinka provided some late-in-the-game heroics (outside of the monster trade for AD) that have proven to be relatively successful.

The concern for the Lakers is that they’ve already lost twice to the Clippers, and it doesn’t appear that Kawhi is going to be bowing down to King James. That aside, Lebron remains an absolute stud, still slashing anywhere he pleases, while putting up monster numbers predominantly as a Point Guard (25.4 PTS, 7.7 REB, 10.9 AST).

And while the likes of Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, and the highly-underrated Javale McGee are solid complementary pieces, it’ll be interesting to see whether this team has the depth (outside of the ageless LBJ and AD) to compete for a 17th NBA Championship.