Top Teams to Look Out For in the Second Half of the 2023-24 Season

Top Teams to Look Out For in the Second Half of the 2023-24 Season image

πŸ“– Published on: February 20th, 2024

✍️ Updated: February 26th, 2024

⏳ 11 mins read

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As the second half of the 2023-24 season ensues, there’s no doubt that fans and experts are setting up their own expectations in the campaign, and there’s plenty of reasons to expect that the teams will battle hard and play hard to secure their spots with the playoffs coming in hot next. But who do you think will make a huge leap in the second half?

 

Why the Second Half of the 2023-24 Season Should be Exciting?

 

The previous seasons have been a testament to how the second half of the season can be a crucial turning point in the NBA, and it cannot be underestimated as a lot of teams have proven that it can help them gear up and take their game to the next level. The past few years have proven that point well – with teams suddenly making it into the Playoffs or even earning a Play-In berth.

 

The Los Angeles Lakers were highly praised for their turnaround in the previous season. The team traded for some key players and retooled their squad. From sitting 13th overall before the second half of the season, LeBron James and the gang steered their way for the 7th seed and then defeated the 2nd seed Memphis Grizzlies, and then defeated the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the semis. That was a majestic playoff run for the ages, and it definitely set the standard in the Western Conference. No one expected the team to become the contender to look out for, which just defines the Lakers' success in the second half of the campaign.

 

Los Angeles Lakers image

 

Boston Celtics image

 

In the same scenario, the Boston Celtics were out of playoff contention in 2022, sitting at 17-19 by January. They initially lingered among the teams hoping for a chance at the Play-In Tournament, and the second half of the season gave them a chance to claw back to secure a playoff spot by finishing the season with a 34-12 push. The team went on to reach the NBA Finals in the same campaign, putting up impressive games down the stretch and even showed why they deserve to be the new team in the Eastern Conference that will lead them in a new era. Eventually, the Warriors defeated them in six games in the Finals.

 

Which Are the Top Teams to Look Out For in the Second Half of the 2023-24 Season?

 

The big comeback stories in the NBA don’t always happen overnight or in a single game. Sometimes it takes a lot of games all the way to the final game of the season to actually wrap up and see if the team made it back. But still, there are other teams who are waiting to use the second half of the season to rally and secure their push for the final games of the year.

 

Here are the top teams that you should look out for in the second half of the 2023-24 season:

 

Los Angeles Lakers

 

Top Teams to Look Out For in the Second Half of the 2023-24 Season ΡˆΡŒΡ„ΠΏΡƒ

 

Make no mistake, the Los Angeles Lakers are well poised for a push in the second half of the 2023-24 season. Many fans are expecting them to pull off the same comeback that they did in their previous campaign. However, there are pressing challenges and issues that will certainly affect their chances of pulling off the comeback, and there are no guarantees that it will be easier than before. For starters, the Lakers did not make any changes in the trade deadline – aside from signing Spencer Dinwiddie.

 

On top of that, the Lakers are also considered to be a fatigued team right now, but they still have plenty of games left to play in the second half that will give them a fair chance to secure a spot in the Playoffs at the very least. The worst-case scenario would be for them to ultimately miss the Playoffs or just remain stagnant and remain in contention for the Play-In instead. This isn’t a bigger task for the Lakers, but the West is also a more competitive beast than before.

 

Golden State Warriors

 

The Warriors were initially considered to be an elite contender this season with the right mix of veteran stars and young talent. However, rust and frustrations seemed to get the better of them in their games in the first half, and the Warriors were initially in the tanking positions of the Western Conference. Surprisingly enough, a few adjustments in their roster saw them make a return to the Play-In spots before the All-Star break.

Klay Thomspon moving to the bench, Brandin Podziemski thriving as a starter, and Jonathan Kuminga coming up with a resurgent pace is a one-time chance for the team not to waste.

 

Golden State Warriors image

 

Golden State needs to make the most of its chances and deliver a promising finish by the end of the campaign if they want to keep their postseason hopes alive. Hopefully, Stephen Curry will bring up some of his clutch performances to get the Warriors back into the playoff mix soon.

 

Miami Heat

 

Miami Heat image

 

Everyone bats an eye at the Miami Heat right now, but it is easy to forget that they are the defending Eastern Conference champions for a reason. The Heat managed to win four out of their last five games before the All-Star break, and they didn’t even have their full strength on display with injuries to key stars, especially Jimmy Butler. Still, that makes a lot of sense for the Heat to be a team that is expected to make their way into the playoffs. Being an 8th-seeded team last season to make the NBA Finals is a huge feat, and there’s no denying that they are almost in the same position right now.

 

The Heat should be one of the top three teams in the East by the end of the season – if not able to secure the second seed. The contender core remains alive, and it does seem that they can pull it off one more time to make a mad dash to the top of the Eastern Conference. After all, they don’t have Playoff Jimmy for nothing, and the postseason is the best place for him to thrive now more than ever.

 

Indiana Pacers

 

The Indiana Pacers have made some interesting changes in the trade deadline, adding Pascal Siakam to aid Tyrese Haliburton in his push for the deeper playoff stages. So far, the Pacers are quite safe from the Play-In troubles, but it also means that they need to keep winning big games if they want to stay on the prowl and secure a higher berth in the postseason. After all, they don’t have two massive All-Stars for nothing, and this is the perfect stage for them to pull off a huge performance.

The Pacers are still struggling to find their way around the new roster, but it does seem that the team can get a groove going.

 

Indiana Pacers image

 

The second half schedule also favors them with a lighter load, which just means that they can surely find a way to deliver promising wins down the stretch and finish strong with a playoff push. Who knows, maybe the dynamic duo can lead them to their first NBA Finals in a long while.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Oklahoma City Thunder image

 

The Thunder are legitimate contenders for a reason. They have already accelerated their plan of making it back into the playoffs, and it seems that there are plenty of points to improve to this already impressive young squad in Oklahoma City. The team finished the first half of the season with an impressive performance, and it does seem that they are able to carry this same pace into the second half of the campaign while also shaking off the wear and tear of the early January games. They have made some lineup changes, which should definitely give them a strong push in the second half.

 

We have seen Oklahoma City get fatigued and play like they have been gassed out between games. Still, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is willing this team with his MVP performances night in and night out, and their young core is starting to bring their game to the next level as one of the teams to look out for in the Western Conference. That just proves that they can get freshened up in the rest after the ASG, and they will definitely come back with an impressive rally to finish strong in the West.

 

A Second Half to Remember in the NBA

 

Over the years, we have seen the second half of the season make a huge impact on winning teams’ games. This is what makes it special to watch and even bet on. The previous years have proven that the season is not over until it is not over, and the same can be said about the 2023-24 season as well. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride, and the season is about to get more interesting with more surprises coming up to wrap up the year.

 

It is about to get messy here in the NBA, and the 2023-24 season won’t slow down with surprising storylines and twists coming your way! Make sure to stay on top of the NBA with GambleSpot as we bring you the best tips and analyses for the league’s big swing!

 

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