The NBA schedule is moving into the middle of December and with the Warriors winning streak ending, the biggest question now is how many games Golden State can win this season.
The Warriors have the best record in the league, but they are only a few games up on the San Antonio Spurs in the overall standings despite starting the season 24-1. The Cavaliers have played well in the east and they are about to get Kyrie Irving back and that could make the team start rolling even more. Iman Shumpert has returned already and once Irving gets in the rotation, the Cavs will be at full strength for the first time since Kevin Love injured his shoulder in the playoffs.
The Lakers and Sixers remain the bottom teams in the NBA standings, while the Pelicans are also struggling to get things going. The NBA trade market should start heating up, as December 15 marks the date that players who signed in the summer can start getting traded.
Here are 5 things to know around the NBA heading into the middle of December
The Golden State Warriors winning streak has ended
Many had hoped the Warriors would welcome the Cavaliers to California on Christmas Day with an undefeated record, but now that will not happen, as the Milwaukee Bucks won over the Warriors to end their undefeated streak at 24 to open the season. The team lost after playing an overtime game and the matchup following that against Milwaukee was the final game of a seven-game road trip, meaning the Warriors were a bit tired and drained. Either way, the team can now challenge the best record in league history and there is a chance they will come into the game on Christmas with the one loss.
Cavaliers should be healthy for Christmas
The Cavaliers have been playing without their full lineup for quite some time, but that could change very soon. The team has Iman Shumpert back and Kyrie Irving is close behind and that could mean a healthy team come Christmas time. The Cavs and Warriors are playing in a final rematch on Christmas and that could be the first matchup between the teams at even strength, as the Cavs had to play part of the finals without Irving and the full series without Kevin Love last season.
The Spurs are dominating...what a surprise
The talk of the NBA this season has been the Warriors and the great start they have gotten off to, but the Spurs have been nearly as good. The warriors opened up 24-1, but the team is only 3.5 games ahead of San Antonio in the standings. The Spurs have gone 13-0 at home this season and they have gone 8-2 over the last 10 games. The addition of LaMarcus Aldridge has been huge and the team is dominating opponents heading into the middle of December.
The trade market will likely start heating up
The middle of December marks the time when players who signed contracts this summer can get traded and some players could start getting moved. Other players also could start moving, as this is around the time that teams start to see where they have the biggest needs heading into the next stretch of the season. Players like Markieff Morris, Ryan Anderson, Brandon Jennings, Jamal Crawford and Josh Smith all could be potential targets.
The Sixers and Lakers remain the worst in the league
The Sixers and Lakers have combined for just four wins this season and those teams are battling for position in the lottery over anything else this year. The Lakers are 3-21 coming into Wednesday, while the Sixers are 1-25 on the season.