FBA: Second-Half Sleepers

The NBA schedule isn't tidy and symmetrical like the NFL's, and it can't even be contained in a single calendar year, which that crazy coot Bud Selig even manages to pull off in major league baseball. So it stands to reason that "the second half" of the hoops season generally is regarded as everything coming after the mid-February All-Star break. Never mind that most teams will have played damn near two-thirds of their games by then. These are the things that keep me up nights.

But I will not be boxed in by convention. I will not bow to your will, Mr. Stern. The Mavericks logged Game No. 41 on their 2006-07 regular-season schedule on Thursday, and in my world that makes up half of an 82-game schedule. Today begins the second half of the NBA season for those of us who refuse to conform to The Man's new math. Power to the people.

Now, is this anything more than a trumped-up, melodramatic vehicle for introducing my second-half sleepers? Of course not. Did I choose this topic to lead off this week's column only because I wasn't nearly creative enough to come up with something else? Absolutely. And get this: Next week I plan on regaling you with analysis of my second-half stumblers. So there.