All-Star Weekend is here. Needless to say, this shortened NBA season has been fast-faced and full of drama. The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder sit atop their respective conferences while the New York Knicks (17-18)┬áhave one of this season’s best stories. On the other side of town, the New Jersey Nets (10-25)┬áhave dealt with injuires, Dwight Howard trade rumors, and speculation about the future of Deron Williams.

With both teams expecting to rebound in the second half, here are first half grades for both teams.

Lin is Lin--AP Photo

New Jersey Nets

The New Jersey Nets have been a huge disappointment. Deron Williams (22.2 PPG, 8.2 APG) and Kris Humphires (13.6 PPG, 10.5 RPG) have been the lone bright spots. After suffering a broken foot in the pre-season, Brook Lopez has only played in two games. The Nets young cast of players, which includes Anthony Morrow and Marshon Brooks, have been very hot and cold. Give head coach, Avery Johnson credit. Johnson has remained very positive and his team has responded in big games.

The Nets are clearly not a playoff team and I still have a hard time beliving that Dwight Howard will be joining the team in Brooklyn. Unless the Nets can pull off the unexpected and land Howard, expect Deron Williams to bolt this summer. Until then, the Nets will hope for more production from their younger players in the second half.

Grade: D

New York Knicks

Jeremy Lin single-handedly saved Mike D’Antoni’s job. Without the help of Carmelo Anthony, Lin raddled off seven wins in eight games. Tyson Chandlerhas begun to play better basketball and Amare looks regenerated after dealing with his family issues. If you want to bet on the Knicks and Nets, visit some of the best sportsbooks on the web. The Knicks still lack defensive effort and Miami clearly laid out of the blueprint to stopping Jeremy Lin. Halfcourt pressure, stopping the ball, and making Lin go to his left are all ways to slow down the Harvard kid. Still, Lin has been getting his and it’s not worth jumping off the bandwagon after one bad game. It’s clear that all NBA Championship roads must go through Miami and the Knicks clearly aren’t on their level right now.

Grade: B-