You all know I hate talking about bad sports teams. It’s no fun. There shoudn’t be any bad sports teams, and I plan to have a column about that, at some point.
Anyways, when I preview any season, I have to write about the bad teams. In the NBA, the bad teams are talked about a little more, mostly having to do with the draft and lottery system. The lottery system, which needs to be changed soon, but it didn’t start out on the right path, is going to be brought up as less as possible during this column.
I’m taking the three worst teams in each conference.
Well, I’m not going to lie, but in a few years, we could be looking at a playoff team. The 76ers have “tanked” the past couple of years. They have tried to lose, on purpose. It’s a interesting strategy, but the NBA isn’t fond of it. With Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, both top six picks in the past couple of years, the Sixers have young talent. The problem is, both are and have been injured. Embiid fell in the draft due to a back fracture he sustained only weeks before the big night, which led him to fall to No.3. Noel, another big man who fell in the 2013 draft, due to a injury, is slated to start this year, with no minute restrictions. It’s a little confusing, just because it’s not like their trying to win.
So that’s why their going to suck. I mean, it’s pretty obvious. They aren’t going to try. But, it is how they get these type of picks.
I should mention Michael Carter Williams, because the situation with him and the Sixers is a little strange. At the draft, rumors swirled about his trade status. In a interview during the draft, Williams expected to get traded. It never happened, which probably means, it was the right thing, or it fell apart, or some drunk in the Sixers front office offered it, then lost his job.
Anyways, this team isn’t one your going to have your eye on. In a couple years, maybe.
Now this team, is a lot more interesting than Sixers, and also a more fun to write about. The Bucks aren’t a team that’s been “tanking”. Last year, the expectations were pretty high, and even some people had them in the Playoffs.
Really, I could see why. I wasn’t that high on them, but I did feel like they would be up there in the standings.
But it went all wrong. The Bucks won 15 games, and were really just terrible. There isn’t much else to it.
Now, they have a new coach, in what was a very odd situation. Jason Kidd comes over from the Nets, and comes to a team that has some talent, but very raw talent.
The Bucks took Jabari Parker with No.2 pick in June. Parker, I felt, should have gone No.1 overall, but despite needs of the Cavs, he went 2nd. I believe that Parker and Wiggins are both going to be great, but Parker, when it’s all set and done, will wind up better.
The Bucks don’t only have him, but they have the Greek Freak, in Giannis Antetokounmpo (Your guess is as good as mine on how to pronounce it). The kid is incredible. He does everything. He can shoot, rebound, and play stellar defense. He makes the highlight reel. I love the kid, and always have. He’s the main guy they want to build around in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee has some leadership, however. Larry Sanders and OJ Mayo are two guys who get it, even with Sanders’s off the court issues. Both of these guys though, could find themselves on a different team by the end of the year. The Bucks want all the picks they can get to build this squad.
Like Philly, they aren’t anyone to look forward to this year. Honestly, they’re a little bit more of a project then Philly. And that’s a not a great thing if your a Bucks fan.
I’m not sure we’ve seen this in a while. The Celtics? At the bottom of the East Conference?
The Celtics cleaned house a couple years ago, and aren’t done yet.
Rajon Rondo is going to be on different team by the end of this season. It’s going to happen. I’m surprised it didn’t happen last season.
It’s the final piece of the demolition. Once he’s gone, the real rebuilding project will start. This season is a throwaway.
The Celtics though, got some really nice pieces in the draft. Marcus Smart and James Young are two of the more underrated players in the draft, and are just some of the keys to this future team. The Celtics and their fans don’t have a lot to look forward to right now, and it may be some time before the do, but Danny Ainge knows what he is doing, and that, you have to trust.
The Jazz finished last in the Western Conference last year, and it’s very likely that’s where they end up this year. Looking at this Jazz roster, it isn’t great at all. They re-signed and overpaid Gordon Hayward this summer, but they consider him a cornerstone. I wasn’t a fan of their draft. Dante Exum is 18. He should be in high school, and is coming from another country.
I’m not against foreign guys, at all. It’s more of the age factor. It’s quite possible he gets too overwhelmed with everything he’s got going for him, and falls apart.
The Jazz like Exum though, and feel like they can develop him. That’s why they took him where they did.
The Jazz also took Rodney Hood, the former Duke star. Hood had a great college career, and was taken at about the right spot. I’m just not sure he’s fits into what the Jazz are trying to do.
Utah is building this team with young, quick and athletic players. A lot of speed is what they’re aiming for. Utah has Trey Burke, someone who I’ve loved as a player, and who fits into what they want to do, but hasn’t really shown a whole lot yet.
I expect him to breakout at some point, but I’m starting to get a little concerned. I’m already concerned about this Jazz team, and since they’re the worst team in this conference, it would be best for you to avoid them.
Los Angeles Lakers
It’s odd when the Lakers and Celtics are featured in this column. The Lakers are in one of the odder situations in the league. Their old superstar, Kobe Bryant, is still playing for another ring, and claims he’s has two years left. If he wants the ring, then maybe he shouldn’t be asking for $23 million a year. He’s hogging the Lakers cap room, denying any chance of them signing anyone to help them with a pursuit.
The Lakers aren’t only not going to win a ring, but they aren’t even going to make the playoffs. Heck, their going to be one of the worst teams in league! How does Kobe expect them to win?
They did though, add Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer this offseason. The Lakers have the remnants of last year, like Jordan Hill and Wesley Johnson. Nick Young, one of the younger stars in the league, is out for at least eight weeks after a thumb injury. That doesn’t help, whatsoever. But hey, it’s not like they’re going to be good anyways.
This is a team who traded their best player, fired and hired a new coach, who just so happens to be their GM, who’s a bad GM. The Timberwolves have a rough season ahead of them. They did acquire some really interesting prospects from Cleveland in the Kevin Love trade, including No.1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is going to be good. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to be a All-Star, at least once.
The Wolves also got Anthony Bennett, the 2013 No.1 overall pick, who was a total bust his first year. Now, he will improve, but there’s nothing in concrete saying that him or anyone from that draft is good. Sorry.
This is a super young team. They don’t have any leadership, which may cause some issues down the and on the road. Minnesota is a team that has to build through drafts and trades, because trust me, I’m not sure any millionaire/big time free agent wants to live here.
I live in the Twin Cities.
In a couple of years, the Wolves may have something going for them. They have the right pieces so far, but it’s going to be a process.
More NBA Preview coming….