At the beginning of the season, there are teams that wow everyone with their play and end up becoming the best teams in their conference out of nowhere. But, there are also teams who disappoint when the season starts up, and today, we’re looking at five of them. These teams were expected to do well and aren’t so far, so teams such as the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls won’t be included.
#5: Toronto Raptors
The champions from two years ago, a solid playoff team a year ago, and now, despite having mostly the same roster, they are 1-4 to start the season, and the 14th seed in the Eastern Conference. They are playing the Boston Celtics tonight, and the way they’ve been going, they’ll probably lose that game too. A reason they are where they are right now may be because they are 27th in the league in points per game scored as a team, and in 17th place for rebounds grabbed per game. Pascal Siakam is averaging 17, eight, and four right now. Another reason that could be attributed to the Raptors faulty start is their depth. While once a very balanced team, the Raptors now fall on Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam’s shoulders, with some help from OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet. We’ll have to see how the Raptors perform as the season goes on, and even with the disappointing start, they should still be able to make the playoffs.
#4: Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks currently sit at a 2-4 record, which is tied for the worst record in the Western Conference. Last season, the Mavericks were the 7th seed in the Western Conference, led by a 1st team All-NBA Luka Doncic. Maverick’s fans main excuse for being defeated by the Clippers in the playoffs in six games was that Kristaps Porzingis was injured and didn’t play. Unfortunately, this seems to continue as Tingis Pingis has not played in a single game of the 2020-2021 season. Luka Doncic can only carry a team so far, and like the Toronto Raptors, the Dallas Mavericks aren’t a particularly deep team. Their third option is Josh Richardson, and after that it’s probably Tim Hardaway Jr. Mark Cuban is no doubt going crazy right now, as I’m sure he was positive this was the year Luka would win MVP. Luka was averaging 24, eight, and six, but he was shooting a horrendous 16% from the three-point line. Unfortunately for Mavericks fans, Luka suffered a contusion and is now out. People don’t like to admit it, but without their two stars, the Mavericks are just another below average team without a star or near star to lead them.
#3: Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks currently sit at the #8 seed in the Western Conference, with a record of 3-3. Giannis may have had issues in the playoffs the past two seasons, but in the regular season, he was historically dominant, and led the Bucks to two #1 seeds in a row. This season, despite re-signing Giannis in the offseason and bringing in new assets, the Bucks lost their first game of the season, due to a Jayson Tatum three pointer and a missed Giannis free throw. They then defeated the Golden State Warriors, but managed to lose by 20 points to the New York Knicks. No, not the Brooklyn Nets, but the New York Knicks. That is a new low for the Bucks. They then beat the Heat in a blowout 144-97 win, but lost their next game to the Heat in a rematch. They then ran over the Bulls by 30, and play the Pistons tonight at 7:30, a game they should be able to win. It seems as if the Bucks win their games by a lot, or lose by a lot. It’s early in the season, and the Bucks should be able to climb back to the top of the Eastern Conference. However, if they keep losing to teams like the Knicks by 20 points, they’ll find that difficult to do.
#2: Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets were the surprise team of the 2020 NBA playoffs, coming back from down 3-1 twice in the playoffs, and making the Western Conference Finals! Both Bol Bol and Michael Porter, Jr showed a lot of potential, and everyone thought they would have another incredible year this year. Unfortunately, the Nuggets currently sit at the #11 spot in the Western Conference, with a record of 2-4. With losses to the Kings, Clippers, and Suns (two losses to Sacramento), things aren’t looking so great right now. In their first game of the season, they lost on a last second buzzer beater by Buddy Hield, while Nikola Jokic had a triple-double. Jokic has been playing great, with multiple triple-doubles and a few double-doubles with nine rebounds. Unfortunately, this personal success hasn’t yet led to team success. It’s early in the year, and as we saw from last year’s playoffs, Denver is great at making comebacks. Don’t cancel them out as a threat yet.
#1: Miami Heat
After an incredible trip to the NBA finals last season, the Miami Heat beat the Pelicans, and then lost to the Milwaukee Bucks … by 47 points. The Heat occupy the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference, which is close to where they were in their last season with Dwayne Wade. The Heat have also had losses to the Magic and Mavericks (with Luka Doncic). Miami has all the tools to win, and didn’t change up their roster much in the offseason, so it’s a little surprising why they’re having this much trouble early on. Bam Adebayo is still a monster in the paint, Jimmy Buckets is good for 30 points on any given night, Goran Dragic is good for 15-20 points off the bench, and Duncan Robinson/Tyler Herro are some of the greatest three-point shooters in this league not named Steph Curry. There doesn’t appear to be any good reason for the losses, so Miami will just have to hope that the team can find that bond they had in the bubble, and start winning more games.
Do you guys think they’re are any teams I should have put in here instead of others? Let me know in the comments down below, don’t forget to follow the blog, and as always, have an awesome day!
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