Typically, we like to celebrate wins for teams. Even when we don’t necessarily like the team, we often try to find a way to demonstrate that the team did well. It’s called being an adult. Sure, you don’t have to be happy if you don’t like the team, but it shows character in your ability to demonstrate that your team (or you) didn’t do as well as you had hoped and that you’re able to concede. But in today’s post, I want to explore the teams in the NBA that have the best chance of losing. Not necessarily because I want them to, but in a professional sports league, there’s always going to be winners and losers. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. So without further adieu:
The Eastern Conference looks pretty weak this season, given that all the talent seems to be in the West. Which means, the team that will ultimately go up against LeBron, Curry or Harden is already at a disadvantage. It seems that Atlanta has already signaled that they don’t want to compete by sending Dennis Schroder to Oklahoma City in July. The trio of Kent Bazemore, John Collins and Taurean Prince shows some promise, but those are rotation players at best. Add in the transition from the Big 12 to the NBA for Trae Young, and this will be a rough year for the Hawks. That said, this could put Atlanta in a position to get some impressive draft players in 2019.
This coming season will mark the first year since 2013 that Brooklyn will be incentivized to lose. With their horrible 2013 trades with Boston now in the past, they are still struggling – four first round picks and two franchise alterations later. While the Celtics used their Brooklyn picks to acquire a core of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and (via trade) Kyrie Irving, the Nets sunk to irrelevance, with Garnett and Pierce. That said, Brooklyn has said that they want to compete this season. But this seems to be more optimism than regular-season reality. Much like Atlanta, Brooklyn does have a nice young core – buy as much Jarrett Allen stock as you can heading into next season – but nothing near the firepower to reach the .500 mark.
The Cavaliers roster entering the season is a mixture of overpaid veterans and green newcomers, with no All-Star talent outside of Kevin Love. Who, was given a four-year extension that will last until he turns 34. With Love’s extension in hand, Cleveland will fight for a playoff spot in 2018-19, but that projects to be an uphill climb, even in a weak Eastern Conference. Banking on big contributions from J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson without James seems like a fool’s errand. Cleveland’s best path back to the top of the conference is to replicate its losing ways from 2011-14, a period in which the Cavs netted three No. 1 selections.
I think that this NBA season will definitely be a historic one. Not just because LeBron left Cleveland, but because of the great amount of talent in the Western Conference. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying talent doesn’t exist in the East, but I think all eyes will be on the West this season. Hopefully, for the sake of entertainment, some teams in the Eastern Conference will push forward and have a great season.