It is disappointing that your favorite NBA teams are doing worse this ‘22-’23 season. The performance, not even mediocre, has shocked even OKBET players, for they cannot live up to the expectations of their fanbase.
Here are the five disappointing NBA teams in the first half of this season.
#5 – Los Angeles Lakers
With the way the purple and gold are playing this season, no one expects they will appear in the playoff picture. However, 38-year-old Lebron James still shows that he is one, if not the most dominant player in the league, making the Lakers a possible playoff seed.
James is averaging 29.6 pts, 7 assists, and 8.4 rebounds in 36 minutes per game. His field goal (FG) percentage is also off the charts, shooting 50% in 22.5 attempts.
Russell Westbrook also plays spectacularly this season, although his production was lower than last year. However, the veteran has been cooking hot coming off the bench for the Lakers rather than as a starter.
Two-time block leader Anthony Davis is also playing like an MVP candidate whenever he is on the floor or not injured.
But ever since they won the 2022 NBA title, the purple and gold are not looking to be a playoff contender.
In this day and age of the NBA, players must be all-around—they can shoot, pass, and defend—which the Lakers lack, especially whenever Davis is not on the floor. Hopefully, they can develop Thomas Bryant, who now makes an impact as a starting center for the lakeshow lakers. His last output against the Portland Trail Blazers was 31 pts, 14 rebounds, and a couple of blocks. Twelve of his points came from threes that night, showing that the 25-year-old has some range.
Players are also, as per NBA, “screaming for a trade,” but Rob Pelinka is turning a blind eye. Hence, the team, who is 13th in the Western Conference, is expected to disappoint night in and night out.
#4 Portland Trail Blazers
Adding Gary Payton II to the Blazers is an understatement that the team needs a major “difference-maker,” aiming to be an “above-average” team. They then added Josh Hart and Jerami Grant, hoping they could strengthen their defense.
But a “defensive” team paired with poor management ends them at the 12th spot of the Western Conference, and their defense is nowhere to be found. They are 20th in defensive rating, so adding defensive specialists isn’t doing much for the team.
Damian Lillard still needs some help from his teammates in scoring and clutch. They relied on him heavily when it’s clutch time, but “Dame Time” is not as effective as he was before. NBA argued that the 32-year-old superstar is now at a negative clutch differential, unlike his past years.
#3 Golden State Warriors
It may be understandable that the ‘21-’22 NBA champion would relax during the regular season due to their core getting old. However, it seemed that they were “too relaxed,” which made them one of the disappointing NBA teams right now.
As of this writing, the Warriors were 6-18 on the road and are at the 10th spot in the Western Conference. If they continue their losing streak, they will miss the playoffs since 2019. In terms of offense, the GSW slumped to rank 17 with a negative point differential of -0.4.
Although they can still keep up with teams with a younger core, their bench is questionable regarding whether they can be relied upon when the starters end up injured or not productive. Their defense is also degrading (16th) out of 30, with turnovers piling up every game, committing 16.7 per game night (29th).
The Warriors also lack the tenacity to defend without fouling. According to Basketball Reference, they have a personal foul of 22.1 per game, putting opponents on the free throw line often.
Moreso, height does matter when playing offense and defense. GSW’s biggest player is James Wiseman, who, at 7 feet, is injury prone. Their most dependable big is Kevin Looney at 6’9”. But if the Warriors manage to clinch a spot in the playoffs, attempting a two-peat is impossible
#2 Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are wowing the crowd and analysts by improving their defense after they sealed the Dejounte Murray trade. However, the fanbase is expecting more, especially when it comes to the offense (-0.3 rating).
Moreover, the team up of Trae Young and Murray has become a competition, with team plays slowly becoming inexistent. But concerning the 3-point percentage of Young (35%), the Hawks will need more shooters once they reach the playoffs, especially with Kevin Huerter going to the Sacramento Kings.
Luckily, the Hawks had a five-game win streak, putting them in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully, they limit their losses to avoid the East’s last play-in spot.
#1 Minnesota Timberwolves
The top spot on the list of most disappointing NBA teams is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who gave up six players, and multiple draft picks just to acquire 30-year-old and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
They let go Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, and Jarred Vanderbilt—the crucial players in their 2021-22 season run. In exchange for Gobert, the Wolves also traded four first-round picks, with three unprotected.
Analysts were disappointed with the Timberwolves’ management for cracking up the ridiculous deal. Why? Because they were looking to jack up their defense through the Stifle Tower. It turns out, however, that their defense became worse than last season, having a defensive rating of 32 from 32.9.
From 5.6 blocks per game, it went down to 5.4, which is with Gobert, a swat machine. Their total rebounds were also lower since last year. It was 44.2, unlike this season (41).
What is even more depressing is that Gobert’s presence on the court puts the Wolves into -12 points per 100, earning them from having an 11.2 offensive rating to a 9.1.
Although the teams mentioned above are disappointing to the point that their fanbase is losing faith in them, it is normal for a team to enter a performance slump. It also boils down to the decisions that the teams’ respective managements will make. Moreso, it is only proof that the ball is round, and in the NBA, anyone can be at the top or the bottom.