Bad NBA teams! Bad!

“A fool and his money are soon parted”

Dr. John Bridges

If I’ve learned anything from gambling on the NBA these past few days, it’s that this year’s Assocation boasts some REALLY bad teams.  And I mean BAD.  Stinkeroos.  Teams that go on the floor and lay one big, fat Easter egg.  For these teams, losing by fifteen to twenty points a night has become standard practice.

The Magic, Lakers, Timberwolves, Knicks and Sixers are so atrocious they’re double-digit underdogs every night and still can’t cover the spread.  Even the most ardent fan must cringe when buying a ticket to see these guys play.  A night home with a good book and a chocolate bar would be more entertaining… and considerably cheaper.

Bobcats 7-59Every year, when teams are on a pace to break the record for worst team ever, ESPN spotlights their pace.  For years, the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers were the team most associated with futility.  They finished with a record of 9-73.  Can you imagine?  Every win must have felt like a holiday.  That shameful record held up until just a few years ago when the Charlotte Bobcats finished the hold-out-shortened season at 7-59.  That’s right.  They won just ten percent of their ball games.

Now that’s bad.

The worst teams in the NBA this year might not be historically bad but they’re pretty awful.

I like to consider myself a knowledgeable NBA fan, familiar with most team’s rosters but the majority of these players I couldn’t pick out of a lineup.  With Kobe Bryant out for L.A. and Carmelo Anthony out for New York, how many of the Lakers’ and Knicks’ starters can you name?

Wednesday night, in their 21-point home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Lakers started Ryan Kelly (a rookie, second round pick from Duke), Tarik Black (a second year player from Memphis, Kansas and the Developmental League), Wesley Johnson (unfortunately for them not Wesley Person), Jordan Clarkson (a rookie who sounds like he came out of the American Idol league) and the once popular, Harvard sensation Jeremy Lin.  Lin’s in his fourth year in the league.  That means the entire Los Angeles lineup that night didn’t have the combined experience of Tim Duncan.

Understandably, the Lakers are 20-54.

That very same night, the Knicks gave the Brooklyn Nets, a playoff team, a run for their money but still started a bunch of guys you haven’t heard of.  Andrea Bargnani was the top pick back in 2006 but outside of Anthony Bennett, Greg Oden and Kwame Brown, he’s been the worst #1 pick this century.  The Knicks also started Lou Amundson (who has a pony tail), Lance Thomas (a third year Dukie who’s averaging seven points per game), Langston Galloway (a 23 year old whose name is well… Langston) and Shane Larkin, the Knicks first round pick who they’re hoping can have as successful a career in the NBA as his father had in Major League Baseball.  Off the bench, the Knicks brought in Jason Smith, Cleanthony Early, Quincy Acy and Ricky Ledo, four guys that couldn’t land a seat in a crowded Manhattan restaurant.

The Knicks are 14-61 and have lost their last eight games.

bad sixersThe Philadelphia 76ers, a team that once started Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones, Andrew Toney and Moses Malone, now start Furkan Aldemir, Jerami Grant, Nerlens Noel, Ish Smith and JaKarr Sampson, five guys who all spell their first names incorrectly.

The Sixers are 18-58.

The rebuilding Orlando Magic is 22-53.  Their players are so young they get carded walking into the arena.  They’re the fourth youngest team in the league.  (The Sixers are first.)  Someone might want to tell these general managers that a little veteran presence goes far.  After all, the San Antonio Spurs did win last year’s NBA championship.  Speaking of the Spurs, they just beat the Magic by twelve points in a game that wasn’t even that close.

And then there are the Minnesota Timberwolves who have lost their last five games by 12, 10, 22, 20 and 14.  Seriously, are these guys even trying or are they just that bad?  Wasn’t the return of an aging Kevin Garnett supposed to breathe some life into this team?  Sure, the Wolves start Andrew Wiggins, last year’s top pick and potential savior of the franchise, but he’s playing alongside Adreian Payne, Justin Hamilton, Lorenzo Brown and Zach Levine, four more guys you’ve never heard of.

paper bag fanWhat happened to the NBA and its batch of young talent?  Where are all these unheard of names coming from and does it bode well for the future of the league?  It’s easy to suggest that the NBA contract but that’s no solution.  Even if it’s bad basketball, at least these cities boast teams that offer its populace something to do on a weeknight when there’s nothing else around.

Barring any potential miracles, these five teams will be just as bad next year as they are this year.  The Lakers have one year left with Kobe Bryant.  The Knicks are bogged down with that ridiculous Carmelo Anthony contract.  And there’s no magical potion that can possibly make the Sixers, Magic or T’Wolves relevant within one year’s time.

So grin and bear it, gang.  If you’re a fan of these five teams, you may want to practice patience for you’re not going to be relevant for a long, long time.

Oh, and you might want to be careful wagering on them as well… unless you’re taking them to lose.

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17 Replies to “Bad NBA teams! Bad!”

  1. Chris

    The state of the NBA is horrendous and it’s likely to get worse . Then you have these idiots buying into the Jackson greatness simply because of a coaching legacy. Phil Jackson couldn’t spot talent if he were aided by the latest in technology . Then look at his hire as the head coach of the roster to go along with a coaching staff that remains a joke . And you b had idiots suggesting he has a plan ? What ##$king plan was that , might I ask ? Far too much homage was being to Jackson before he’d set foot in his present capacity and yet, there’s still this belief he knows what he’s doing ? LOL,LOL ,LOL !!! All season long the Knicks have been able to put together a winning streak of more than two games . What does that tell you about the franchise , the coaching but above all the players ? Fans are now talking about free agent classes of 2015 and 2016 as a way of the Knicks being productive again and resurgent ? What planet are they on to begin with ? Apart from a need to gut the roster, they need a coach with a proven track record and not someone who’s still learning on the job . Or haven’t the Knicks’ fans and Phil Jackson began to realize that as of yet ?

    Huskies’ Women’s coach , Geno Auriemma , has the temerity to suggest the state of Men’s College Basketball is dire ? Is he on crack ? The state of Women’s Basketball and the play there is horrendous in terms of their skill-set but he’s going on about the game at the D1 Level of Men’s College Basketball ? Damn and then some .

    So the Rays now have a new President of the baseball franchise, who’s looking to sell the ball-club’s brand and baseball product to the greater Tampa area and the fans present ? Hasn’t that been the struggle all along for the club to begin with ? Stuart Sternberg remains absolutely clueless from a sales and business aspect . He (Sternberg) would have trouble selling ice to the Eskimos and oil to an Arab .

  2. I think the league is suffering because of itself. Too many young kids in the league or even worse people who don’t understand the game. Yeah sure, they are athletic, but have a basketball IQ of an acorn. It makes for bad basketball.

    Geno Auriemma made a great point about how lousy college basketball is these days. I agree with him. Who thinks lousy college players are going to be great pros? Not I. High School basketball is just as bad most likely. Lack of fundamentals, Too much sportscenter type mentality and overall laziness. Everybody wants the flashy dunk, big deal. It counts for 2 points, just like the 12 foot mid range jumper everybody should be practicing. Being able to knock down that shot consistently opens up the floor for better flow on offense, creating better basketball.

    We could see it with our own Gators this year. Not a great team by any stretch, but they should have been good enough to make the tournament. Yet that teams basketball IQ was the worst I can remember in quite some time. Billy gave up basically on trying to teach that team anything because they were unwilling to learn. I think it is going to continue in general. The Gators will be better though.

    I think the pro game suffers because they allow younger players into the league who honestly are not ready. Also who thinks giving millions to a 20 year old is a good idea? That in and of itself tends to breed a lack of commitment to getting better. Don’t have time to practice, need to buy a new car.

  3. There’s talent in the college ranks, Al, but there’s no clearcut number one pick this year. No one that stands out, that an NBA team says, that’s the guy I want to turn around my franchise.

    Take a look at last year’s draft. It was supposed to be one of the best ever. Where are these guys?

  4. Are kids not playing basketball anymore, D?

    Where’s all the talent?

    And why are we touting all these college coaches as great if they can’t get these kids to learn the fundamentals?

  5. Karl Anthony Townes from Kentucky is the best player or at least has the most upside IMO. I don’t know Chump. I agree with Geno that basketball just isn’t as exciting anymore. I think great coaches are still great, but I think we have serious distraction issues in society that is stunting the growth of potential great players. I don’t think it is limited to just basketball either and we will see an erosion of talent in other sports as well. Maybe the USA will be a soccer power after all.

  6. Chris

    There are at least three players on the Wildcats’ team likely All Americans and consensus top-ten picks for the NBA Draft . Auriemma is delusional if he believes Men’s College Basketball is in a dire state and the Women’s game provides a great deal more excitement. Coaching granted, has been lackluster at the collegiate level and at the same time, the one and done premise still exists for so many players within the ranks of NCAA Basketball among male players. If there is anyone to blame for this all , then it has been a lack of a clear dialog between the NBA and coaching fraternity within College Basketball .

    This season’s draft is overrated and that’s all down to the analysts out there looking to create the interest for the event itself . I mean what excitement is there to be had behind the Lottery process ? Hell, even if the person drawing the balls were some buxom female , how much more interest would the event actually create ?

    Josh Freeman signs with the Miami Dolphins to be the backup to Ryan Tannehill ? Tell me, this wasn’t an act of desperation on the part of the Dolphins with this acquisition ?

  7. D…

    I may head over to Orlando later this season to check out an MLS soccer game. Wait, it’s an MLS team they have, right? My dad went to their first game and said he stadium was packed so it might be worth checking out.

    I wasn’t as into this basketball season as I’ve been in the past but I credited that to the the Gators sucking. They were pretty damn good last year and I followed intently.

    Didn’t you?

  8. I don’t disagree, Al, but the NBA and the NCAA really have nothing to do with each other other than the fact that college players eventually turn pro if they’re lucky enough to do so.

    The NCAA has no responsibility to listen to the NBA even if they might know what’s best for them.

  9. Chris

    The NCAA and NBA , don’t have anything to do with each other ? Feeder system for the professional ranks and their jointly agreeing to the one and done deal ? Oh , so they really have nothing at all to do with one another ? Both are money-making conduits for their respective sports .

    What now for Calipari and the Wildcats ? And if Auriemma couldn’t find any value in either of yesterday’s games , then he’s as conceited an @s$hole as first thought .

    The Badgers bitch-slapped the Wildcats all the way back to Kentucky. Spartans never stood a chance against the Blue Devils . Michigan St were in their game for about ten minutes before the Blue Devils put their feet on the gas pedal , leaving Izzo’s Spartans in their wake . One doubts there will be that much excitement to be elicited in the Women’s Final Four .

    MLB before the season has started has proven they remain as dumb as ever . Ervin Santana gets popped for eighty games for steroid use . Yet an arbitrator , sees fit overturn the hierarchy’s intent to suspend Josh Hamilton , even after the player admitted to his use of alcohol and cocaine ? Great , that’s just what the game now needs to show its continued lack of integrity and ongoing stupidity . I hear the arbitrator’s next case will be presiding over a hearing where the Evil Queen gets her day in court , to find out if Snow White was in fact the fairest of them all.

  10. Yeah but I am a Gator fan. I listen to 40+ baseball games a year on radio feed. I watch womens softball, gymnastics and anything Gator. I will always follow my gators at everything no matter how good or bad. That said I found myself turning off a regular season game between Illinois and Michigan when in years past I would have watched for the sake of watching.

  11. All I mean by that, Al, is that technically they don’t.

    They can work together for a common cause, which they don’t, but it’s not like the NCAA is in any way tied to the NBA like minor and major league baseball.

  12. D…

    Sounds like you and Geno Auriemma are on the same page.

    Season too long?

    What does college basketball need to do to improve its regular season ratings?

    And are they even down?

  13. Chris

    What’s the common cause being worked on jointly , other than making money ? I mean what have the NCAA and NBA done with regard to issues such as player misconduct ? What have they done with regard to raising the standards of play at both levels ? No Chris ___ you’re sadly mistaken ___ the only thing they share, is the love money and to increase their revenues and profitability . Both organizations are in fact incorporated as not for profit entities, but consider their actions in terms of their commercial activities .

    I see the Rays are back to performing as per usual . Other than the first official pitch being thrown to open the game . At what point where Rays ever competitive against the Orioles ? This team hasn’t a leader , vocal or otherwise to lead by example . Do you really believe Kevin Cash and his coaching staff are experienced enough to provide the coaching acumen needed ? Bear in mind Cash’s playing career was nondescript and his coaching acumen isn’t overly impressive . GM Matt Silverman deals in pragmatism , rhetoric and that is all he has going for him at present . Team President Brian Auld (new to the position) comes in talking about … ” selling the Rays’ brand of baseball and having fun ” ? I believe the fans want a winner on the field and at least a competitive run over the course of the season . Do you really believe this team offers them that opportunity .

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