We know of the big teams, but how about the teams that have not been in authentic playoff conversations in years. Then after a miserable season, where they play and battle and come up short repeatedly over and over again…how close to they ever eventually get? <p>
Who are the bad teams that have made some well thought-of moves? Attempted to change things with a good free agent signing, some good drafting, and of course, a stable coaching staff.
No one wants to be cellar dwellers forever, let’s see who is trying to fight their way out of the bottom tier soonest. These are my top 3 teams with the best opportunity for nearest success.
3- New Jersey Nets (24-58 in 2011, last 50 win season in 2001-2002. 145 wins over last 5 seasons (29 games win avg)
The Nets failed in landing the “Big Kahuna” LeBron James. Then they failed grabbing Amare Stoudemire. Then, Carmelo said “no thank you.” What was a poor Russian billionaire to do? He pulled the trigger and grabbed a top 3 point guard in the league in Deron Williams. Nice beginning for New Jersey, then filling the bench with former 60 win coach, Avery Johnson. Playing in the ever-changing Atlantic division, where Boston’s aging and other lower ended teams are still adjusting, they have a chance. Brooke Lopez can score points, but tends to disappear in the paint when the game gets physical. Brooke, you’re 7 feet tall, get me 10-11 boards a night, averaging 6.0/game is appalling. Nets may not be landing the players they were shooting for, but they have a guy who is not afraid to drop a buck or two for players, and that’s a great start. Recent draft picks have been disappointing, besides Jordan Crawford, and he’s gone. The Nets have promise, once they get into Brooklyn, I think a New York rivalry will be exhilarating, and will draw a bit more eyes to possibly go there. <p>
2- Los Angeles Clippers (32-50 in 2011, never a 50 win season, in 41 seasons. 143 wins over last 5 seasons (29 games win average) One name, Blake Griffin has changed the entire viewpoint in the “other” Los Angeles team’s characteristic. The Clips, the constant chuckle team from the West coast, then picked up Mo Williams, a solid PG, with a nice shot, who is a great option off the point position. He plays better when having a star to take the load off him. A perfect co-worker, who can help a team get better. For example, when in Cleveland this year before his trade, without LeBron, his numbers were 16 ppg shooting 38% from three. In LA, 17 ppg and 43% from behind the arc, problem here is, will their owner, spend cash for one more decent player? <p>
1- Golden State Warriors (36-46 in 2011, last 50 win season in 1993-1994. 181 wins over last 5 seasons (36 games win average) <p>
I think the Warriors can very swiftly become a 45-50 win team. With Curry and Ellis at the guard spots, shooting 40% from deep combined totaling over 280 made on the year. Add in swing man Dorell Wright (15 ppg, 38% from deep), this team can knock it down, anywhere on the court. Adding underrated big man, David Lee, is a tough cover every night, the Warriors are very close to becoming a playoff team. With a little help with a legit big man in the paint, let’s see what they could do.