Last year’s bad teams. Where do they rank among each other this year?
Further, where do they rank overall?
This thought stemmed from a conversation a had with a friend of mine from New Jersey. He was wearing a Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett jersey and something like that, these days, is bound to get you into an NBA discussion.
In the light of the NBA’s state of affairs this year, the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and a whole slew of other teams will merit the question:
“Do you think they’re the real deal this year?”
Of course, in regards to the Celtics, my friend said yes. He, like most Celtics fans, pointed to the season opener with the beating the Celtics put on Miami as the early proof that the Celtics mean business this year.
Don’t get me wrong now, despite how biased you may be, Rajon Rondo’s 24 assists is not something you can ignore. Boston is going to be a factor this year.
That’s not the argument.
But, for the sake of argument, I had to point out that the Miami Heat weren’t in sync against the Celts. I asked him to look at how the Heat were performing now.
He answered, expressing his lack of faith in Orlando. I tend to believe they’ll struggle with the other top-dogs in the NBA East as well.
In an honest mistake, he proceeded to argue in return that the Heat, bounced back the next game against a lowly team, the New Jersey Nets. Actually, that lowly team, was my favorite team they bounced back against, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Needless to say, I let him keep thinking it was the New Jersey Nets.
Our conversation then evolved to how good the 2-1 Nets are? And it seems many are sleeping on the Nets.
With a starting line-up of:
Brook Lopez (stud)
Travis Outlaw (solid)
Joe Smith (Solid wily veteran)
Anthony Morrow (Annual sleeper — solid)
Devin Harris (stud)
With future stud, Derrick Favors coming off the bench and bonafide back-ups such as Terrence Williams and Jordan Farmar — the Nets are bound to make a little noise in the East this year.
It got me to thinking — where do they rank?
2009-2010 bad teams.
First, lets look at where they rank among teams that didn’t do well last year. Seems every team has stepped up, at least, a bit.
The worst teams from last year were:
Philadelphia 76ers (27-55)
Detroit Pistons (27-55)
Washington Wizards (26-56)
Sacramento Kings (25-57)
Minnesota Timberwolves (15-67)
New Jersey Nets (12-70) yikes!
Any season requiring a ‘yikes’ is a season that is one deserving of the classic automatic “you’ll stink next year too” attitude — and maybe even a good ol’ Price is Right’s “bump bump bum-buumm”.
But the Nets have had themselves quite the offseason, snagging Derrick Favors, and Travis Outlaw to upgrade a bit from the team they had last year.
This is how they ranked, at the time, after seeing their first three games:
1. New Jersey Nets (2-1)
2. Sacramento Kings (2-1)
3. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2)
4. Philadelphia 76ers (0-3)
5. Washington Wizards (0-2)
6. Detroit Pistons (0-3)
While half of these teams have started off no different or even worse than last season, the Nets, Kings, and Timberwolves, have made a few ripples so far. The Nets and T-Wolves have completely gutted their teams only bringing back a handful of players from last season to this season.
But the above standings aren’t exactly boasting anyone an award anytime soon, so what about overall?
Lets look at the team I ranked best on this list; the New Jersey Nets.
The Nets have to fall in the 16-20 range of rankings out of the 30 current NBA teams.
You’ve gotta figure, they’re going to be in contention for the East’s 7th or 8th spot, which, standings-wise, puts them in the top 15-16. However, three or four teams, at least, are going to be better than them in the West.
Here’s how I look at it. My NBA projections are as follows:
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Utah Jazz
4. San Antonio Spurs
5. Portland Trailblazers
6. Dallas Mavericks
7. New Orleans Hornets
8. Denver Nuggets
1. Miami Heat
2. Orlando Magic
3. Boston Celtics
4. Atlanta Hawks
5. Chicago Bulls
6. New York Knicks
8. New Jersey Nets (My heart urged me to pick the Sixers. My mind said the New Jersey Nets.bBut if my heart is right, the Nets will be ninth.)
Who does that leave?
In the East:
That leaves the Toronto Raptors, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Indiana Pacers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats, and the Washington Wizards.
You can make an argument for, ehh, the Cavaliers, and maybe the Pacers; but I’m going to say the Nets can be better than all of those teams.
In the West:
Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Houston Rockets .
The Suns could be better than the Nets this year — maybe — but, the others are still debatable. For now I’ll say, the Nets could be better than the Grizzlies, Wolves, Kings, and even, the Houston Rockets.
Call me crazy.
That puts eleven teams behind the Nets. Placing them at spot 19 overall.
The team I had at second place in the bad teams of last year, was the Sacramento Kings.
They could possibly be better than the Rockets or T-Wolves, and maybe any of the others in the East.
I’d say the Suns, Clippers, Warriors, Grizzlies, Cavs and Pacers will all be better than the Kings. which puts them at 26.
And there ya have it, with the last four spots we have four of last years worst teams. (Which is typical.)
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
2. Philadelphia 76ers
3. Washington Wizards
4. Detroit Pistons
The T-Wolves, or Sixers could make a move, and that could jumble things up a bit, but for the most part this is what the beginning of this season has projected thus far. It will be fun to watch this year, folks.
Happy basketball season!