The 2019-20 NBA season is well underway and there are a number of teams that are disappointing thus far. Whether it be injuries, poor play from key players, or perhaps, too lofty expectations, there are teams that aren’t performing to their capabilities so far this season. Thankfully for some of them, there is plenty of time to turn it around.
The Most Disappointing NBA Teams in 2019-20
5.) Golden State Warriors
This may be unfair to the Golden State Warriors. Of course, they lost Kevin Durant via sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets. However, they acquired another All-Star in return in D’Angelo Russell and he is having a great start to the season. Through nine games he is averaging 25.7 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.8 rebounds on 45.2 percent shooting.
The Warriors are also without Klay Thompson for the season after he suffered a torn ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Despite all of these unbelievably bad breaks the Warriors have suffered, they still had playoff aspirations coming into this season. They currently sit dead last in the NBA with a 2-and-10 record and would have the highest odds at winning the draft lottery if the season ended today. That is a far cry from making the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference.
4.) New Orleans Pelicans
Typically, when a team moves one of the best players in the NBA, they don’t have high expectations coming into that next season. However, that is not the case with the New Orleans Pelicans. When the Pelicans dealt disgruntled superstar Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, they received a great return. Moving from the Lakers were Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks.
The Pelicans were also extremely lucky in the 2019 NBA Draft lottery when they stole the number one pick. Of course, they used that selection on Zion Williamson. Williamson, unfortunately, suffered a knee injury and still hasn’t appeared in an NBA game.
Adding Williamson, Redick, Favors, and the pieces from the Davis trade to players like Jrue Holiday gave the franchise and fans of the franchise hope that they could make a playoff run.
Ingram has been fantastic this season as he is averaging career highs across the board with 25.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. His effective field goal percentage is also an absurd 60.8 percent.
Despite the torrid start by Ingram, the Pelicans currently sit next to last in the Western Conference with a 2 and 8 record. Things will need to turn around in a hurry if they expect to make the playoffs.
3.) Orlando Magic
Last season was surprising to many around the NBA when the Orlando Magic snuck into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Magic had aspirations of making it out of the first round of the playoffs this season. Especially with another year of growth for their young players like Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac.
Gordon has taken a step back from a statistical standpoint this season. Last season he averaged 16 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. This season his numbers have declined to 14 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. However, he is playing fewer minutes and taking fewer shots from the field. Both his offensive and defensive rating have increased this season, meaning he’s actually taken a step in the right direction despite his raw statistics not showing that.
Isaac has also been very good this season and has improved his statistical output in every major category early in this season. His net rating has also improved from +1 last season to an incredible +15 this season.
First time All-Star from last season, Nikola Vucevic has taken a slight step back this season and could be a reason the Magic aren’t doing as well as they had hoped. His scoring, rebounding, and assist numbers are all down despite actually playing more minutes this season.
The biggest difference for the Magic is point guard play. D.J. Augustin, a noted deadeye three-point shooter, is only making 25 percent of his three-point attempts this season. He has never been a player that has much of an impact outside of outside shooting, so that is a major concern for Orlando.
However, they are only a half-game out of the playoffs currently, so there is still hope they can turn it around.
2.) Sacramento Kings
This was supposed to be the year the Sacramento Kings jumped back into the playoffs in the Western Conference. They actually have turned it around, slightly. After an 0-5 start to the season, they have won four of their past five games to get back to within two games of the eighth seed.
However, in addition to being without Marvin Bagley, the Kings will also now be without De’Aaron Fox for multiple weeks after he sprained his ankle in practice. Those two players were a big part of their high expectations coming into this season.
Bagley played 28 minutes in their first game before he fractured his right thumb. To that point, he had 14 points and 10 rebounds and was really impacting the game.
Fox has been excellent so far this season. Through nine games he had been averaging 18.2 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds per night. He is also the motor to the Kings’ offense. The Kings will need to hold their head above water and stay within touch of the eighth seed in the West until Fox and Bagley are back.
To do that, they will need to rely on Buddy Hield to start playing better. For his career, Hield has shot the three-pointer at an outstanding 41.6 percent. This season, he is only making 37.8 percent of those shots. His offensive rating is also very poor so far this season at 97. Hield, quite frankly, is having perhaps the worst season of his career to this point.
The Kings are on the verge of tanking. Hield has to be better and keep them in touch until his partners in crime, Fox, and Bagley, return.
1.) Portland Trail Blazers
It has been a miserable and disappointing season in the Pacific Northwest. The Portland Trail Blazers are 4-and-8 on the season and have some bad losses. They have lost to the 2-and-9 Warriors and a Kings team playing in their first game without Fox.
Last night things got worse if that’s possible. Despite their horrendous start, star guard Damian Lillard had been fantastic. The Toronto Raptors held Lillard to just nine points on 2-for-12 shooting. It was the first time he has been held to single-digit scoring since 2016.
Despite the dreadful performance, Lillard is still averaging 30.5 points per game and has been one of the best players in the NBA to this point. His offensive rating is an absurd 127.
CJ McCollum has solid nightly statistics of 20.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. However, he has shot it miserably. He is only hitting 40.7 percent of his shots, and 31.3 percent of this three-point attempts. He simply needs to be better for Portland to turn it around.
They’ve also been a bit unlucky in the injury department, like a lot of the most disappointing NBA teams. Jusuf Nurkic is still recovering from a broken leg and despite his solid performance, it’s clear Hassan Whiteside doesn’t fit with the Portland offense.
They also lost young big man Zach Collins to a torn labrum. In order for Portland to become competitive again this season and get back to the Western Conference Finals, they’ll need McCollum to be more efficient and they need Terry Stots to figure out how to best use Whiteside. Whiteside doesn’t possess the passing element that Nurkic does.
Portland still has time to turn it around but they can’t fall in too big of a hole.
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