The start of the NBA season is a time of huge excitement and expectations. Every fanbase is feeling the energy right now, hoping to go on a major run and add some trophies to their collection. However, not everyone who thinks their team will surge to the Finals gets to see that result occur. Many fans’ favorite teams will fall flat, and the odds of disappointment are real.
Several teams have high expectations this year and could not reach the level of success fans expect. Let’s look at six Nba Teams who could disappoint fans’ expectations this year.
New York Knicks
New York loves the Knicks, and it feels like the team has turned a corner. Most people don’t expect the Knicks to win an NBA Championship, but after a strong season and an opening-round playoff victory, there are high hopes. However, the Knicks will struggle to compete with the elite tier of teams. Julius Randle has alternated strong seasons over the course of his career, and a repeat performance of his All-NBA season may be tough. While R.J. Barrett could improve and Jalen Brunson is a star, this team could have difficulty stacking up to a strong season last year.
The Sacramento Kings broke one of sports’ longest streaks of ineptitude, making the playoffs last year for the first time since 2003. Most sportsbooks offer them solid odds of returning. But last year, they entered the postseason as the three-seed, and the likelihood of that happening again is low. Sacramento didn’t add much this Offseason, and the Western Conference got stronger around them. Teams like the Suns, Lakers, and Grizzlies made moves, but Sacramento was mostly content to stand pat. In a hugely competitive conference, not being aggressive will likely come back to bite this team.
Golden State Warriors
If you check most sportsbooks, one of the teams with the highest odds of winning the NBA Championship next year is the Warriors. With a track record of postseason dominance and a still-elite Stephen Curry, anything is possible. The Warriors added Chris Paul in the offseason and appeared poised to start him in most games. A lineup with Paul, Curry, Thompson, and Green is old, and that backcourt will struggle to defend. The Warriors will rely on development from young players like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody for depth, but if they can’t perform, this team will be very thin.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers actually had a great offseason, resigning players like Deangelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura and adding Christian Wood, Gabe Vincent, and more. There is a ton to like about this team. But if there is one thing that can slow them down, it is the health of their two superstars. Anthony Davis has struggled to remain on the court throughout his career and could be bit by the injury bug. Meanwhile, LeBron James is set to turn 39 this season and hasn’t played in 60 games since 2019-20. Time will eventually have to slow the King down, and this could be the year that happens.
The Miami Heat are fresh off an NBA Finals appearance, yet the vibes around this team feel less than optimistic. The Heat had a questionable offseason. They lost out on Damian Lillard, saw players like Gabe Vincent and Max Strus move on, and didn’t do much to fill in the gaps. They’ll be counting on internal growth to get back to the level they played at last postseason. Realistically, any team coached by Erik Spoelstra with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will be competitive. But the expectation in Miami has been sky-high over the past two decades. This year might fall short.
The Philadelphia 76ers are another team that sportsbooks have soured on. The 76ers were led by the league MVP in Joel Embiid last season and have James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Maxey can still improve, so fans should be excited. However, much positivity is dampened on this team, thanks to Harden’s requested trade. It appears like this will be a drawn-out, negative process that takes a lot of the joy out of this team. They still have the talent to be competitive, and new coach Nick Nurse could spur positive change.
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