To name the toughest teams in the NBA, you must first define the term itself.
For this reason, we will have the categories “confused, confused and straight.” That explains it. It seems to be working.
That doesn’t mean they’re slated as “disappointing” teams, though there is some disappointment with where they sit in the conference, based on preseason expectations and common sense. No, instead it all boils down to how and why these groups look the way they do and where they can go.
Miami Heat president Pat Riley has long held the belief that after 20 games, the team knows who it is. But that’s not always the case for teams that have battled injuries or seen major roster changes or made bold trades.
With all of the above in mind, we chose two teams in the East and two in the West and tried to explain everything without causing a headache, remembering that the season is just around the corner for other teams and everything. it can change – for better or for worse.
Do you know what happens when you trade futures? You put a heavy burden on those whose job is to produce the current. That’s probably the reason for Minnesota’s slow start – players are feeling pressure to be something they’re not – yet. As it is, competitors.
When the Wolves traded some minor players and first-round draft pick Rudy Gobert, suddenly the show changed, and rather suddenly. Suddenly, a franchise that would normally be happy to make the playoffs was determined and eager to win 50 games and go deep into the postseason as if to justify a trade with Utah. Even Karl-Anthony Towns said, when the trade was made: “It’s time. There are no more excuses… we have to do it now.”
Easy to say, hard to do. And the Wolves are getting that. They are learning that contestants show up every night and win opportunities and throw sweet ideas. Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards haven’t been together in the past, and on some nights, it shows. Russell looks more and more like someone who is keeping the guard seat warm for the next guy, while Edwards has yet to turn into the star he showed in last year’s playoffs.
Instead, Gobert has looked good when used, leading the league in rebounding, shooting 62 percent and becoming everything he should have been. But, there are concerns about having him and Towns on the floor long term.
There’s no doubt that this team has struggled to develop chemistry, however, and the latest numbers show that. NBA expert Kevin O’Connor revealed that shooting guard Anthony Edwards only goes to Rudy Gobert 1.7 times per game. This can be a concern if the mentioned figures do not continue in the future. In contrast, Donovan Mitchell found French 4.4 times per game in Utah. Gobert also got shot on the field the other night, even after winning, against Miami.
Their Gobert trade was an attempt to deal with a small ball system and, of course, there is still a long way to go to figure things out but Minnesota is currently a middle-of-the-pack team. He needs to challenge the idea that the Wolves run in sacks, and learn how to distance himself from them.
Golden State Warriors
Hey, competitive champagne drops still smell good, right? So the Warriors, caught in the fog, need to rest, right? Cut them some slack and give them the benefit of the doubt that, eventually, they’ll figure it out.
Well… but that doesn’t mean they aren’t causing concern. The combined preparation between the old school (Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson) and the new (Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga) was a hit. This isn’t the cohesive combination Golden State was hoping for, maybe not.
And that plan went awry when third-year James Wiseman was sent to the G League to prepare. On the one hand: Poole spent time in the minors last season and came back quickly. On the other hand: Wiseman is already the No. 2 pick and, fair or not, he’s being judged by those standards.
Not to put all the blame on Wiseman’s slow growth, because some are wrong, too. Green and Thompson don’t look like the same players who dominated during the dynasty years. Curry alone is performing at a high level, and the Warriors should be thankful for that; Curry is flirting with the NBA lead (only Luka Doncic’s 34.0 points per game is ahead of him) and is shooting 44 percent from deep. He’s a much better performer than he was last season, shooting 52-44-90, on a game-high 50-40-90 in the shooting game.
This is a strange time for defensive players and without Curry they could be in deep trouble. They’ve never dealt with a major labor crisis and yet… here they are, fighting among the western people.
Perhaps the play in which Draymond Green hit Jordan Poole during practice has had a more lasting impact than people expected. Or maybe it’s longer than usual. Paradoxical, yes.
In case you forgot, five months ago Miami skipped Jimmy Butler to miss the NBA Finals for the second time in three years. Oh, and the Heat haven’t lost any major players between June and now, unless you put a premium on PJ Tucker, who just stopped across town for lunch before paying the Sixers. The meat of the team remains: Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, a group of helpful players and one of the best coaches in the biz, Erik Spoelstra.
But what is really going on? Miami is going crazy right now. “Tradition” doesn’t skip, the Heat play with the Play-In Tournament cut-line and can’t get buckets. They couldn’t pull off close games against the Kings, Wizards and Pacers, none of whom did that last year. They lost by 26 to the Cavs. And their record is just a walk (for them) 6-4. This is similar to Miami. Not the exact time of five bells, but the reason for waking up.
Miami can play the Health Card, because Victor Oladipo stays forever. Additionally, Herro has missed seven games and Butler four. Those two are vital to the offense and are the main reason Miami hasn’t been able to close out a solid series. Herro and Butler are the 1 and 1A picks in that season. When healthy, both of them have been very good this season, especially Butler, who has the power to defend (1.8 steals), on the boards (6.6), find teammates (6.1 assists) and buckets (21 average).
That said, the Heat are usually a strong team in crunch time, and their depth is a strength. Speaking of which: What happened to Duncan Robinson? Since holding the bag two years ago, his decline has been slow and painful. Last season he lost his place in the transition. This season, his minutes and three-point shooting are the lowest since his rookie season. If Robinson isn’t hitting three pointers, then he isn’t playing.
The good news: The schedule begins to decline after the first week of December. Is this where the Heat gets stronger?
Last season, this team took the league by storm, if not by storm, and it was great to see DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine not only become All-Stars, but turn into heroes in a crunch time. Oh, how the Bulls would love to have that night back.
And maybe eventually they will. But it’s hard for LaVine to save them if he sits down, as was the case during the low, embarrassing loss to Orlando when LaVine missed 13 of 14 shots. He wasn’t particularly happy with coach Billy Donovan’s decision, but it’s been tough for LaVine since his season-ending knee injury. it’s over. He signed a fat extension in the summer, then saw his rehabilitation progress into the offseason, raising questions about his recovery.
It doesn’t help that Chicago is still waiting for Lonzo Ball, whose return is anyone’s guess, and is no doubt concerned that Patrick Williams hasn’t blossomed, while free agent signing Alex Caruso has been fine, nothing special. .
Basically, the team is still relying heavily on LaVine, DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic to carry the load. And that’s good; and three All-Stars, not franchise players. And if the rest of the game falls short, this could be a breakout season for a team that wants to be considered a contender.
Watch more NBA on Sky Sports this week with Minnesota Timberwolves @ Charlotte Hornets, live at SS Arena & Main Event from 10pm Friday night; Saturday night sees Dallas Mavericks @ Toronto Raptors, starting at 10pm, then LA Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs starting at 1am, live at SS Arena & Main Event.
Then on Sunday, the Minnesota Timberwolves will host the Golden State Warriors from 8.30pm at the SS Arena (with a free stream on Sky Sports YouTube and the website), followed by the visit of the Memphis Grizzlies to the New York Knicks from 11pm at the SS Arena.