Ranking of the most disappointing NBA teams: Lakers and Warriors fail; Blazers, coyotes swing and miss

Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are.” The odds are one thing, but ultimately you are judged by your performance on the court — and few NBA teams have failed to live up to expectations in the first half of the 2022-23 season. Here are the most disappointing teams in the league so far.

I had Wolverhampton at the start as a 50-win team and a contender for a top-four spot, but what does it matter what I think? The Wolves themselves apparently thought they were on their way to competing for a conference title at the West Open, or they’d never let go of 30-year-old Rudy Gobert.

This was not a long term plan. This was a team looking to build on nearly winning a playoff series last season, and now it’s going to be hard to even break the postseason. Minnesota, at 23-24, is tied in the losing column with the No. 11 Blazers. The defense, which should have taken a huge leap, is worse than it was last season by more than 2 points per 100 possessions, and the offense — get this — is more than 12 points per 100 worse when Joubert is on the floor, in glass-cleaning.

The only way Joubert’s offensive challenges can be accepted is if he’s leading an elite defence, and even then that’s a problem. This is a mess. Wolves were, by far, the biggest disappointment in the league so far.

Atlanta may have crossed paths with a five-game winning streak, but all told this season it hasn’t come close to living up to the expectations that came with the Dejounte Murray deal. The defense has improved, but the offense is near the bottom 10 rated as the most per capita system in the league.

There is no movement, ball or player. It’s just a turn/turn dance between Trae Young and Murray, and only a hot streak recently raised Young’s 3-point percentage north of the 35. That’s not going to cut it for a team that actually wants to shoot after Kevin Huerter’s trade. Just Nuggets And bulls It takes less than 3 seconds from Atlanta and only Lakers make less.

They’ve crept past 50,000 with this latest increase, and once again, things could be on the upswing. Murray and Young have both shot superbly from deep since the start of the calendar. But right now, no one would have thought to be only two losses away from the East’s last point of play approaching the trade deadline.

Anyone can understand a defending champion out of age making it a little easy in the regular season, but a 6-18 record on the road with 17th-ranked offense and a negative points differential? Yes, Curry just missed 11 games and Andrew Wiggins missed over a month, but the Warriors haven’t played any better before those absences.

There is optimism in some offers vs Celtics, one being a home win for the Warriors and the other a huge loss in Boston, showing that this team can still play right with a top-tier opponent, and Golden State’s starting lineup has been dominant all season. It remains to be seen if the bench can pull even the minimum amount of weight, and defense is no longer a unit that can save mistakes. The margin of error has disappeared for the Warriors, but they still make mistakes.

They still stink like crazy (giving up the most free throws and taking the fewest). They’re still flipping it like crazy (29 in turnover). These are not margins that the Warriors can make up in the big picture, which is why they are just a .500 team. We keep giving this team the benefit of the doubt, and we should. It has been earned. Stephen Curry remains at the height of his power. But there is much to worry about.

This is a very average team. not good. not bad. Certainly not what they hoped it would become when they finally changed their menu. I still want to believe it Gary Payton II He’s a huge difference maker and Portland will go off at some point, but I can’t convince myself anymore.

Everyone bashed Neil Olschi for his reluctance to break up the Lillard-McCollum duo and/or make solid roster moves during his tenure, but that’s the other side of that. It’s not easy to improve on what Portland has been like under Olshi and Terry Stott, especially with a roster full of players who deserve/were worth more on the field than they are on the market (McCollum, Nurkic, Norman Powelletc.).

Still, Portland fans wanted to see some kind of front office action. So that’s when Joe Cronin started charging bits left and right and brought it up Josh Hart And Jeremy Grant and Peyton and seemed to be building a more defensively equipped team, everyone got excited for a minute.

But now the dust has settled, and what are the jackets for? Still a bad defensive team covering a weak backcourt. However, the team trying to win in the narrowest of profit margins is the team it has to count on Damien Lillard (or whoever else) plays champ in clutch time, only it doesn’t happen like it did a few years ago (negative clutch differential), and suddenly this team isn’t making up for 43 minutes of mediocrity with five minutes of greatness.

Bottom line: The Blazers are desperate to put a competitor together to prop up Lillard, and right now, they have one less loss to lose than the Lakers and are stuck firmly in the lottery.

5. Los Angeles Lakers

Speaking of the Lakers, no one thought this would be competitive. But with LeBron James still playing at this level and even Russell Westbrook looking palatable off the bench (even though he was actually less competent than last year), and with Anthony Davis playing like a MVP candidate when he was actually on the floor, It’s still hard. So don’t get caught up in the hustle of purple and gold, and it’s still pretty disheartening to look up to see a subpar team swimming downstream almost every night.

Lakers can’t shoot. Davis can’t stay healthy. They represent an incompetent defense line without Davis and an ordinary offense with a 10-point difference. Everyone is crying out for a deal, but it seems unlikely that Rob Pelinka will do anything significant. Even when Davis returns, how long will he be on the field this time? Let’s just get used to the idea that the Lakers are capable enough to constantly disappoint.

Little honor

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