The 2013-2014 NBA season has been filled with many great storylines. These include the Kevin Durant-LeBron James rivalry, how the Pacers are now the favorites to win a title, and the emergence of new and exciting superstars (Damien Lillard, Anthony Davis, John Wall, etc.). In contrast, there were also a few stories of teams who miserably failed despite some lofty expectations.
Here are the more teams that failed to make the grade and disappointed their fans:
1) Brooklyn Nets—Since Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov took over in 2010, there were expectations that he would finally build a competitive team. The Nets acquired stars Deron Williams in 2011 and Joe Johnson in 2012.During the offseason, the Nets looked to be in a “win-now” mode by trading for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and signing the versatile Andrei Kirilenko. Overnight, the team assembled a very formidable line-up meant to challenge the LeBron James dynasty. Also overnight, the overinflated expectations for the team burst.
Injuries and internal issues continue to dog this team but they have managed to go over .500 for the first time this season and are now 2nd in the Atlantic Division. Still, the Nets are a far cry from the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. The Nets are the most expensive team this season ($100 million in salaries) and this money was not well spent.
2) New York Knicks—Similar to their cross-town rival, the Knicks have one of the highest salaries ($87 million) in the league and they have nothing to show for it. The Knicks are an atrocious 22-40 and patience is wearing thin with the team’s management that fans are actually holding protests asking Knicks owner James Dolan to sell the franchise. The Knicks are the epitome of a dysfunctional team not just on the court but in the front office as well.
It has become such a laughable situation that resident superstar Carmelo Anthony may exercise his “early-out” option and become a free agent by season’s end.
Management can’t seem to give him any guarantees that he will get more help given that the hefty contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani are booked until 2015. Without Anthony, the Knicks will fall deeper into basketball obscurity.
3) Minnesota Timberwolves—The Wolves are currently 5 games behind the Dallas Mavericks for the Western Conference’s last playoff spot and more and more, making the playoffs is looking like a pipe dream. Statistically, the Wolves are the league’s No. 9 offense and No. 11 in defense which should make them a playoff team. However, these statistics don’t show how inconsistent the Wolves are. One game, they are on fire and ice cold the next.
Superstar Kevin Love is getting impatient with all the losing. If the Wolves don’t make it to the playoffs, this will be the 6th season that Love is getting an early vacation despite putting out supernatural numbers (26.3 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists). Love can opt out of his contract after next year.