The 2014-2015 NBA Season is proving to be an exciting one. At present, there are no clear-cut favorites unlike the past few seasons when the LeBron James-led Miami Heat were assured of making the NBA Finals.
Over in the West, the Golden State Warriors are running on all cylinders and currently hold the best record in the NBA. They own one of the most potent offenses in the league and have put new meaning into the term “shock and awe.” They are followed closely by the Portland Trailblazers and the Memphis Grizzlies in the standings. Surprisingly, the defending champs San Antonio Spurs are barely hanging on to the 7th playoff spot but you can be sure they’ll in the thick of things in the offseason. The West is so strong and deep that if the playoffs started today, the powerhouse Oklahoma City Thunder won’t make the cut.
In the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks are on top. They are so well-balanced that 8 different players average at least 6 points with 5 in double figures. The Washington Wizards are in 2nd place powered by arguably one of the best backcourts in the league. Still, I would pick the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls to get out of the East. The East is so weak that two teams with losing records will probably make the playoffs. It is no wonder that the worst teams in the NBA are from this Conference. Here is the list:
1) New York Knicks (7-36)— The Knicks suck plain and simple. They just ended their franchise worst 16-game losing streak. There was hope that the entry of legendary coach Phil Jackson as President and Derek Fisher as coach would change the culture in New York, but it hasn’t been so. They have one underachiever of a superstar and no other assets to help build. The trade of J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert is a salary dump and means that New York will start tanking – not so hard to do when you already have the worst record in the NBA.
2) Philadelphia 76ers (8-34)— The 76ers have adopted a tanking strategy in the past few seasons to land high draft picks but this hasn’t panned out. Their pick in the last draft is Joel Embiid who is still out with a broken foot. The year before that it was Nerlens Noel who was also injured in his rookie year. This team has no veteran presence whatsoever and until they find a franchise cornerstone, they are sure to stay in the bottom.
3) Minnesota Timberwolves (7-34)—Like others in this list, the team is on full rebuilding mode after trading veteran superstar Kevin Love in the offseason. The team has been hit by injuries the latest of which is Ricky Rubio. The only bright spot for the team is Andrew Wiggins who is an emerging superstar.
4) Los Angeles Lakers (12-31) —It is ridiculous that Kobe Bryant still commands the highest salary in the league despite the fact that he is way over his prime. His salary has basically impaired the team from adding more quality players. Additionally, no one wants to play with a selfish superstar who still has illusions of grandeur. The Lakers’ record will get worse since Kobe Bryant has been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff.