It appears that several NBA teams are having a difficult time finding success thus far in the season. With so many off-season player acquisitions and transactions happening around the league, many die-hard NBA fans expected several teams to jump off to a great start but that has not been the case for several teams in the Eastern and Western Conference. Check out five teams looking to be headed in the opposite direction of success thus far in 2013-2014 NBA season.
With the return of Derrick Rose earlier this season, the Chicago Bulls appeared to have been en-route to yet another run at battling for the Eastern Conference crown. Rose returned to rare MVP caliber form and the Bulls were beginning to show signs of promise with a convincing five consecutive victories from November 8th-18th, Bulls fans were excited once again.
Then the unthinkable happened; Derrick Rose suffered yet another unfortunate serious knee injury which will sideline him for the rest of the regular season. The Bulls are again without their All-Star franchise player and have lost four games in a row including a loss to the abysmal Utah Jazz.
Where can the Bulls find a spark? Which players will step up and lead this team in Rose’s absence? Unlike the 2012-2013 NBA season, the Bulls can’t rely on Nate Robinson because he found a better deal in Denver during the off-season. With the regular season in the early stages, the Bulls have a chance to turn things around, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
A year ago the New York Knicks were the second best team in the Eastern Conference and Carmelo Anthony was an early front-runner for the 2013 MVP award. Fast forward to the 2013-2014 NBA season and the Knicks are currently one of the worst teams in their conference with a overall winning percentage of .231 with no clear signs of improvement.
The injury to Tyson Chandler is a significant blow to the Knicks defensive and rebounding capabilities but one would expect Mike Woodson to have made the proper adjustments by now. Could this be the end of Mike Woodson’s coaching days with the Knicks? Will Carmelo seek to take his fetish for shooting the ball to another team? Perhaps it could be to soon to speculate but as it stands the Knicks are sinking like the Titanic – slowly but surely.
The Memphis organization made the awful decision of firing former head coach Lionel Hollins, a decision that will cost them in the wins column and will certainly effect them in the playoffs this season. So far the Grizzlies are playing .500 basketball and they don’t appear to be any serious threat in the Western Conference.
Last season the Grizzlies regular season record was 56-26 with Mike Conley emerging as the leader of the team behind the coaching of Hollins. Without Hollins guiding the personnel on this team, the Grizzlies are looking to be an overall sub-.500 team when the regular season draws to an end. They’ll be lucky to grab the 7th or 8th playoff seed. You should never underestimate the effectiveness of a great coach, in fact, the most successful coach in Grizzlies franchise history. What part of the game is that?
Another team with an organization that made a horrible decision. Their biggest mistake was firing 2012-2013 Coach of the Year, George Karl. I’m still trying to figure out how a coach of the year who guided his team to a 2013 regular season record of 57-25 is somehow not awarded a pay raise as opposed receiving a second class ticket to the island of former NBA coaches.
The Nuggets organization now have what they believe to be a new era in coaching with former NBA player, assistant coach, and Phil Jackson understudy, Brian Shaw. Perhaps we will finally see a coach adapt the famous triangle offense that allowed Phil Jackson to win a record 13 NBA Championships. Whether Brian Shaw implements the famous system or not, I highly doubt the Denver Nuggets will come close matching their 2012-2013 regular season success. I do believe another early playoff exit is within their immediate future.
How does a team close to clinching a playoff position a season ago fall to becoming quite possibly the worst team in the league? Simple answer – by trading away Al Jefferson, their best player.
The Jazz deserve some small credit for acquiring Trey Burke but he has to make some improvements to his game before his contributions start to pay dividends. Looking ahead, don’t be surprised if the Jazz experience a few coaching changes, let’s be honest, Tyrone Corbin is no Jerry Sloan. Overall, the Jazz are taking a few significant steps back opposite of success and the organization looks to be about three seasons away from rebounding back from their disastrous decisions.