Blog Entry

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

Posted on: August 26, 2010 10:31 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 11:13 am
Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who will be the worst team in the NBA this season?

It's a depressing question, isn't it? Who's going to fail more than any other? Someone has to win the fewest number of games this year. So who's on the list?

The Returning Champ: The New Jersey Nets

You can't just let the reigning "champs" off the list without giving them a chance to repeat! The Nets were the worst team in the league last year, only able to avoid the worst mark of all time due to a late surge. It was a startling development, one that baffled a lot of NBA heads, because the team really did have talent. But for whatever reason (injury, chemistry, coaching, pure terrible luck), it never came together and the team plummeted into the depths. So are they doomed to repeat history?

The Nets struck out in free agency for the top names but still brought in good players. Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw, and Troy Murphy will all be suiting up for the Nets alongside Devin Harris, Terrence Williams, and Brook Lopez. With the development of the younger players, the addition of a few talented veterans, and a more demanding coach in Avery Johnson, the Nets may not be in position to push for the playoffs, but they are unlikely to repeat as the worst team in the NBA.

The New Kids: The Toronto Raptors

Our first victim of the free-agency summer of doom. After losing Chris Bosh to the triad, GM Brian Colangelo went on a firesale. He ditched Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa and sent Marco Belinelli for Julian Wright. He did spend some money, though, giving Amir Johnson a hefty new deal and bringing Linas Kleiza back from overseas. The Raptors lost a huge chunk of salary, and weren't that great to begin with. They are teetering on the abyss. Will they fall off?

Bear in mind that we're talking the worst here. Not bad, but the worst. And the Raptors could assuredly reach that mark if everything were to go wrong. But there are bright spots. Andrea Bargnani, for all his rebound-void, yogurty, forceless  weaknesses, can still hit from anywhere on the floor, and might actually get to play where he's best (high-post and mid-range) with Bosh gone instead of trying to impersonate a traditional center. DeMar DeRozan has the athleticism and range to be able to become a leader. Sonny Weems continues to impress, Amir Johnson will forever be lauded as the next great (whistle) defensive player (whistle) if only he could (whistle) stop fouling (whistle). If the Raptors drop off a cliff, it'll be because the chemistry wasn't fit to hold, or because the real problem in Toronto hasn't been Colangelo's roster, but Triano's coaching.

The Dark Horse: The Washington Wizards

How could any team with John Wall be the worst team in the league? When you have as fragile a chemistry set as this team does. That's how. The Wizards are a long shot to burrow into the trash heap the furthest, but with Gilbert Arenas anything but a sure thing, there's just no telling how this is going to work out. We thought the biggest concern with Arenas last year was if he could stay healthy a full season. We didn't even get to answer that. Andray Blatche is the third best player on the team, and that could go any number of ways. He could be a consistent scorer, working in tandem with Wall, and showcasing the scoring ability he showed last season. Or he could become a space cadet again. JaVale McGee showed great things in Summer League, but he's yet to prove he can be someone to be relied on as the primary big.

Wall is likely to be good enough to drag this team out of the very basement, and if everything were to go right (and I mean everything), the Wizards could find themselves in contention for the playoffs. But if another chemistry blow-up happens and Flip Saunders is unable to contain the damage and get through, the Wizards could be a two-year disaster.

The Favorite: The Minnesota Timberwolves

Okay, let's try the opposite. Let's try and figure out how the Wolves could avoid being the worst team in the league. Option No. 1, another team has a rash of injuries that makes Houston seem like Phoenix. Okay, barring that, Option No.2, we need the following to occur:

A. Luke Ridnour picks up where he left off in Milwaukee, being a solid game manager and reliable shooter.
B. Martell Webster slides in and immediately begins to contribute as he did in Portland, providing the perimeter scoring missing in Minny last year.
C. Wesley Johnson was in fact, the best player available at 3, better or at least within range of DeMarcus Cousins only without the chemistry problems, and is able to pick up the pro game's speed and awareness necessary to contribute.
D. Jonny Flynn recovers on schedule from hip surgery.
E. Kurt Rambis and David Kahn get over whatever problems they had with Kevin Love last season, and Love is allowed to be on the floor and become the player everyone else believes he is.
F. Darko Milicic actually was worth five years and $20 million, and alongside Love makes for a stout front court.
G. The triangle, one of the more complex and difficult systems to run, which has only been successful for two teams under one coach with the best or second best player in the league at all times, magically works for a lottery team lacking in both veteran smarts and talent.
H. Mike Beasley really was just misunderstood.

That's a lot that needs to go right. Wolves fans tend to think the media picks on them because of their market. As a proponent of small markets, I'm here to say that's not the case. It's because this team is bad. It was built badly, with bad contracts for bad players, with a bad system for its personnel, and it needs significant upgrades at nearly every position and at multiple depth levels in order to make itself right. The Wolves could come together and shove it in the faces of all the doubters. But until we see the actual manifestation of all the supposed potential the roster holds, your Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to be the worst team in the NBA this season.


Since: Mar 25, 2010
Posted on: August 29, 2010 11:32 pm

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

The worst team is probably gonna be the clippers. They have the worst luck and lets face it they are  the clippers.

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: August 29, 2010 5:46 pm

Pop Quiz: Who's the Worst?

I think Toronto will finish near the middle of the pack, but will have a few weeks at the bottom. Coangelo is a moron, he may dismantle the team if there is any signs of success.
I think the Wizards and their backcourt heavy roster, and the Timberwolves and their front office fiasco will lead the race to the bottom. Obviously, the Nets and Cavaliers should not be left out of the mix. 
If Joe Dumars insists that Tracy McGrady gets a lot of floortime, we may see the Pistons in the basement too.
On the flipside, I expect to see the Pacers, Sixers, Knicks and Bobcats to have much better seasons this year than last.
My two cents.

Since: Oct 3, 2009
Posted on: August 29, 2010 3:57 pm

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

 If he flops, its a 3yr, 15/16mil contract, which would be far from the worst contract signed this summer.

Actually no, it is the worst. And you do realize that four years for twenty is worse than five years for twenty, not better, right?

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: August 27, 2010 5:35 pm

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

A dark horse "worst" could be the Denver Nuggets.  A few twists and turns could make this possible.  An unhealthy George Karl replaced by "ugh" Adrian Dantley ( who could not control this scraggly group in the playoffs last year.)  How about the dissension caused by a Melo defection (even if it does not happen).  The aging of Chauncey Billups is a given. A point guard with minimal speed will burn Billups for 20 plus at will.  Nene, Chris Anderson and Kenyon Martin are about as fragile as Tiger's psychge. JR Smith is a cancer.  All of these items could cause a Rocky Mountain meltdown.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2010 4:29 pm

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

The New York Knicks should also be in the conversation.    Beside Amare who do they have that is anywhere near an All Star?  

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2010 3:57 pm

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

I second that

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:49 am

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

Like a lot of people commenting here I think that the Cleveland Cavaliers are definitely in the running for worst team in 2011. With the losses of LeBron James, Delonte West, Shaquille O'Neal, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas the team is losing A LOT. Listed below are the per game numbers they are losing and, in parenthesis, the percentage of last year's per game team total being lost.

;   57.9 (57.8%)
Rebounds  22.2 (55.9%)
Assists    &nbs
p;  14.2 (67.3%)
;   3.43 (52.0%)
;   3.06 (50.2%)

When you lose half of your scoring, rebounding, assisting, blocking, AND stealing from one season to another, you find yourself in big trouble. The depth chart forecasted on ESPN has Anthony Parker starting at SG and Jamario Moon starting at SF. They combined last year (per 48 minutes) for 26 points, 13.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.9 steals, and 1.8 blocks.

Luke Ridnour is a good pick-up for Minnesota and Kevin Love getting more minutes will be a good thing. In my opinion, as a neither a fan nor a hater of either program, Cleveland's situation is worse, especially when you consider the fact that Minnesota got the number three pick in the Draft in Wesley Johnson and Cleveland only added Christian Eyenga.

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:47 am

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

That run 'n' gun hasn't gotten the Suns their championship, though.  In fact, the Suns played better last year, and they've slowed considerably from their running prime.

Well first of all there is a bit of a difference between the wolves and the suns. The wolves are getting guys who can break, but can also get back on defense. Second, if Amare doesn't get suspended the Suns go to the finals a couple years back. And finally they did play slower than a few years ago last year but it was quite a bit faster than the year before when they were crap. If you think that last year’s suns were better than some of those past teams you got some problems.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:21 am

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

Al Jefferson was a potential 20-10 guy, but Kevin Love exceeds that.  K-Love will get more minutes and has more talent around him on the starting five (with Beasley at SF and Johnson at SG) and bench; he could easily be a 20-15 guy with better passing skills and far more range and speed than Big Al.  Rambis and Kahn's "problem" with Love is they had Al Jefferson
i agree and a starting lineup of Flynn, Johnson (at SG), Michael Beasley (at SF) and Love (at PF) and Darko (at C) will be better than putting Jefferson and Love on the court at the same time. And off the bench, Luke should be ok, hopefully when Webster comes in, he can do something. It's like i said though, the real key isnt Love, he will be fine. Darko is what he is, he will not put up points, but he's got size. The key to the Wolves though is Beasley!!! if Beasley can play basketball like the 2nd overall pick that he was drafted to play like than i see the Wolves being a better team.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:07 am

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

i put the Cavs on this list and think about taking the Raptors off. While on paper the Raptors lost alot, they did gain some. Barbosa is a good shooter to have. Calderon is still there, and i think Andrea Bargnani is a good player, i also think that Ed Davis could surprise.

As for the T-Wolves, IF Michael Beasley can show that he was once a top 2 NBA draft pick and play like it, i expect the T-Wolves to play well when he does, BUT if he doesnt, they stay the same.

i think the Cavs will miss James, BUT even if they lose alot of games or be the worst team in the league, it could get them Harrison Barnes in the 2011 NBA draft.

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