The one glaring reason your team won't win the NBA championship
We've examined the rosters of every team in the league and have identified the one reason why they won't win the Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2020.
Atlanta HawksIt’s never a good sign when your biggest offseason acquisition is a 42-year-old with creaky knees. Atlanta needed a miracle, but they got Vince Carter and his seemingly endless retirement tour instead.
Boston CelticsAl Horford may not be the sexiest player in the league, but he was the glue that held the Celtics together. Boston will miss his defensive tenacity and quiet locker room leadership more than anyone with the franchise would like to admit.
Brooklyn NetsSpeaking of locker rooms, Brooklyn's is about to get more fractured this season with the addition of Kyrie Irving, a player who is just as good as dividing teammates as he is at splitting defenders. His special brand of aloofness will alienate his peers and squash the sense of unity that Nets general manager Sean Marks has worked so hard to achieve since he arrived in Brooklyn.
Charlotte HornetsMichael Jordan is many things (including some things you can’t put in print), but a savvy basketball executive is not one of them. Who else in their right mind would throw $58 million at a second-rate scrub like Terry Rozier? That kind of shortsighted wheeling and dealing will hamstring the Hornets for this season and many years to come.
Terry Rozier is Kemba Walker before kemba developed an elite 3-pt shot or the ability to pass to open teammates or the clutch gene— Paggawoot (@paggawoot) October 15, 2019
Chicago BullsThe Bulls are loaded with players who can win Slam Dunk Contests and Three-Point Contests. Unfortunately they seem to be lacking players who can actually win games. Check back on them in another few years.
Cleveland CavaliersThe Cavaliers can't seem to decide whether they want to be utterly mediocre or truly terrible. The presence of Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson suggests mediocrity, but their insistence on playing Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in the same backcourt suggests a season full of abject misery. Either way this mismatched mess of a roster won't sniff the postseason for another two years or more.
Dallas MavericksLuka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are both phenomenal players, but the other 10 guys on the roster? Not so much. Are you really willing to let your mortgage ride on Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith? The prosecution rests.
Denver NuggetsThe NBA has been ruled by super teams and dynamic duos since time immemorial. As good as Nikola Jokic is (and he's an absolute beast), he lacks an All-Star sidekick to take the Nuggets over the hump. Jamal Murray may get there some day, but it won't be soon enough for Denver to win the title in 2020.
Detroit PistonsThe Pistons have averaged 39 wins over the last three seasons, despite playing in the Eastern Conference, the NBA's junior varsity. Despite many new faces, their overall talent level continues to be as underwhelming as their outlook.
Golden State WarriorsDid you hear that? It was the sound of Golden State’s championship window slamming shut the moment Kevin Durant left town. The Warriors had a good run, but they lack the depth to compete with the West’s elite.
Houston RocketsRussell Westbrook was unable to win a championship in Oklahoma City when he played with James Harden and Kevin Durant. His odds of winning one in 2020 are significantly lower now that Durant is cashing checks in Brooklyn and Westbrook's three-point stroke has gone AWOL.
Indiana PacersVictor Oladipo is one of the top 10 guards in the league when he’s healthy. The problem is, he isn’t healthy. The two-time All-Star is expected to miss the first two months of the season to recover from a ruptured quadriceps tendon in his right knee. It’s anyone’s guess if his trademark athleticism will still be intact when he finally does hit the court.
Los Angeles ClippersThe Clippers pulled off the heist of the millennium when they snagged Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this offseason. There's just one problem—both players are damaged goods. Leonard is just a year removed from missing 73 games with a mystery ailment, and George is expected to miss the start of the season to recover from shoulder surgery. One bad break could send this ship into the rocks.
Clippers haven't given a concrete timetable on Paul George's return. But Doc Rivers said in passing that Paul George "is not going to be here for the first 10." Hence, George might be out until Nov. 13 in Houston— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 12, 2019