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The one glaring reason your team won't win the NBA championship

Profile Picture: Ryan Murphy

October 16th, 2019

The NBA preseason is a time when hope springs eternal. You know the drillevery team has a player who reported to camp in the best shape of his life, and every team has a new free agent who just needs a fresh start in a new city. We're not buying any of it. We've seen this story before, and we know all 30 franchises are flawed in their own unique way.

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 Hawks

It’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 Celtics

Al 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 Nets

Speaking 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 Hornets

Michael 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.

Chicago Bulls

The 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 Cavaliers

The 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 Mavericks

Luka 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 Nuggets

The 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 Pistons

The 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 Warriors

Did 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 Rockets

Russell 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 Pacers

Victor 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 Clippers

The Clippers pulled off the heist of the millennium when they snagged Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this offseason. There's just one problemboth 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.

Los Angeles Lakers

Father Time finally caught up with LeBron James last season, as the four-time MVP was limited to a career-low 55 games. Given the amount of wear on his tires, it's time to start appreciating King James for who he was rather than who he is.

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have several promising young players, but chances are you wouldn’t be able to pick any of them out of a lineup. Their anonymity and lack of exposure doesn’t bode well in a league built on superstars.

Miami Heat

If history has taught us one thing, it's that adding Jimmy Butler to an already dysfunctional team is a recipe for disaster. Tyler Herro and Justise Winslow should be bracing to be inevitably thrown under the bus.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks took a step back this summer, with the loss of Nikola Mirotic (who started eight games in the playoffs) and Malcolm Brogdon, who posted career-highs in points and rebounds and led the league in free-throw percentage. Milwaukee was unwilling to pony up to keep both players in town and will suffer the consequences once the postseason rolls around.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves will only go as far as Andrew Wiggins will take them. Experience has taught us that is back into the lottery.

New Orleans Pelicans

There's no denying the fact that Zion Williamson is a world-class attraction, but the last rookie to lead his team to an NBA Championship was Magic Johnson in 1980, and he did it with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as his running mate. Williamson will need a little timeand a far better supporting castto reach that summit.

New York Knicks

There are 128 power forwards in the NBA. Half of them are on the Knicks. This is shaping up to be the most disastrous experiment in the history of professional hoops.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Is it just us, or is Chris Paul aging in dog years? The nine-time All-Star has missed 21 games or more in each of the last three seasons and seems to break down more often than a VW Bus. At least he isn’t the best player on the team. Oh wait…

Orlando Magic

The Magic are planning on giving significant minutes to Markelle Fultz, a man whose jump shot has more moving parts than a Swiss clock. Consider that for a moment before laying a wager on this maddeningly inconsistent team.

Philadelphia 76ers

Quiz time! Do you know how many three-pointers Ben Simmons has made since he was drafted in 2016? Zero. And do you know how many championships the Sixers have won during that time? Zero. That's not a coincidence. Until Simmons increases his range beyond six feet, Philly will continue to flame out in the postseason.

Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton may become an All-Star some day, but it won’t be because of his defense. The Bahamian big man graded out as one of the worst interior defenders in the league last season and was often so far out of position that he might as well have been lounging in the front row munching on popcorn. Defense wins championships, and the Suns won’t be a contender until Ayton learns how to man his position.

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers have stubbornly kept Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum together for the past six years, even though experts have continually insisted the pair can't win a championship. At what point do you have to admit the rest of the world might actually have a point?

Sacramento Kings

The Kings haven't won an NBA championship since 1951, and it might be another 68 years before they win their next title if they keep force-feeding minutes to players who aren't old enough to vote.

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs proved beyond a shadow of a doubt last season that you can't win a championship when your two best players launch 30 mid-range jump shots night in and night out. Do we really need to see this movie again?

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors' title chances went up in smoke the moment Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers. The two-time NBA Finals MVP averaged 28.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.2 steals against the Warriors and was easily the best player on both ends of the court. You can't replace that kind of production, especially with OG Anunoby and Stanley Johnson.

Utah Jazz

If the Jazz couldn't win a championship with John Stockton and Karl Malone, they certainly won't hoist a banner with Mike Conley and Joe Ingles.

Washington Wizards

Without John Wall the Wizards are on a bullet train to the draft lottery. Hope you like watching Jordan McRae launch 30 footers!




The 2019-2020 NBA regular season is just around the corner. Wager on your favorite team now at BetAmerica!

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