5 Overly-Hopeful NBA Fanbases Who Should Curb Their Enthusiasm
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Every year, there are a few NBA fanbases who hold ridiculously high expectations for their respective teams, but need to take an unbiased approach to truly determine the competitiveness of the roster.
Whether it be due to the addition of a star player or depth, a solid draft, the development of prospects or the retooling of the front office, every team goes through rebuilding phases, which cause fans to rejoice over the changes. Most of the time, unless the fanbase is full of pessimists, these fans become over confident in their team’s abilities.
This year is no exception, as this was quite the busy offseason. The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks all made a plethora of maneuvers, but not all of these team’s changes justify for the enthusiasm stemming from the fans.
Cleveland Cavs fans
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With the fourth overall pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers made one of the most startling moves in the entire draft, selecting Dion Waiters over the likes of Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond. Obviously, this franchise was banking on the opportunity of drafting fellow rookie Bradley Beal, who was selected by the Washington Wizards.
This showed that the Cavaliers came into the draft with the philosophy of selecting need over greed. Instead of drafting the most talented player on the board, the organization decided to draft a backcourt mate for Kyrie Irving.
Simply put, Waiters and Tyler Zeller, who was drafted later in the first round, aren’t going to bring this team to the next level, which many fans expect to be a playoff berth. This roster just doesn’t have the talent right now to compete in the Eastern Conference.
The fanbase should expect this franchise back in the lottery next year.
Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors fans
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On first glance of this roster, the initial thoughts are that this team is glistening with talent and depth. This offseason the Golden State Warriors acquired rookies Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli, along with the signings of Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack.
Additionally, both Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry will rejoin a starting cast featuring Klay Thompson, David Lee and Richard Jefferson.
This team will be quite the formidable foe if this team stays healthy, and that’s a big if. Their star tandem of Curry and Bogut is extremely injury-prone. Without these two productive players, the Warriors will have to rely on rookies to do some of the heavy lifting, which isn’t a recipe for success in the Western Conference.
This team is on the right path and will make the playoffs eventually, but this fanbase should really consider tempering their expectations.
New York Knicks
New York Knicks fans
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The New York Knicks are going to struggle to even make the postseason.
The team essentially rid themselves of all the youth and athleticism on their roster in favor of more established veterans, making their biggest flaw even larger.
Jeremy Lin for Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton isn’t just horrible financially wise, as Lin’s name sells tickets and jerseys, but the point guard swap is also a detriment on the court. Lin can facilitate the ball effectively in an offense with little consistency.
Lin thrived in the Knicks’ fast break offensive style. Who knows if Felton and Kidd find the same type of success, but the predictions don’t look promising. Both replacements are considered athletically inferior to Lin and don’t nearly have the potential their former point guard possesses.
Also, the loss of Iman Shumpert, coupled with the clashing styles of the team’s two stars, will not allow them to take the next step.
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The start of Brooklyn basketball is just around the corner, and the new beginning will almost certainly stir excitement among the fans in New York’s largest borough.
However, this team, contrary to popular belief, isn’t talented enough to compete for a top playoff spot in the East, let alone a championship.
While their guard duo is arguably the most talented in the league, their depth and big men leave something to be desired. Besides Gerald Wallace and MarShon Brooks, the team has few options other than their two All-Stars to score the ball out on the perimeter.
Their power forward and center issue is even more severe. Even though Lopez, who is injury-prone, and Kris Humphries are not considered elite big men in the league, they do complete the job.
Once one of those players need a substitution, the Nets will be in some trouble. Their top two big men off the bench are Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans.
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There is no denying that the Boston Celtics put up a miraculous fight against the champions in last season’s playoffs, but don’t expect any miracles this year around.
This roster is painfully old. The addition of Jason Terry to fill Ray Allen’s spot doesn’t help the situation either.
A Celtics fan may point to the return of Jeff Green and the signing of Courtney Lee to help their main problem of advanced age, but neither of these players are considered elite athletes or prospects.
While rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo were good selections to replace Kevin Garnett, once the legendary power forward retires, neither of these players are ready to contribute significantly in Doc Rivers’ rotation.
This will be the last year with this core group, as next offseason will mark the start of a major rebuilding period in Boston.