3 NBA Teams That Will Struggle out of the Gates
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The NBA preseason isn't just helpful for teams to prepare for the regular season. It provides a preview by which we can know who will struggle at the start of the season.
Rustiness is always a factor as teams are getting back into basketball shape. Rookies are adjusting to the professional league for the first time and players on different teams are integrating into new systems.
Now that the preseason is coming to a close, we have a pretty good view of the strengths and weaknesses of every team. As a result, we also know which teams will run into trouble in a few weeks.
Click ahead to see the top three teams who will struggle right out of the gates this season.
Anderson Varejao waits for the rebound
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The Cavs' head coach Byron Scott was not happy with his team's recent loss to the Indiana Pacers in their preseason game on October 23.
The Cavs were "watching the birds", standing idly by as the Pacers grabbed rebound after rebound.
For a team who ranked 14th in rebounding last season, the Cavs are currently 24th in the preseason.
For Scott, this is a "a big-time concern." Other teams are consistently out-rebounding them and Anderson Varejao is the only player seemingly putting in any effort.
In their first six games of the season, the Cavs will face the Bulls, Bucks, Clippers, Warriors, Suns and Thunder. Five of these six teams have players in the top 15 for rebounds per game.
The Cavs cannot depend on Varejao to do all the rebounding. He will tire out eventually, but if there are no other guys stepping up, opposing teams will exploit this and kill them on boards.
But it doesn't stop there. The Cavs are still a liability offensively. Their offensive game plan runs through Kyrie Irving, but he can't elevate the team on his own.
The Cavs have a lot of youngsters still learning the rules and if their last game is any indication, they will not be ready by the start of the season.
The Orlando Magic in a game against the Indiana Pacers
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Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Just a couple seasons ago the Orlando Magic were among the elite teams in the league. They were a well-oiled three-point machine, shooting lights out from beyond the arc consistently. They were often criticized for it but they made it work and had the records to show for it.
Dwight Howard's dominance in the paint as both a shot blocker and a scorer made them a difficult team to contend with. When he was on his game, the Magic were almost unstoppable.
Now that Howard is officially gone, reality is quickly setting in for the Magic. They are no longer one of the top teams in the league, let alone in the Eastern Conference.
In addition to losing Howard, they also let Ryan Anderson go. Anderson was Orlando’s second-leading scorer and rebounder last season and they have found no true replacement for him.
In fact, they had quite the disappointing offseason as they failed to upgrade the team in almost every way imaginable.
Though they've made the playoffs six seasons in a row, the Magic will definitely take a huge step back this season.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the NBA Rookie Photoshoot
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Is anyone really surprised?
The Bobcats may have added Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to their roster, but the likelihood that he will spark a big enough change to make them any better is very low.
With a tough opening schedule to begin the season, the Bobcats are possibly looking at a repeat of last season as the NBA's worst team.
In November, the Bobcats are facing a mix of teams. Some are really good, some who are okay, and some who are bad. Just not as bad as they are.
Unless the Bobcats up and shock the league by making a drastic turnaround from last year, they will likely lose most, if not all of their initial games.
The Bobcats haven't made any significant improvements to the team this offseason nor in recent years.
Don't expect them to be any different from last season.