The Worst Loss for Each NBA Franchise in 2012-13

Grant RindnerContributor IIIDecember 19, 2012

The Worst Loss for Each NBA Franchise in 2012-13

0 of 30

    No matter how good a team is, during the course of an 82 game season there are always going to be a few puzzling losses. Even Michael Jordan's 1995-95 Chicago Bulls suffered a head-scratching defeat or two in their time.

    Still, there always manages to be one season-defining loss for each team. Whether it is because of a bad match-up, an injury or just plain being outplayed, every team in the league has had to bounce back from at least one downright embarrassing loss during their 2012-13 campaigns.

    Every team may not be created equal, but even the league's best clubs have to deal with a few humiliating losses at the hands of the NBA's bottom-feeders.

    Without further ado, here is the worst loss for every franchise this season along with a brief recap of what exactly went wrong.

Atlanta Hawks

1 of 30

    November 30th - 111-113 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the 2012-13 season's most pleasant surprises, but they looked far from impressive being outscored 31-20 in the fourth quarter of a home loss against the lowly Cavaliers.

    The Hawks were blown out at home by the Golden State Warriors as well, but the Warriors are a legitimate playoff team, while Cleveland has little to look forward to at the end of the season but the draft lottery.

    For much of the game the Hawks were in control, but their defense could not get stops in the fourth quarter and they were torched by the Cavs' frontcourt, particularly Anderson Varejao who had 20 points and 18 rebounds.

    Josh Smith and Al Horford both played well for Atlanta, but the team failed to box out Alonzo Gee, who had a putback on a Dion Waiters three-pointer that broke a 111-111 tie in the waning seconds.

    Every team has a few fluke losses per year, but this one was a real heart-breaker for the Hawks and their fans.

Boston Celtics

2 of 30

    November 18th - 83-103 at Detroit Pistons

    The 2012-13 season has been extremely up-and-down for the Boston Celtics, but their lowest moment came during a humiliating blowout at Detroit.

    The Pistons are once again among the Eastern Conference's worst teams, but they dismantled Boston behind a well-balanced offensive attack and a 20-point, 13-rebound effort from power forward Greg Monroe.

    The Celtics have had trouble all season containing big men, and Monroe, who shot 8-of-11, was simply too much to handle.

    Boston, a team normally known for its passing, notched just 12 assists, 10 of which came from Rajon Rondo. The Celtics shot decently, but relying that heavily on isolation plays is a recipe for disaster.

    Boston has not looked like the championship contender many expected them to be early in the season, and losses to below average teams like Detroit have been a huge reason why.

Brooklyn Nets

3 of 30

    November 7th - 73-103 at Miami Heat

    There is no shame in losing a road game to the defending NBA champions. However, there is a great deal of shame in losing to them by an absurd 30 points and turning the ball over 19 times while letting them shot 51.9 percent from the floor, even if Gerald Wallace was not suited up.

    That is what the Brooklyn Nets did in their first trip down to South Beach since adding Joe Johnson and re-signing Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. Yes their core had not had much time to develop chemistry, but for a team looking to win their division and make some noise in the playoffs losing like this is unacceptable.

    The Nets were in the game for most of the first half, but Miami's uptempo offense, led by 42 combined points on 26 shots from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, was too much for a Brooklyn team missing their best defender to handle.

    Brooklyn has played respectable basketball in 2012-13, but a loss like this makes it hard to take them seriously as postseason contenders.

Charlotte Bobcats

4 of 30

    November 26th - 69-114 at Oklahoma City Thunder

    Obviously no one expects Charlotte, in the midst of a rebuilding year, to beat a championship contender like Oklahoma City, but no NBA team should be losing games by 45 points to anyone.

    The Bobcats' mediocre defense was torched as the Thunder shot 51.3 percent from the floor and 48.1 percent from three-point range. They moved the ball beautifully, notching 31 assists and were absurdly efficient. Kevin Durant had 18 points on just eight shots from the field.

    Charlotte, meanwhile, could not score on this athletic OKC defensive line. They shot a collective 29.1 percent overall and only Jeffrey Taylor scored in double figures.

    For a young team, such a crushing loss can be absolutely demoralizing, and since being hammered in Oklahoma City Charlotte has not looked like the team that started the year 7-5.

Chicago Bulls

5 of 30

    November 3rd - 82-89 vs. New Orleans Hornets

    The Chicago Bulls were expected to struggle a bit without Derrick Rose, but a loss to a New Orleans team currently sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference standings is still unacceptable.

    The Hornets, who were without Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis, were led by Greivis Vasquez's 18 points and six dimes and Ryan Anderson's 12 points and 13 rebounds.

    The Bulls, currently ranked 27th in the league in points scored per game, could not put points on the board and shot just 33 percent from the field. Luol Deng played well for Chicago, but his solid night was not enough to squeeze out a victory.

    The Bulls have rebounded nicely with their revamped roster and are currently in the thick of the playoff hunt, but this early season home loss certainly did not instill a lot of confidence in the Chicago faithful.

Cleveland Cavaliers

6 of 30

    November 2nd - 86-115 vs. Chicago Bulls

    Cleveland suffered some bad losses during Kyrie Irving's extended absence, but their worst loss of the season was an absolutely woeful defensive performance against a Chicago team that doesn't exactly have a high-octane offense.

    Chicago received a spark off the bench in the form of Nate Robinson's 16 points and 12 dimes, and Carlos Boozer carved up the Cleveland frontcourt to the tune of 19 points, seven boards and six assists.

    The Cavs, meanwhile, struggled to put up points against the Bulls' stingy defense, with Irving's 15 points coming on 15 shots. Their inability to convert at the foul line was a huge issue, and they let the game get away from them early, being outscored 32-16 in the opening period.

    This Cleveland team is still one of the league's youngest and most inexperienced, but they have the talent to put up a fight against a good, but not great Chicago Bulls squad.

Dallas Mavericks

7 of 30

    December 14th - 74-95 at Toronto Raptors

    Without Dirk Nowitzki, few expected the Dallas Mavericks to be an upper echelon team in a brutal Western Conference, but despite adding plenty of young talent they have been incredibly erratic in 2012-13.

    Their low point came when their offense could not get anything going against Toronto, missing all 13 of their attempts from beyond the arc and being outrebounded by an aggressive, athletic Raptors team who came into the game at just 4-18.

    Dallas is actually scoring well this season, ranked 10th in points per game behind OJ Mayo, but he had just 10 points on two-of-eight shooting and the only Mav to have a respectable game was Shawn Marion, who had a double-double.

    Toronto coach Dwane Casey, Dallas' defensive coach for their championship run, came up with a great scheme to stop the Mavericks' perimeter-oriented attack and Linas Kleiza had 20 points and sank five threes.

    Help is around the corner with Nowitzki's return, but as long as he is riding the pine in a suit this team will struggle with their consistency.

Denver Nuggets

8 of 30

    November 30th - 103-122 at Los Angeles Lakers

    The Denver Nuggets' road-heavy schedule was a factor in their slow start to the 2012-13 season, but there is no reason they shouldn't have beaten a mediocre Los Angeles Lakers team, even on the road.

    Denver could not guard the three-point line as L.A. hit 17 shots from deep and was led by 33 points and 12 boards from Antawn Jamison, a 28-point, 20-rebound effort from Dwight Howard and seven threes from marksman Jodie Meeks.

    Even with their hot shooting, the Nuggets are a perfect match-up for the Lakers because of their ability to get out in the open court and play in transition. The Lakers have been completely unable to defend the fast break and given their collective speed, Denver should have been able to run this team into the ground.

    However, no one outside of Danilo Gallinari could get much going offensively and while the Nuggets did not shoot poorly they simply could not generate enough offense to keep it respectable with a Lakers team that is struggling to reach .500.

Detroit Pistons

9 of 30

    November 21st - 74-90 at Orlando Magic

    The Detroit Pistons have been respectable defensively in 2012-13, but their extremely young squad has had some serious difficulty putting up points and that manifested itself in a 16 point loss against the Orlando Magic.

    The Pistons' offensive woes culminated in an absurd eight-point third quarter in which Magic outscored them by 18 points and went on a 21-0 run to take a commanding lead.

    Orlando's balanced attack, led by rookie Andrew Nicholson's 15 points and Arron Afflalo's dozen points and seven rebounds. Greg Monroe had 19 points and eight boards, but as has so often been the case this season he received very little help from his teammates.

    The Pistons have been playing better basketball as the season has progressed, but putting up eight points in a quarter is hard to stomach against any team, let alone a mediocre Orlando squad.

Golden State Warriors

10 of 30

    November 9th - 77-101 at Los Angeles Lakers

    The Golden State Warriors have had a brilliant start to their 2012-13 campaign, using a deep, young roster that can rebound and hit outside shots to wear down opponents. They have played particularly well on the road and look like a legitimate playoff threat.

    However, in an early blowout loss to L.A., they looked like the Warriors of old as they could barely get a stop against a Lakers team playing without Steve Nash.

    To make matters worse, this was the day after Mike Brown's surprising firing following a 1-4 start to the season, making it the perfect time for Golden State to catch the Lakers by surprise and pick up a nice road win. Like the Nuggets, the Warriors' ability to speed the game up and play in transition makes them an ideal match-up against this older, slower L.A. team.

    That didn't happen though, as they couldn't stop Kobe Bryant, who finished the night with 27 efficient points, nine rebounds and seven assists while the Lakers hammered them on the glass.

    Golden State has been a better team than Los Angeles in the early stages of the season, but it certainly did not look that way in November.

Houston Rockets

11 of 30

    December 7th - 92-114 at San Antonio Spurs

    The Houston Rockets are the youngest team in the league, and that youth and inexperience has certainly been a factor in their rocky start to 2012-13. It certainly reared its head in a lopsided, 22 point loss to San Antonio in which no one but James Harden could get anything going for the Rockets.

    Harden had 28 points on 16 shots and chipped in five assists and four steals, but only two other Rockets scored more than nine points.

    The Spurs hammered the Rockets on the boards, outrebounding them 50-37 and shooting a blistering 55.2 percent from the field overall. Tony Parker's 17 points and seven assists were the difference, but the Spurs had six players score in double figures.

    The Rockets have had no problem putting up points this season, but their team lacks any impact defender besides Omer Asik and that really showed as the Spurs' ball movement and ability to find the open man absolutely shredded Houston's defense.

Indiana Pacers

12 of 30

    November 14th - 85-99 at Milwaukee Bucks

    After earning the third seed in the 2011 playoffs, many expected big things for this young, talented Indiana team in 2012-13. However, with Danny Granger sidelined they got off to a 3-6 start and have struggled to score the ball the whole season.

    Their worst loss was an early road defeat at Milwaukee, where the final score was not nearly indicative of how big of a blowout the game was. Indiana outscored Milwaukee 32-17 in overtime, making the game seem far more respectable than it was.

    Before that final period, the Pacers' anemic offense scored less than 20 points in all three quarters. Their starters outside of Paul George gave them nothing offensively and only Tyler Hansbrough had a decent stat line with 17 points on eight attempts.

    In addition, the Pacers' usually tough defense could not stop the Bucks' backcourt and Milwaukee only turned the ball over six times n the whole game.

    Indiana has been playing better behind George and David West and though they are now back in the playoff picture there is no denying how ugly their offense looked in this lopsided loss.

Los Angeles Clippers

13 of 30

    November 26th - 98-105 vs. New Orleans Hornets

    The Los Angeles Clippers are looking like a legitimate title contender, but early in the 2012-13 season they had an ugly four game losing streak capped by an unacceptable home loss to a New Orleans team again missing Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon, their two best players.

    The Clippers' backcourt could not contain Greivis Vasquez, who lit them up for 25 points, six rebounds and 10 assists despite eight turnovers and Jason Smith and Ryan Anderson each chipped in 17.

    Defensively, the Clippers were burned by the hot-shooting Hornets, who connected on 50.7 percent of their shots and a blistering 60 percent of their three-pointers.

    Chris Paul had a solid game and Caron Butler hit nine threes en route to 33 points, but Blake Griffin was a complete non-factor with four points and nine misses on 10 shots.

    No, they were not blown out, but the fact that a team looking to win a championship gave up 105 points to the worst team in the Western Conference record-wise is not exactly something to get excited about.

Los Angeles Lakers

14 of 30

    November 21st - 97-113 at Sacramento Kings

    The underachieving L.A. Lakers have been the biggest story of the 2012-13 season, and no loss better encapsulated their struggles than a blowout defeat at the hands of a mediocre Sacramento team.

    The Lakers have been inept defensively all season long, and Mike D'Antoni's squad gave up 113 points to a Kings team that connected on 54.3 percent of its shots and 46.7 percent from three-point territory. L.A. also gifted them plenty of fast break opportunities by turning the ball over 20 times.

    As he's done all year, Kobe Bryant scored with uncharacteristic efficiency, taking 20 shots for 38 points, but that was not enough to keep the Lakers in the game before Sacramento dropped 40 points in the fourth quarter.

    The Gasol-Howard tandem combined for 18 rebounds but just 15 points on five-of-14 shooting as they were stifled by the stable of young, athletic bigs on the Sacramento roster.

    The inability for the Lakers' two All-Star big men to play together is one of the major concerns for this team, and they certainly looked incompatible on both ends of the floor in this troubling loss.

Memphis Grizzlies

15 of 30

    December 12th - 80-82 at Phoenix Suns

    Ranked first in the league in points allowed, the Memphis Grizzlies have gotten off to an incredible start thanks to their elite defense and ability to force turnovers.

    However, while they were able to hold the Suns to just 82 points, they forced a mere 11 turnovers and could not come up with a key stop on Goran Dragic, who hit the game winning shot with half of a second left in the game.

    Memphis suffered a double-digit home loss to Atlanta, but the Hawks are a legitimate playoff squad while Phoenix has been unimpressive on both ends of the court this season as they transition out of the Steve Nash era.

    Jared Dudley's 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists proved to be the difference as the Grizzlies could not score enough despite solid double-doubles from Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph.

    While not an unforgivable loss, it was certainly a game Memphis was expected to win and one that stung all the more because they had every opportunity to take the lead.

Miami Heat

16 of 30

    December 6th - 92-112 vs. New York Knicks

    Despite a loss to the lowly Washington Wizards and a lopsided road defeat at the hands of the Grizzlies, the Miami Heat's worst loss of the season is easily a 20-point drubbing by a Carmelo Anthony-less New York Knicks.

    The Heat's defense has looked less than stellar all season long, and they were torched by the Knicks, who shared the ball and connected on 18 three-pointers, including six from Raymond Felton.

    Felton, who shouldered more of the offensive load without 'Melo, lit up Mario Chalmers for 27 points and seven assists while making 10-of-20 shots. Tyson Chandler and Steve Novak both put in strong efforts and despite a near triple-double from LeBron James the Heat could not string together any stops to get themselves into the game.

    The Heat managed just 39 points in the second half and their defense, which thrives on getting out in the open court off of turnovers, forced just seven TOs from New York.

    With their top shelf talent and playoff experience Miami may still be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, but this loss in particular made the defending champs look quite vulnerable.

Milwaukee Bucks

17 of 30

    December 3rd - 81-102 at New Orleans Hornets

    The Milwaukee Bucks have rode their dynamic backcourt into playoff contention, but along the way they have suffered a few disheartening losses, including a particularly brutal defeat by New Orleans.

    The Bucks were right in the game at halftime, but they scored a mere 31 points and were absolutely stifled by the Hornets' defense.

    Robin Lopez and Ryan Anderson notched 21 and 22 points respectively as the team shot 52.4 percent from the field and recorded 29 assists to just eight turnovers in the blowout win.

    With their smaller lineup Milwaukee has been scoring more, but has also been a weaker defensive team, and they struggled to take care of the ball as their 16 turnovers turned into 27 points.

    Brandon Jennings had 25 points, but that was just about the only thing that worked well for the Milwaukee offense as they barely showed up for this one.

Minnesota Timberwolves

18 of 30

    December 7th - 93-102 at Orlando Magic

    The Minnesota Timberwolves have been ravaged by injuries in 2012-13 so it is difficult to fully judge any of their performances thus far, but they certainly underachieved against Orlando, giving up a 12-point halftime lead.

    Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic bullied the Magic with 42 points and 27 rebounds between them, but Glen Davis' 28 points and Nikola Vucevic's 14 points and 11 rebounds proved to be the difference Orlando locked down on defense in the second half and allowed just 32 points.

    The Magic finished the game shooting 53.7 percent from the field and had 31 assists as they picked apart an unimpressive Minnesota defense with 53 second half points.

    If the Timberwolves are indeed the playoff team they claim to be they cannot continue squandering big leads to inferior competition, and the fact that made a mere 15 shots after halftime is a trend that absolutely cannot continue.

New Orleans Hornets

19 of 30

    December 11th - 70-77 vs. Washington Wizards

    The Hornets have looked far from dominant this season, but there is not a team in the league that should be losing at home to the Washington Wizards, let alone scoring just 70 points.

    Despite the return of Anthony Davis from injury, New Orleans shot just 32.5 percent and only Davis and Austin Rivers were anything close to efficient. Ryan Anderson had 17 points and 11 boards, but he took 21 shots and missed nine three-pointers.

    The Hornets had a 22-11 edge after the first quarter, but from there could simply get nothing going, culminating in a 10 point fourth period where they let the game get away from them.

    They also could not stop Jordan Crawford, who put up 26 points, six rebounds and four assists despite some questionable shot selection.

    With Eric Gordon still hurt the Hornets are going nowhere this season, but even so this team has too much talent to be losing games at home to Washington.

New York Knicks

20 of 30

    November 23 - 103-131 at Houston Rockets

    Clearly the Houston Rockets have the formula to beating the New York Knicks, having beaten them handily in both meetings. Of the two, the Rockets 28-point home win was truly something remarkable as the defensive-minded Knicks couldn't contain James Harden or Chandler Parsons.

    The Rockets shot 51.7 percent from the floor and 56 percent from three, led by Harden's 33 points and nine assists and Chandler Parson's 31.

    Seven Rockets scored nine points or more and despite a highly efficient 37 points from Anthony, including seven made threes, the Knicks were out of the game by halftime.

    Led by Omer Asik, Houston crashed the glass, grabbing 49 boards to New York's 30 and those second chance opportunities proved to be the difference as they led to wide open shots from the Rockets.

    Under Mike Woodson the Knicks have prided themselves on defense, but they allowed several quick scoring bursts from Houston and while they are still an elite team in the East they should pray they don't meet Houston in the Finals.

Oklahoma City Thunder

21 of 30

    November 23 - 100-108 at Boston Celtics

    Oklahoma City has not missed a beat without James Harden as they've shot to the top of the Western Conference Standings, but they looked at their worst against a Boston Celtics team that has struggled to play consistently good basketball all season long.

    Losing to a battle-tested team like the Celtics on the road is not a horrendous loss, but this is easily the worst Celtics team of the Kevin Garnett era and was a chance for OKC to pick up a quality win in hostile territory.

    Durant dropped 29, and Westbrook had a near triple-double with 26 points, seven rebounds and eight dimes, but the Thunder could not contain Paul Pierce, who had 27 points or Rajon Rondo, who had 16 assists.

    The Thunder squandered an early lead as Pierce scored 22 in the second half and though they kept it interesting they could never quite overcome the veteran Celtics.

    All that being said, of the team's on this list, Oklahoma City's worst loss might be the least disheartening of all.

Orlando Magic

22 of 30

    November 9th - 68-107 vs. Brooklyn Nets

    In their first year after the Dwight Howard trade, the Orlando Magic have actually fared respectably, hovering around the .500 mark. Their deep roster has been a major asset, but that was not the case in an absurd 39 point home loss to the resurgent Nets.

    The Magic kept the first quarter close, but it was not much of a contest after that as Orlando had just 51 points in the final three periods.

    Brooklyn had some major contributions from their bench in the form of 55 points and 25 rebounds, while they got just enough from the starting unit to keep this game completely out of reach.

    Orlando, on the other hand, received almost no boost from its reserves and only E'Twaun Moore's 18 points and five assists were anything for Magic fans to get excited about.

    The Magic have been playing well, but losses like this prove that they still have a ways to go before they are a playoff-caliber team.

Philadelphia 76ers

23 of 30

    November 14 - 76-94 vs. Detroit Pistons

    No one wants to be the first win for a winless team, but that's what the 76ers were when they lost in a rout at home to the Detroit Pistons. Detroit came into the game 0-8, but played stifling defense as Philadelphia made just 29.8 percent of their shots.

    Add to that a 19 rebound advantage for the Pistons and a 19-point, 18-rebound, six assist effort from Greg Monroe and you have the makings of an unlikely blowout win.

    It was a bizarre contest in that Philly had just four turnovers, but they also had only Jrue Holiday and Lavoy Allen reach double-figures in a game where they could not shoot their way out of a horrid offensive slump.

    Until Andrew Bynum's return it will be difficult to judge this Sixers team, but they have not looked particularly impressive, and this loss certainly did not help their cause.

Phoenix Suns

24 of 30

    November 28 - 77-117 at Detroit Pistons

    This one was a fluke. The Phoenix Suns have been disappointing, but not a 40-point loss Detroit disappointing. Their defense has been bad, but they simply could not contain the mediocre Pistons.

    Detroit shot 52.6 percent from the floor and hit an absurd 12-of-16 three-point attempts, pulling away in the third quarter before turning this game into a laugher in the fourth.

    Brandon Knight and Charlie Villanueva had 19 apiece while Rodney Stuckey put in 18 of his own.

    Phoenix barely moved the ball, notching 11 assists in the entire game versus 19 turnovers that led to 25 points. They made just 34.1 percent of their shots from the field and were led in scoring by Luis Scola's 11.

    These Suns are nowhere near a playoff berth, and a horrendous loss like this only confirms that they are still finding an identity without Nash.

Portland Trail Blazers

25 of 30

    December 8th - 80-99 vs. Sacramento Kings

    The Portland Trail Blazers have struggled all season to string wins together. They can look like a great upcoming team behind Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge one night, and the next look completely hapless on both ends of the court.

    They certainly didn't impress anyone in an up-and-down game against Sacramento where they went down a dozen early, cut it to two at halftime and then were outscored handily in the third and fourth quarters.

    J.J. Hickson and Aldridge both played well for Rip City, but the Kings converted 18 turnovers into 30 points, which was simply too much to overcome.

    DeMarcus Cousins' 19 points and 12 boards hurt the Blazers, but what really killed them was John Salmons' surprising 19 points and 11 assists which really picked apart their defense.

    When the first half ended this game looked to be close, but the Kings pulled away and handed Portland their worst loss of the 2012-13 season.

Sacramento Kings

26 of 30

    December 1st - 81-116 at Los Angeles Clippers

    The Kings are quite bad and the Clippers are quite good, but that does not make a 35 point loss acceptable, even on the road.

    In a game where Sacramento was out of the running after 24 minutes, L.A.'s bench proved to be the difference as they poured in 58 points and were paced by Jamal Crawford's 17. The team shot 54.7 percent from the floor and made half of their three-pointers while managing to move the ball effectively against the Kings' defense.

    Sacramento had great difficulty taking care of the ball against the Clippers' improved defense, and their 17 turnovers led to 27 points. The Clippers also hammered them inside, putting up 50 points in the paint.

    The Clippers started the game hot, opening up 17-6, and while Jason Thompson had a solid double-double and Marcus Thornton dropped 20, but it was not enough to save the Kings from utter embarrassment.

San Antonio Spurs

27 of 30

    November 7th - 84-106 at Los Angeles Clippers

    Losing on the road to Portland was bad, but that was the second night of a back-to-back and can be forgiven. What cannot be forgiven, however, is San Antonio's trip to Los Angeles that resulted in a 22-point drubbing by the Clippers. T

    The Los Angeles frontcourt proved to be the difference as Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan both had 20-10 nights on highly efficient shooting. Their play around the rim helped the Clippers rack up an impressive 54 points in the paint against a deep Spurs big man rotation.

    Chris Paul added 12 dimes and the Clippers got a nice scoring boost off the pine from Eric Bledsoe and Matt Barnes, who combined for 27 points.

    San Antonio opted for a balanced attack as no Spur took more than eight shots, but only Danny Green and Tim Duncan scored in double-figures as the Spurs turned the ball over a staggering 20 times.

    These Spurs are not an elite defensive team as they have been in the past, and that showed as they could not pressure Los Angeles' ball handlers and gave up plenty of easy looks at the hoop.

Toronto Raptors

28 of 30

    December 7th - 99-131 at Utah Jazz

    Thought by many to be a dark horse playoff contender in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors have been hit hard by injuries and limped out of the gate. Amid this bad start, the Raptors suffered their worst loss during a blowout in Salt Lake City to Utah.

    The Raptors got a respectable 20-point, eight-rebound effort from much maligned center Andrea Bargnani, but the Raptors' frontcourt could not contain Paul Millsap and Enes Kanter, who had 38 points and 18 rebounds between them.

    To make matters worse, the Jazz were missing arguably their best player, Al Jefferson, who was sidelined with back spasms and another key player in Derrick Favors, whose plantar fasciitis kept him from suiting up.

    The Jazz shot 49.5 percent from the field and balanced their inside-heavy attack with a strong shooting night, hitting 13 three-pointers and scoring 50 points in the paint.

    Utah is a playoff team, but just barely and Toronto should not be getting hammered by a banged-up Jazz squad.

Utah Jazz

29 of 30

    November 9th - 84-104 at Denver Nuggets

    The Denver Nuggets are a better team than their record indicates, but the Utah Jazz have the talent to beat them, and being down 17 points by halftime will not do.

    The Jazz did not pound the ball inside enough, and when they did the Nuggets' big men bothered Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors into tough shots. Even though Millsap and Kanter played decently, it was not nearly enough for them to keep the game competitive.

    The Nuggets found contributors in unlikely places, getting 20 points from Corey Brewer and a 15-point, 10-rebound effort to go with 18 points from Kenneth Faried.

    Utah struggled to make shots all night, hitting 36.8 percent from the floor and being outrebounded, proving they did not exploit their physical advantage enough.

    Denver is undoubtedly a good team, but a playoff team cannot fail to show up against a divisional rival and expect to be taken seriously by anyone of the NBA's upper echelon squads.

Washington Wizards

30 of 30

    November 13th - 76-92 at Charlotte Bobcats

    The Washington Wizards have struggled mightily to score without resident stars John Wall and Nene, and that culminated in a very ugly road loss against a Bobcats team that is not exactly renowned for its defensive chops.

    The Wizards shot just 29.8 percent from the field and misfired on 26-of-31 three-pointers while scoring just 12 points in the second quarter.

    Trevor Ariza had 19 points for Washington, but it took him 18 shots to get there and the team's starting backcourt of AJ Price and Brad Beal shot just three-of-23.

    Charlotte did not score particularly well, but they took care of the ball, made few mistakes and did enough to pull away late and keep this game from getting too interesting.

    The Wizards are not the same without their two best players, but they should be capable of staying within single digits of a rebuilding Bobcats squad.