Starting a season is a time of renewed hope. Every team is intrigued by the possibilities of success. A 0-0 record means anyone can win and eventually achieve the ultimate prize.
About a third of the way in, reality smacks you in the mouth. That’s about the time that any statistical anomalies dissipate, the adrenaline subsides and all the rust has been shaken off.
In an NBA season, 30 games in is “man in the mirror” time.
Remember when the Charlotte Bobcats won six out of their first ten and looked playoff-bound? Or when the Knicks looked like they were going to win 70 games? Or when the Lakers were going to lose 70 games? Seems like forever ago, right?
The best thing about this part of the season is that there is still time to change your fortune.
Yes, the Bobcats, Raptors and several other teams are already looking to next season. We also know who the elite teams are, for the most part. The “bubble” playoff teams, however, can still make significant moves to improve their chances. For some, it'll mean a few steps up the seeding ladder while to others, a move might be imperative to make the playoffs at all.
Here are four teams that could move in or out of the playoff picture with a trade or two.
Note: All statistics courtesy of www.basketball-reference.com