When an NBA team is struggling, there are usually at least a few factors that go into the situation. One of the most overlooked aspects is a when a team has identity issues.
There are a number of teams currently struggling with identity issues. This is as a result of bad draft picks, bad decisions in free agency and lackluster management.
The Brooklyn Nets have been a great example of this. The team got off to an extremely fast start and then watched their wheels fall off the wagon. They made a coaching change and have gone 9-2 under P.J. Carlesimo.
Here are seven NBA teams searching for an identity.
The Pistons have the ability to make a run in the East, and it all starts with Andre Drummond and the defense. If Drummond can play a ton of minutes with Greg Monroe on the floor at the same time, this defense could be one of the league's best.
Detroit should consider playing Drummond at the 4-spot because it has received a ton of production from him while he has been on the court. The Pistons' true identity will be revealed once they figure their starting lineup out.
The Denver Nuggets thought that they were adding a superstar when the they traded for Andre Iguodala this offseason. While he has played well, he has certainly not been great by any means.
The team is balanced from top to bottom with a capable point guard in Ty Lawson, defensive stoppers in Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee and a solid deep-ball shooter in Danilo Gallinari.
The team really does not have an identity despite all of this, because its system does not suit its best player's strength. Andre Iguodala has never been a great shooter, and this run-and-gun system from George Karl certainly does not help.
I believe that the Nuggets need to revolve their offense more around Iguodala if they want to establish any kind of identity.
The Washington Wizards have been awful all season long, but they received a gift when stud point guard John Wall returned to the floor.
Washington is 2-1 with Wall in the lineup, and it appears that the Wizards are finally starting to mold their offensive identity around him once again.
The Wizards own the league' s worst efficiency, and the return of Wall is surely going to improve that statistic.
It should be noted, however, that the Wizards have played well on the defensive ball this season. They have held opponents to just to 96.6 points per game, which is the 13th-best mark in the league.
The Lakers suffered another tough loss at home Thursday to the Miami Heat, but not all was negative.
It does appear like the Lakers are starting to find an identity on the defensive side of the ball. The team has allowed under 100 points in each of the last three games, but it still has a ton of work to do on both sides of the ball.
A more consistent effort and cutting back on turnovers are two key factors that can turn their season around rather quickly.
The Bucks have watched their defense evaporate right in front of them over the last weeks. While they have gotten better over the past few games, the team is still in search of a consistent starting lineup.
Milwaukee is also not the high-scoring team that we all thought it would be entering the season, and the Bucks have received some inconsistent play from Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
They have potential on both sides of the floor, but they have yet to put on a consistent effort on either side. It will be interesting to see what head coach Jim Boylan can get out of his team heading into the second half of the season.
It is really hard to pinpoint an identity for this current version of the Boston Celtics. The team has struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball despite having a number of top-tier players, and its defense has been anything but special so far this season. l.
This team will be fine once it tightens up on the defensive side of the floor. Stops will help facilitate the offense, particularly in fast-break situations. That is where Rajon Rondo is at his best.
The return of Avery Bradley has already made this team better on the defensive side of the ball. That will be key if the Celtics are serious at making a title run.
The Sacramento Kings are not only struggling to find the correct ball movement, but they may not have a permanent home in Sacramento.
A big part of the problem with the Kings’ lack of an identity is their lack of chemistry on the court, largely due to injury issues.
The combination of the team's problems on and off the court gives it the biggest identity crisis at this point in the season.