5 NBA Bandwagons That Are Already Losing Passengers

Tyson Agbayani@tysonagbayaniCorrespondent IJanuary 30, 2013

5 NBA Bandwagons That Are Already Losing Passengers

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    If there is one aspect of sports that irritates hardcore sport fans, it's the idea of bandwagons and bandwagon fans.

    No matter what sport, whether it be collegiate or professional, there will always be a team or a few teams that possesses them.

    What makes a team a great destination for a bandwagon you may ask? 

    Easy, star players and success.  

    As the NBA season nears the All-Star break, some bandwagons are experiencing turbulence and as a result, losing fair weather fans.

    Here are five teams that are struggling and losing these passengers:   

5. Atlanta Hawks

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    While many fans may not consider the Atlanta Hawks as a legitimate NBA bandwagon team, the hot start to this year's campaign almost got the wagon up and rolling.

    Since successfully starting the season with a 20-10 record, the Hawks have reverted back to their old ways, losing nine of their last 14.  

    Things are also getting progressively worse for the Hawks and their fans, after losing Louis Williams to injury for the season and receiving news that Josh Smith wants a max contract deal.

    Although Smith is the face of this year's Hawks, the question still arises, is he worth all that money?

    If the Hawks don't believe that Smith is worth the investment or that he will even sign with the team, they could be looking to move him before the NBA trade deadline.  

    The Hawks bandwagon has seemingly come to a screeching halt before it even got started.         

4. Houston Rockets

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    The Houston Rockets made waves this offseason after the acquisitions of Jeremy Lin and James Harden, causing many unsure fans to flock to this revamped roster. 

    But since getting off to a great start at 21-14, the Rockets are beginning to show their age, turning in a record of 4-8 over their last 12 games.  

    While the Rockets do have plenty of upside for the future, this team at the moment is not a serious threat.  Sitting in the 8th seed in the Western Conference, it's a safe bet that the Rockets will get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.

    As the youngest team in the NBA (23.7), the Rockets have a ways to go before being considered a full blown bandwagon.    

3. Dallas Mavericks

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    After winning the franchises first NBA championship in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks have, quite frankly, fallen off the map. 

    With old fans and bandwagon fans alike ready for the title defense last season, the Mavericks goose egged, as they got swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.  

    Currently seeded in the 11th spot in the West with a record of 19-26, the Mavericks are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

    One of the main reasons for the Mavericks rapid decline has been the overwhelming change in player personnel.  

    Since winning the title, the Mavericks have completely changed their roster, as only four players remain from that championship team (Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones).

    Although Mark Cuban arguably tried to make the team better and cut cost all at the same time, team chemistry was lost in the process.      

    With the Mavericks continued struggle over the past two seasons, the bandwagon continues to get lighter.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

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    As if the Los Angeles Lakers needed any more bandwagon fans, they certainly received more this offseason with the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

    With the idea of adding Howard and Nash to an already star studded club, both longtime and new Lakers fans were envisioning a championship.    

    Unfortunately at this point, championship is the last thing Lakers fans are thinking about as the Lakers may not even make the playoffs.  In 10th place with a 20-25 record, the Lakers will have to put together a lengthy winning streak just to squeeze back into contention.

    If the Lakers are unable to turn their season around, things could continue to get worse.  With Howard becoming a restricted free agent at the end of the season, Los Angeles could lose their prized big man for nothing.  

    Along with the possibility of losing Howard, the Lakers could also lose Kobe Bryant, as he is set to come off the books in 2014 and could be leaning towards retirement.

    A lot of things must happen for the Lakers to completely drop that bandwagon title, but with the Los Angeles Clippers developing a bandwagon fan base of their own, fans could easily make that shift.  

1. Boston Celtics

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    The Boston Celtics have been a consistent contender since the creation of the "Big 3" back in 2007, but the window may finally be closing.  

    After Ray Allen left the team this past offseason, the Celtics original three was brought down to just two in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.  The Celtics are struggling right now and currently hold the 8th seed with a record of 21-23.  

    With Rajon Rondo tearing his ACL last week, the Celtics future seems to be hanging in the balance.  Rondo has become the Celtics most valuable player, and with him expected to miss the rest of the season and partially next season, the Celtics could very likely be looking to make a trade.  

    According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, Berger states that Pierce may be traded as a result of Rondo's injury.

    If Pierce is traded, Boston's beloved "Big 3" that resurrected the Celtics fan base and brought it new fans, will all but be completely dismantled.