The NBA is just about a third of the way through its season and some playoff teams last year are off to a weak start this year. Bring in the worry meter! An easy way to break down which struggling NBA teams should be more stressed than others. Whether it is Miami, Dallas, Toronto, or Golden State, they all have a spot on the worry meter, just a matter of where it is!
The Worry Meter: Struggling NBA Teams
Currently, Miami leads the struggling NBA teams as they sit at 7-14 and seeded 13th in the Eastern Conference. They were one of the unfortunate teams that were hit by COVID but also have had a fair share of injury issues as well. The rotations have been a mess due to the constant changes in the line-up.
Why Miami should be worried is simple, they are getting their stars back in Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro and still losing. It seemed obvious that Herro and the Heat would take a step back this year, but falling out of the playoffs completely was uncalled for.
With so many rotational pieces returning to the line-up, Miami has to figure out what the best five will be and soon. If they do not want to be in that bottom echelon of teams in the East that has to face Philadelphia or Boston, the Heat have to right the ship quickly. Early returns of everyone back have shown that it will take time.
9 on the Worry Meter
Dallas currently ranks DEAD LAST in three point percentage in the NBA. Maybe the loss of Seth Curry hurt the Mavs more than first presumed. But in all honesty, do not expect Dallas to finish 30th in that statistic.
Another reason Dallas should not be worried is the fact that they have played the second hardest schedule in the NBA. Moving forward the Mavericks schedule should only get easier.
A reason Dallas should be worried is the play of the returning Kristaps Porzingis. He is averaging 19 points a game along with almost 9 rebounds. However, the efficiency has not been there for Porzi, shooting just 29% from three point range, compounding on the struggles from beyond the arc for Dallas.
What should be an easier schedule for the Mavericks, along with some better efficiency as the season moves forward. Dallas is no danger of missing out on the playoffs, but where they are seed-wise is a different story.
4 on the Worry Meter
What was a horrid start for the Raptors has turned around quickly! They are 6-4 in their last ten games and Pascal Siakam is starting to come into form. The big man rotation still raises eyebrows, as Aron Baynes has been less than stellar after signing that deal. But the emergence of Chris Boucher has boosted the Raptors up to the tenth seed in the East.
A cause for worry for Toronto would be that they are three games under .500 while playing the fifth easiest schedule in the NBA. Starting slow while playing struggling teams like the Magic and Heat twice already, it will be interesting to see if the Raptors can maintain the success they have had to turn their season around.
3 on the Worry Meter
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are right behind the Heat in worry meter of struggling NBA teams. News broke of Kevon Looney’s injury that will force him to miss two weeks. Add Looney to the list of injured centers for Golden State. James Wiseman and Marquese Chriss are both out, so the addition of Looney to the list makes the Warriors rotation that much thinner.
The acquisition of Kelly Oubre has proved detrimental for the Warriors as well. Out of the gates, Oubre struggled mightily. He is starting to right the ship a bit, but shooting 37% from the field and 23% from three is a far step back from what Golden State expected out of Klay Thompson before the news broke of his injury.
For a team that ranks in the bottom ten of rebounds per game, losing centers is a cause for concern if you are Golden State. Add in the lack of production from the wing, and the Warriors have plenty to worry about when it comes to making the playoffs.
8 on the Worry Meter
It is Still Early
We are only a third of the way through the season, and the worry meter may just be a knee jerk reaction for these struggling NBA teams. But for Golden State and Miami, both teams have legitimate concerns that could leave them out of the playoff picture. As the season chugs forward, we shall see what teams will make their debut on the worry meter, and those that will make their way out of it.
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