The 2020-21 NBA season has been exciting and filled with twists and turns. While there have been some surprises during the season like the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and Phoenix Suns, there have also been disappointments. Whether it is terrible coaching, failed expectations, or just a bad team, the teams on this list have failed in different aspects this season.
Here are the disappointing teams in the 2020-21 NBA season.
#1 Toronto Raptors
From NBA Champions in 2018 to missing the playoffs entirely in 2020, what a wild ride. In all seriousness, it was not a great season for the Toronto Raptors as they were forced to play this season in Tampa Bay, Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After losing Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol in the offseason, experts had the Raptors on a downswing but not like being the fourth-worst team in the Eastern Conference. Due to injuries and COVID protocols, players like Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet missed games, making coach Nick Nurse have to play players that were unestablished. At least Gary Trent Jr., the guard that Toronto traded for in the trade deadline was a bright spot.
#2 New Orleans Pelicans
The word of the day for the New Orleans Pelicans is inconsistency. After firing Alvin Gentry in the offseason and hiring Stan Van Gundy, the Pelicans were supposed to be a defensive minded team. Sure, Zion Williamson had an efficient second season, and Lonzo Ball showed flashes of his talent which was evident in the amount of interest he received during the trade deadline. Unfortunately, it was not enough, after another season of not participating in the playoffs, Stan Van Gundy was relieved of his head coaching duties. A failure on defense and inconsistency issues makes this season a disappointment for the Pelicans.
#3 Boston Celtics
People may read this article and think, “how is Boston on this list, they made the playoffs?” Usually, Boston would not need a play-in tournament bid to make the playoffs but, these are the times we live in. Besides great statistical seasons from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics were plagued by a plethora of issues. After Brown was injured before the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics were eliminated in five games by the Brooklyn Nets. Times are changing as Danny Ainge stepped down from his position as the Director of Basketball Operations and Ime Udoka has replaced Brad Stevens as the head coach.
#4 Miami Heat
Last season was supposed to be the jump-off point for the Miami Heat after a surprising run at the NBA Bubble which led them to an appearance in the NBA Finals. This season was a complete letdown based off expectations being at their highest. Jimmy Butler took a step back this season, missing a chunk of the season. Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson also decreased in production this season. At least Bam Adebayo had a solid season, and the Heat should be back in contention after a full offseason of rest.
#5 Los Angeles Lakers
The defending NBA Champions eliminated in the first round. The reason why the Lakers are low on this list is because of injuries. During the regular season, both LeBron James and Anthony Davis missed significant time due to injuries, and that severely hindered the Lakers and hurt them to the point where they had to win in the Play-In Tournament just to advance to the postseason. Also, players like Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder, and Alex Caruso, who receive quality minutes were silent at times during the playoffs which is not something you should see from your role players. With a long offseason on the horizon, the Los Angeles Lakers should get well rested and try to make another run for a championship.
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