While I was growing up the A’s, Raiders, and to a lesser extent the Warriors were good. I know they were, because people hated them, and the only reason you hate a team is because they are good. Lately I’ve noticed when I tell a new found friend my sports affiliations I hear pity more than anything. Tuesday, I was watching the Cavs-Lakers game and it hit me, I needed to make an anti-power rankings, and tried to decide which is the worst team in the NBA. I used some criteria for this glorious list. One, obviously team record, and second, how much hope they have for the future with their core players.
#7 Minnesota – Kevin Love is an All-Star. Nobody does what he does. He hits threes while scoring 21.1 ppg, and pulls in 15.8 rebounds a game. If Griffin owns the air above the rim, then Love owns everything below the rim. If the second best player on that team wasn’t Luke Ridnour now that Beasley is hurt, they might have some more wins than they do. I bet if they were in the East, they’d be the 8th seed. They have a solid young front court. If Kahn can finally use these guys to build off, they might be relevant again one of these years.
#6 Toronto – They’ve been hit hard by the injury bug this year, and on second thought, maybe losing Bosh was a bigger deal up there than I originally thought. Somehow they are only a couple games outside of the Eastern Conference’s 8th seed, which shows you why there are so many Eastern Conference teams on my list. Hockey still rules Toronto, the Raptors will be extinct there one of these days up there.
#5 Detroit – Seeing T-mac having a mini re-birth is cool, but the devil’s advocate in me wonders how long that health will last… This team is full of players that don’t complement each other. Ben Gordon looks like a big waste of money, and pretty much everyone on this squad needs the ball in their hands to create on offense. At least we know that they are finally giving up on Rip with the news that he’d be in the Melo deal. So they have at least one goal at this point in the season. This might be high for Detroit since they don’t really have much hope for the future with the current roster…
#3A Sacramento – It’s probably a little bias to put the Kings this high on the list, since they do own the worst record in the league. I’m giving them a little credit for playing in the West, and having two players that could be superstars on the team. Reke is hurt again, but we know he’s a great player when he’s healthy. Cousins is showing that the Maloofs weren’t as crazy as him for drafting him. He’s been putting up solid lines now that he’s getting the playing time. If they didn’t change their arena name to Powerbalance Pavillion, I would’ve put them at 4 by themselves.
#3B Washington – John Wall saves them from falling any lower on this list. Kind of like Sacramento, there’s some hope here, so I can’t put them much further down the un-powerful rankings. That being said, this is a terrible roster. The game Tuesday between them and Sac was awesome if you like offense and overtime, but it showed that they are heavily lacking in too many areas. Maybe if they can keep Wall from getting hurt, they will find out what they need to surround him with.
#2 New Jersey – They were supposed to get a franchise player last off season with the tons of cap space they had. Instead they ended up with a few role players, and two Lakers bench players I always hated (Farmar and Vujachic). Too bad that doesn’t win you many more games than last year’s nearly record breaking losing season. Brook Lopez hasn’t been himself, and when your best player isn’t playing well you are in trouble. It should be interesting to see if they can get Melo there. I’m tired of the trade talks so I won’t exhaust those thoughts more than they already have been. It would just make them the 8th seed in the east and get them a date with the Heat or Celtics in the first round, so I’m not sure why he’d even want to be there.
#1 Cleveland – I’ve been thinking they were the worst team in the league for a couple weeks now, since even the Warriors flicked them away like a gnat circling your head. They have lost 21 of their last 22, and Tuesday nights’ 80 point loss to the Lakers just showed us one more reason to believe that they are the worst in the league. If there was such a thing as a bye week in basketball this team would be it. No offense to Varejao, but they called him their best player, and now he’s injured for the season. Once that happened they really seemed to have zero hope. At least the Nets have a shot at trading for Melo. Maybe they should start digging through the D-League, because I think even the D-League all-stars could put up more of a fight than this team has.