Biggest Disappointments From the 2022-23 NBA Season
G'day tribe! We're sticking with some NBA again today. There have been some teams and players this season who have failed to live up to the considerable hype that came with them. Let’s look at some of the biggest disappointments from the 2022-23 NBA season.
The Rudy Gobert Trade
Following a year where the Minnesota Timberwolves made the playoffs and gave the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies a scare, the team swung for the fences. They acquired arguably the NBA’s best defender, Rudy Gobert, from the Utah Jazz in exchange for four first-round picks, a pick swap, and several additional players. The hope was to maximize the talent of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards and push the team toward contender status. This has not come to fruition. The Timberwolves are currently still in the play-in territory, and Gobert has struggled. The fit looks awkward, and it is made all the worse, considering Walker Kessler, one of the players the Wolves traded, looks like a defensive anchor.
Lakers Wasting a Fantastic Superstar Season
Opportunities for future championships are limited for LeBron James, as he is now 38 years old. Most players are out of the league or confined to role-player status by this point, but not LeBron. He is one of the top players in the league still, averaging more than 30 points per game. Not only that, but his co-star, Anthony Davis, is having a resurgent season when healthy, looking like the dominant superstar he was when the Lakers won in 2020. However, despite the performance of their stars, the Lakers have struggled. They are currently 13th out West, 2.5 games back from the play-in. However, with a big trade deadline, change could be on the horizon.
The Collapse of the Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have sent fans on a roller-coaster that ultimately went off the tracks. After a tumultuous offseason with trade requests from both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the two superstars recommitted and were back with the team to start the year. The Nets started rocky and fired coach Steve Nash, while point guard Kyrie Irving embroiled himself in controversy once again. However, they turned it around, looking like one of the league's true contenders, before their stars decided they wanted out once again. Now, Irving and Durant are both gone. While their roster remains competitive, their Finals hopes are gone.
The Toronto Raptors
Expectations were significant for the Toronto Raptors after last season when coach Nick Nurse's strategy of bringing every lanky 3-and-D wing possible to the team led to a strong defensive squad that made the playoffs. Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes was supposed to take the next step to superstar status, and the team was going to ascend to the next tier of contention. That.. did not happen. The Raptors have lacked an identity, struggled in isolation and with shooting, and Scottie Barnes has regressed. While Pascal Siakam has played better than ever, the Raptors find themselves 10th in the East and below .500.
The Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks were in a similar situation to the Raptors. They arrived this season fresh off a playoff berth and made a huge trade when they acquired All-Star guard Dejounte Murray from the Spurs. Murray was going to elevate the team defense and alleviate the pressure from All-NBA point guard Trae Young, helping the Hawks become a real title threat. Not so much. The fit between the two has been fine, and Murray can't really be blamed for the Hawks' struggles. However, the Hawks are 29-29 and in 8th in the East. They aren’t a title threat, and Young is having an unsightly shooting season.
The Golden State Warriors’ Encore
It feels nitpicky to go against the Warriors after they’ve claimed their 4th NBA Finals with the core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. But they are not having the follow-up season anyone would’ve predicted. They lost some pieces in the offseason, but they’ve also overall just looked directionless. There have been a lot of injuries, including to Curry, who has struggled to stay in the lineup. But the Warriors are 9th in the West and don’t look like a real threat to repeat. But sleeping on this modern dynasty is a mistake, and they can still turn things around.
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The T-Wolves are about to lose that playoff position after Edwards went down last night. So sad to see that kid get hurt. With KAT still out and Gobert underperforming, I just don't see how they have a chance. Especially now that they gave up D-Lo.
The Hawks are one of my favorite teams to watch, but they just haven't been able to consistently win. The Warriors I have a feeling will turn it around during the playoffs as long as they make it. I think the Laker's only hope is LeBron getting back soon, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen.
Man the Twolves had so much promise before the season didn't they. Unbelievable that they're in the position that they are. You're right about GSW. As long as they make it to the playoffs they're always a solid chance. Would be keen to see whether they can continue their dynasty or if its the beginning of the end
It’s sad to see a teen make all of those moves and then crash land.
Part of my hopes that my Grizzlies don’t get stuck against the Warriors in the first round. Another side of me wants it to happen so the Grizz can knock GS out first round. With home court advantage, it should be easy.