So the 2010-11 season has finally come to an end. If the NBA is going to miss part of all of a season, and it’s looking like that will be the case, then I’m glad our last taste of NBA action for a while was a good one.
The season began months before any games were played with this along with a number of other big names switching teams such as Stoudemire, Boozer, and Bosh. We even got our first truly hated team since the Bad Boy Pistons with this.
Things get even more interesting after some huge trade deadline moves such as Carmelo Anthony getting traded to the Knicks and Deron Williams getting trades to the Nets. All of this culminated in a very intriguing playoffs. It was the old guard making their last stand (San Antonio, Boston, Dallas) vs the up and comers (Oklahoma City, Chicago, Memphis), the Knicks making the playoffs for the first time in 7 yeas, the Lakers trying to threepeat and the Heat trying to live up to the hype.
As great as it was for the fans it wasn’t as fun for a few teams. Lets take a look back at how each team fared.
Toronto Raptors – No one stepped into the leader position after Bosh left. They hated defense and spent a lot of money on players like Amir Johnson and Leandro Barbosa who didn’t produce.
Sacramento Kings – Cousins was only a headcase half the time, but Tyreke Evans was a ball hog every game. This team was a mess from game 1 and didn’t get any better after 82.
Houston Rockets – I would put them in the next section but everyone knew Yao was going to be injured, or should have known anyway. Yet once Yao got his annual injury they had no backup plan, playing 6-6 Hayes at center. Having a power struggle for point guard until the trade deadline didn’t help their situation.
Detroit Pistons – Oh how the mighty have fallen. It’s sad to see a team that so recently made six straight eastern conference finals fail so miserably. They hung on to the players that got them there too long and spent what little cap space they did have on players like Villanueva and Ben Gordon. They also really overvalued Rodney Stuckey. What a mess.
Charlotte Bobcats – It was like their main goal this season was to not make the playoffs. They traded their best player and their center for 50 cents on the dollar at best (and traded their next best player this offseason). 40 wins, which is about what they did last season would have easily gotten them into the playoffs, but they wanted no part in that.
Washington Wizards – They completely gutted their team over the last two years. Got the #1 pick John Wall who struggled with injuries all season, but their bigger problem is they have 3 out of the top 5 lowest basketball IQ players in the NBA in their starting lineup. If you want to see a contested 18 foot jump shot with 21 seconds left on the clock look no further.
Minnesota Timberwolves – For the second straight season the Wolves stopped playing after about 50 games. Beasley was tearing it up until an ankle injury and was never the same. Darko was tearing it up until….didn’t seem like anything happened he just stopped producing. Flynn was injured at the beginning of the season and seemed to never recover, and no one else did much of anything other than Love. They still have me excited for next season just because of the ridiculous numbers Love put up and with Rubio coming finally, but the rest of the team needs to get their act together.
Utah Jazz – Al Jefferson is not what they thought he would be. There is a reason this is his 3rd team already. Jerry Sloan left after 20 seasons as coach and Williams, their best player left about a week later. A perennial playoff team is actually in rebuilding mode. Didn’t expect that a year ago.
New Jersey Nets – We knew they’d stink, but not this bad. Brook Lopez took a step back and Outlaw turned out to be the worst signing of the offseason. The play of Mr. Kardashian and the trade for Williams gives them something to look forward to in the future.