Despite only being seven weeks into the NBA season, a few teams have distinguished themselves yet again, not in a positive light but instead as perennial cellar dwellers. The depressing sports city of Cleveland once again finds itself at the bottom of the standings with other regulars. Even with the number one overall pick New Orleans is last in the western conference rank, with Washington Wizards holding the same position in their respective conference. Lastly, Toronto finishes up the list of sub .300 winning percentage teams; their return to the bottom is almost as surprising as the ascent of the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Charlotte Bobcats boasted an impressive winning record through twelve games, only to lose ten in a row (and perhaps still counting). For now they are free from the loser’s talk, but they will surely enter the talk later on in the season.
The New Orleans Hornets received the top pick in the NBA draft, with promising rookie Anthony Davis. Davis’ team leading rebounding and block totals along with newcomer Ryan Anderson’s point total is still not enough to lead their team out from the dark depths of the league. The team from New Orleans is looking for some new karma with a name change, becoming the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Wizards have been lost without breakout star John Wall. The team has been left to rely on Jordan Crawford while Wall nurses a knee injury on the sidelines. The team is comprised of many supporting players, but is starless without Wall. A similar situation can be found in Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving’s hand injury crippled the surging Cavaliers, returning them to the bottom of the league, a regularity since the departure of LeBron James. The Cavs have looked promising with the return of Irving, beating a star-studded L.A. Laker team. Hopefully Cleveland fans can finally have a winning team if the Cavs have a healthy Irving for the rest of the year.
We end with Toronto, a team with seemingly the most upside out of the group. Their descent into the dark hole of the lovable losers came as a surprise given a relatively successful season last year winning more than a third of their games. Toronto has not been able to build on their previous season due to lack of production from fan favorite Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors are going to need to pull a lot of pieces together in order to make a push for the playoffs, a preseason goal that seems extremely unrealistic nearly a third of the way through the season.
The losers of the NBA are familiar names in a familiar place. Congrats to the Bobcats for escaping the list this time, but don’t get too excited Charlotte. Condolences are sent to the fans of Cleveland, things will soon turn around (maybe). Toronto, maybe it is time to focus your energy on ending the NHL lockout, eh? Finally, there is hope in New Orleans as changing the name can change the record (Thunder, Rays, Capitals, Ducks).