Evaluating the Teams with the NBA's Worst Records

How Bad Are the NBA's Worst?

11/10/12 in NBA   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

We’re about a week and a half into the season, and we have two teams yet to pick up their first win and another two teams with only one win so far.  And all four teams happen to be in the Eastern Conference.
 
What follows is an evaluation of these four struggling teams with speculation on whether they will turn things around this year, whether they are at least built well for the future, or in need of an all-out team remodeling.
 
DETROIT PISTONS
0-6
 
Blog Photo - Evaluating the Teams with the NBA's Worst RecordsSpeculation for 2012-2013:
 
Right now, Rodney Stuckey is in the midst of a colossal struggle to put the ball in the hoop, Brandon Knight isn’t asserting himself enough in the offense and is struggling from the field as well, and no big man has stepped up to help give Greg Monroe support.  The team isn’t nearly as bad as they’re playing right now, but clearly there’s still a lot of growth required for the young Pistons.  Overall, a run at the 8th seed in the East isn’t completely out of question if they can turn things around quickly.  After three straight seasons with win percentages under 40%, expectations for this season aren’t extremely high for the Pistons, but after making some definite improvements last year under new coach Lawrence Frank, an 0-6 start to the season is pretty surprising.
 
Future Speculation:
 
This is a big season for Knight, who was inconsistent at best last year and needs to prove he can consistently run an NBA offense this year in order to remain the team’s court leader.  First round pick Andre Drummond is coming off his best game as a pro (22 points, 8 rebounds against OK City) and is the most logical counterpart to Monroe in the frontcourt, so watch for his playing time to start increasing soon.  Stuckey is also a big question going forward.  An undoubtedly talented guard, he’s tough to put a label on.  If he starts to find his shot, the Pistons may be smart to look for trade possibilities as he and Knight just don’t seem to mesh too well.
 
WASHINGTON WIZARDS
0-4
 
Blog Photo - Evaluating the Teams with the NBA's Worst RecordsSpeculation for 2012-2013:
 
Without seeing John Wall or Nene on the court yet this season, the Wizards are pretty tough to accurately evaluate.  Wall should be back in early December and Nene’s return is still a hazy question.  Even when they do return, I don’t see this team as a playoff threat quite yet, but I expect them to improve on their win percentage from last season (30.3%), which was second-to-last in the NBA in 2012.
 
Future Speculation:
 
First rounder Bradley Beal has struggled to find his shot consistently so far, but again this could be partly attributed to having to run with backup point guard AJ Price as opposed to Wall.  French forward Kevin Seraphin has shown some promise so far and could be a good running mate to Nene going forward.   They’re still a player or two away from becoming a serious team to watch, but on the right track.

TORONTO RAPTORS
1-4
 
Nov 4, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (3) holds on to the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Timberwolves 105-86. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRESpeculation for 2012-2013:
 
The team has been surprisingly competitive so far with only one loss by more than 7 points.  New point guard Kyle Lowry gives the team a dual-threat point guard that they were lacking with previous court general Jose Calderon, and he’s really given Toronto a new energy so far this season.  Don’t expect too much out of the team this year, but a playoff run may not be out of the question in an Eastern Conference with a very questionable race outside the top 4 or 5.  
 
Future Speculation:
 

If Lowry can stay healthy – always the main concern with him – and DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani can continue giving the team steady scoring, the Raptors will have a solid nucleus.  Last year’s first rounder Jonas Valanciunas has struggled to score consistently and stay out of foul trouble five games into his NBA career but has also shown flashes of potential.  One more promising piece, probably a winger, could really set the team up nicely for the future.
 
CHARLOTTE BOBCATS
1-3
 
Oct 26, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker (15) during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Dallas won 99-82.  Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRESpeculation for 2012-2013:
 
The main surprise so far is really the “1” in the win column, thanks to a one-point victory over the struggling Pacers in the Bobcats’ second game of the year.  The team has been led so far this year by Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions, both giving the Bobcats a good balance of scoring and setting up others.  Sessions and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were solid offseason pickups, but expect the Bobcats to be right around the same spot in the standings they were last year, though probably with a few more wins thanks to a full 82-game season.
 
Future Speculation:
 
Kidd-Gilchrist and Walker look to be great pieces to build around, but the rest of the team is worth questioning.  Bismack Biyombo and Byron Mullins are awkward frontcourt starters, both definitely better suited for 8th or 9th men on rosters, and the same goes for Gerald Henderson who is currently sidelined for the next few weeks with a foot injury.  All in all, the Bobcats are still about 2 or 3 significant players away from having anything resembling a positive future ahead of them.
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