It's almost a month into the new NBA season, and are garnering enough data on teams to start updating our predictions and forecasts of how teams and players will fare throughout the 2022–23 season.
There have already been a number of surprising developments in the first dozen or so NBA games this season. We’ve seen surprising starts for the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs—two teams who were predicted to be in a race to the bottom of the NBA standings—and a number of teams having to deal with injuries and a lack of depth on their respective rosters.
However, the biggest surprise of the young NBA season has been a handful of teams that are grossly underperforming and underachieving despite having no real setbacks to deal with. We’re taking a quick look at a few teams that have played shockingly poorly at the start of the 2022-23 NBA season
Detroit are Without an Identity
The Detroit Pistons made several moves this offseason to improve their roster this offseason: drafting Jaden Ivey, trading for Jalen Duren on draft night, bringing in Bojan Bogdanovic from the Jazz, and re-signing Marvin Bagley III to a multi-year contract extension.
But for all those moves and the talent now on their roster, the Pistons are on pace to be worse than they were last season. As of this writing, the Detroit Pistons are 3-11 and searching to find out how to work together and improve on last season’s record of 23-59.
The Pistons have the talent to be so much better than this, but yet, here they are in the tank sweepstakes.
Nets and the NBA Sideshow
The Brooklyn Nets have championship aspirations, but their 6-7 start is a tough pill to swallow. The off-court distractions are finally starting to wane after Steven Nash was let go as the head coach, Kyrie Irving was suspended, and Ben Simmons finally got back into the lineup after hurting his back.
There’s a totally unfair amount of pressure on Jacque Vaughn, who was just named the team’s permanent head coach after serving as the interim for a few games this season. If the team can’t start getting into the win column more frequently, General Manager Sean Marks may be forced to make some moves by exploring the trade market for help.
The Never Ending Struggles of the Lakers
Things are looking extremely bleak in LA, with LeBron James and the Lakers on pace to have the worst season in the 75 year history of the franchise. The Lakers are currently 2-10 and are on pace to finish worse than the 2015-16 Lakers, who ended up with a 17-65 record. On top of that, the New Orleans Pelicans have the right to swap picks with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2023 NBA Draft.
The Purple and Yellow have little-to-no shooting on their roster, no depth, and no relief in sight for King James. And things won’t get better unless they attach their 2025 and/or 2027 first-round picks to a Russell Westbrook trade or trade Anthony Davis to recoup assets to salvage the 2022–23 season.
The Dubs are Out of Sorts
The 2021–22 NBA Champions Golden State Warriors are having problems early in the new NBA season, mustering a 5-7 record despite having a healthy roster and all five starters returning from last year’s championship team.
The Warriors’ defense stinks, and their rebounding is not much better. Golden State is 29th out of 30 NBA teams in opponents’ points per game (120.6 ppg). They rank 23rd in the league in rebounding (41.3 per game) and have an unproven and inexperienced bench. Except for Andre Iguodala, the team’s bench is comprised of one player with more than four years of NBA experience (JaMychal Green, with eight).
Wolves Can't Figure Out How to Play Together
The Wolves had one of the splashiest NBA offseasons in recent memory, pushing all their chips to the middle of the table to bring Rudy Gobert to Minnesota.
Gobert started off really well for the Timberwolves, pulling down a mind-boggling 54 rebounds in his first three games with his new team. But since then, Gobert has been wildly inefficient and Head Coach Chris Finch is having to get creative with his lineups.
During the team’s ongoing losing streak (Oct. 30-Nov. 11) in which they’ve lost six of their last seven games, Gobert has been down bad: -10, -14, -13, and -6 against San Antonio, Phoenix, Milwaukee and Phoenix (again), respectively.
These guys aren’t playing well together at all. Anthony Edwards knows it. The fans know it. Even Devin Booker knows it, as he savagely pointed out in one of the Suns’ recent games against Minnesota.