Windows for contending in the NBA are notoriously short. You can have a chance to win it all one year and then find yourself rebuilding a few seasons later. This fact is why it is so crucial to make the most of your chances when they arise.
It would be easy to tell a number of teams to pack it in next season, with the Golden State Warriors acquiring Kevin Durant and the Cleveland Cavaliers beginning their title defense. These two teams feel destined to meet again in June for the third installment of their rivalry.
But, a lot of things can happen in an NBA season and no one is going to bow down to the newly-minted super team or the current champions. There are a couple of teams on the fringes that could find themselves with a path to the conference finals with a couple of nice breaks.
These teams need to make sure that they can hang around long enough to catch those big breaks but, if they can’t get it done, then it might be time for them to pursue other options.
Here are the three teams that need to shake it up if they don’t make the conference finals this year:
This young squad looked poised to be a force in the future Eastern Conference playoff picture two years ago. Last year presented a bit of a stumbling block for the young deer.
In the early season, Milwaukee looked to be a feisty bunch as they were the team that ended Oakland’s 24 game winning streak. Their combination of youth, athleticism, and defense proved pesky for some of the league’s heavy hitters.
Injuries struck and the length of the season wore on the team over the course of their campaign though. Now the Bucks have their star in Giannis Antetokounmpo and a great young player in Jabari Parker. They have to build on those pieces though.
Jason Kidd’s squad still struggles to score and might look at adding some much needed offense to help lighten the load on his young star.
It might seem strange to see a team that just participated in the Eastern Conference Finals in this sentence but, they have a very small margin for error. Their performance last playoffs illustrated just how little wiggle room they had.
After losing center Jonas Valanciunas to an ankle injury, the North had to rely on their two All-Star guards to carry their offence. This was met with middling results. When both guards are hitting their shots, they can hang with the Cavs.
But, if they falter after losing Bismack Biyombo, it might be time to look at other avenues to build their team.
Los Angeles Clippers
I’ve always had a soft spot for the ClipShow. They are the second team in L.A. Even while the Lakers have proved themselves incompetent for two straight seasons.
Their season was a roller coaster last year with injuries derailing their postseason plans. Now, with Oklahoma City weakened by Durant’s departure, they need to take their chance to finally reach the Western Conference Finals.
Chris Paul isn’t getting any younger and the core finally has some stability. It always seems to be a stroke of bad luck for the other team that plays in the Staples Center. If this year doesn’t provide results, there will probably be a roster adjustment.