In the NBA, there are the superpowers of today that exist in the league including the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs amongst others.
In the echelon below them, there is the level of play-off teams that are good teams, but not elite, such as the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, LA Clippers and the Golden State Warriors.
The bottom two levels are teams that fight it out for a seventh or eighth seed and the teams that just want a good draft pick respectively. There are some teams in those bottom two levels though, who could merit a higher rating.
Here we look at three underrated NBA teams who should be doing better.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans look good, both the logo and the team. They have a solid foundation of Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Anthony Davis, and Ryan Anderson. When you think about the players on that list, the oldest is Anderson at 25 and the other two are under 24.
The team is extremely versatile, with Evans and Gordon capable of multiple positions, Davis very athletic, and Anderson one of the best stretch 4s in the game. The team isn't perfect. Some positions are stacked with talent and depth (shooting guard and power forward), while others (small forward and center) are totally lacking.
The team has talent though, and with Gordon healthy and Evans in a stable situation, a playoff seed isn't a stretch.
The Cavs are in a great position. Kyrie Irving is an All-NBA Team caliber player, and one who has had to carry the team on his back, much like Jrue Holiday did in Philidelphia.
But now those days are done. Andrew Bynum is a top five center when healthy (he averaged nearly 19 points and 12 rebounds in his last season with the Lakers.) Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters have also developed into better offensive players, while Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller, and Jarrett Jack will provide a great boost off the bench.
This is a team that people are overlooking but that could get as high as a 5 seed. This team is great now and will progress under Mike Brown.
It seems that people have forgotten about this team. Yes, they lost Andrei Kirilenko but acquired a potent scorer in Kevin Martin. He will provide a great boost to this team, whether off the bench or starting.
He'll share time with the up and coming Alexey Shved, who is reminiscent of a very successful Rudy Fernandez, because of his all around offensive talent. Kevin Love, just two years ago, finished with 26 points and 13.3 rebounds, which was respectively fourth and second in the league.
Those are MVP statistics. Nikola Pekovic had a break out year last year with 16 points and nearly nine rebounds, and is pretty intimidating. That leaves Ricky Rubio, with Steve Nash passing ability. He is extremely crafty in the lane and gets a bunch of steals. Again, this is another team where many of the players will have developed from last year.
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