The four most disappointing NBA teams who would still be in the playoffs right now

Kawhi Leonard celebrating with his Los Angeles Clippers teammates
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email

The Brooklyn Nets would be in the playoffs if those festivities began today. So, too, would the Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, and Los Angeles Clippers. But that’s not saying a lot, of course. The truth is that all four of those teams have underwhelmed through the first two-plus months of the 2019-20 campaign.

Brooklyn Nets

It may actually be a good thing for the Nets if they miss the playoffs. That would give them a lottery pick when they would otherwise have to ship their protected first-rounder to Atlanta for a previous trade involving Taurean Prince. And, let’s be honest, the Nets were never aligning themselves for immediate success this season. After all, they signed Kevin Durant even though he is out until 2020-21 because of a torn Achilles’. Adding insult to that injury, Kyrie Irving has already missed 24 games with a shoulder problem and could be shut down for the year.

As such, Brooklyn is a dreadful 16-19 heading into Tuesday’s date with the Thunder (check out our free NBA expert picks). It is in the midst of a six-game losing streak, which includes a home setback against New York of all opponents.

Philadelphia 76ers

Speaking of losing streaks, the 76ers had dropped four in a row before beating Oklahoma City on Monday. The 76ers may be a respectable 24-14, but a No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and going on the road to begin the playoffs is not going to make anyone happy. Joel Embiid certainly isn’t happy, and it’s hard to imagine that anyone else involved in the franchise feels any different.

Such mediocrity is especially alarming because Philadelphia started the season so strong. It compiled records of 5-0 and 20-7, seemingly in line to compete with Milwaukee. Instead, defensive woes along with turnovers on the other end of floor have relegated the Sixers to second-tier status for the time being.

San Antonio Spurs

It is a new era in San Antonio, so expectations were not exactly high going into this season. Still, head coach Gregg Popovich should be able to get more out of his current squad than a 15-20 record. The Spurs are a horrendous 4-11 on the road, and winning on the road in the playoffs—if they even get there—is certainly something they will have to do. San Antonio is only 1.5 games away from falling to 12th in the Western Conference, so it’s not like the No. 8 seed is on lockdown by any means.

Los Angeles Clippers

At least the Clippers have the Lakers’ numbers. Unfortunately for Kawhi Leonard and company, they just aren’t that great against anyone else. Okay, it’s true that a 26-12 record is actually quite good. But head coach Doc Rivers’ club was expected by many to be the best team in all of basketball this season. Although that could still turn out to be the case, for now L.A. is a mere 6-5 in its last 11 games with a home loss to Memphis during this stretch.

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