Who is the worst team in the NBA? (Other than Golden State!)

Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks talks to Jabari Parker.
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Ricky Dimon

NBA

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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.

Amazingly enough, the Golden State Warriors of all teams are the worst in the NBA. Without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, they are currently alone in last place at 5-22. They aren’t by far the worst around, but they are without question the worst—for now, at least.

If the Warriors soon get some company in the NBA cellar, it will come from either the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, or New York Knicks. All four squads are saddled with horrendous 6-20 marks and will likely be in the running to max out on their possible ping-pong balls in the 2020 NBA Draft lottery. Which one of the four is the absolute pits, better than only Golden State? Let’s break it down.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks were supposed to be on the rise thanks mostly to a brilliant rookie campaign in 2018-19 by Trae Young. Now in his second season, Young has only gotten better. But the main problem is that Atlanta has been without John Collins, its second-best player, almost the entire way. He is serving a 25-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance and can return in less than two weeks. That should get the Hawks out of the abyss in the somewhat near future. Check out our free NBA predictions for their contest against the Lakers on Sunday.

Cleveland Cavaliers

In Cleveland’s case, on the other hand, there is no help in sight. The Cavaliers’ roster is less talented than Atlanta’s and some of the players already have beef with first-year head coach John Beilein. They are 1-9 in their last 10 games and have not won in regulation a single time since Nov. 23. Nobody is averaging more than 17.8 ppg (second-year guard Collin Sexton). Kevin Love probably wants to be on the move, and he might be.

New Orleans Pelicans

Not too much unlike the Hawks, expectations were high for the Pelicans heading into this season. Heck, they were just about through the roof—if not for 2019-20 then at least for the not-too-distant future. After all, this is the beginning of the post-Anthony Davis era being led by all kinds of promising young pieces. This was supposed to be the beginning of the Zion Williamson era, but that is still on indefinite hold. Zion has not yet played due to a knee injury and there are concerns that he may be out for the entire season.

New York Knicks

Even worse than New Orleans, Cleveland, and Atlanta is none other than New York—yes, one of the most famous franchise in basketball. Former head coach David Fizdale has already been relieved of his duties; mercifully, you might say. It’s not like he had a lot to work with. No one is averaging more than 18.6 ppg (Marcus Morris), third overall pick R.J. Barrett has been solid but unspectacular, and Kevin Knox inexplicably appears to be in decline at 20 years old. The Knicks have actually won two in a row…which means they may not be due for another victory until February!

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