Underdogs and Overhyped

Achintya Pinninti, Staff Writer

After a summer filled with practice and training, teams are hoping to perform better than they did last season. Many teams have lured star players to their teams to potentially make the playoffs and ultimately win the championship. Some teams have gone above and beyond, while others have not lived up to expectations.

Last season, the 76ers performed well below average. At around January of the previous season, they found their form and went on a small winning streak. However, this was short lived, and they ended the season with a record of 28-54 and stood at 14th place in the Eastern Conference. In the 2017 NBA draft, the 76ers drafted Markelle Fultz, who would have been a huge addition to the team had he not been injured. After Markelle Fultz’s injury many people stopped considering the 76ers to be a playoff contender. This offseason, they also lured J.J. Redick, who was a huge part of the Clippers offense last year, to join the team.

The 76ers have a well-rounded roster. A major factor that dragged them down last season was scoring. They were expected to solve this problem with the additions of J.J. Redick and Markelle Fultz. This season, with Ben Simmons returning from injury, the team has had a consistent offense to compete with other teams in the league.The 76ers have proved many people wrong, playing extremely well and are currently tenth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 14-16. If they continue to perform as they are now, they will definitely be a playoff contender in April.

Similarly, a player who was majorly snubbed was Jordan Bell. He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 38th pick in the 2nd round of the 2017 NBA draft. Subsequently, he was sold to the Warriors for 3.5 million dollars in cash considerations. He is averaging 4.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game while only playing an average of 10 minutes per game. These are good statistics for a rookie with the amount of playing time he is getting on the star-studded Warriors roster. If he keeps improving over the next few seasons, he will quickly rise up the ranks and become a top player in the NBA.

Unlike the 76ers, there are some teams that are not performing up to expectations, such as the Lakers. The Lakers made many moves this offseason and should have been much better than how they are currently performing. The Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma while also acquiring Brook Lopez in a trade for D’angelo Russell. Additionally, they signed a one year deal with Kentavious Caldwell Pope, a veteran who consistently played well with the Detroit Pistons last season. He was a huge part of their defense while also making plays and contributing on offense. With these additions, the Lakers built a well-rounded roster which should have been able to deliver on paper. However, the Lakers have not been able to win key games and are currently eleventh in the Western Conference with a record of 11-18.

Some teams are performing very well right now, and even though not all of these teams will make the playoffs, they will definitely give other teams a run for their money. As the season progresses, more teams may find their form and some may lose it.