Three NBA Teams Who Need To Rip It Up And Start Again
As we write this article, there are still a few hours left before the NBA deadline. The final few days before the window closes are among our favorite times of the season, and we know it's the same for many of you, too. Until the final second arrives and the door slams shut, almost anything can happen. Trades that looked impossible at the start of the day suddenly arrive out of nowhere. Players swore they were staying put find themselves packing their bags. Teams and coaches panic, and bad moves happen just as often as good ones.
It's easy to see why a team might get tempted to roll the dice at this stage of the season. Enough games have been played to work out what's working and what isn't, and where improvements have to be made. Some teams, however, get tempted into playing something more akin to online slots than rolling a dice. When the reels of an online slots game start spinning, nobody knows what they'll look like when they stop, or whether the person playing with them is a winner or a loser. In fact, that's the whole premise of the 'Basketball Star' online slot game! Sometimes the big gambles pay off, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes, though, no amount of gambling on trades and players would be enough to change the way things are going. There are three NBA teams who we believe need rebuilding from the ground up, and here they are.
The New York Knicks
We know that the Knicks are an obvious target. It's such a well-known fact that the Knicks are rotten from top to bottom - and have been for almost all of the past ten years - that even their own press has started calling them out for it. So much has gone wrong at the Knicks for such a long time that it would be unfair to point fingers at one particular player, or one particular coach. Instead - as most fans would agree - the person who the Knicks most need to see the back of is the man who pays their bills at present - James L. Dolan. From his often bizarre management decisions to his threats to ban paying spectators from games, at times Dolan conducts himself like he enjoys infuriating the fans, and thrives on the controversy that he generates.
Steve Mills has gone now, so that's one less person Dolan can blame for the total state of disharmony at the team, but there's still probably a very long way to go before the team can be looked at as a realistic challenger for major honors again. It's a shame that one of the proudest franchises in the sport's history is in such a state, but sadly the facts are the facts. The New York Knicks need a root-and-stem revolution.
The Detroit Pistons
In the press and among sports broadcasters, Andre Drummond has become the poster boy for the multiple failures of the Detroit Pistons. Ask Drummond himself, and he'll tell you he's the greatest rebound player of all time. There's a way to read the stats that could make him appear correct on that front. Despite that, we're not even sure whether Drummond will still be with the Pistons by the time you read this. If he is, it's likely because a deal couldn't be struck with a team that was willing to take a chance on him - it's been an open secret that he's been available for months.
To focus on Drummond, though, is to give a free pass to several players who are guilty of failing to play to the best of their ability. Drummond has drawn a lot of fire, and all too many of his teammates have been happy to use him as a human shield. The Pistons lack leadership and direction, and they're carrying deadwood in the shape of Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose. With the possible exception of Sekou Doumbouya - and we can't stress the 'possible' in that sentence enough - there isn't a single breakout star on the Pistons roster. That's reason enough to get shot of most of them and start lining up replacements.
The Minnesota Timberwolves
It's hard not to feel like the Timberwolves brought some of the bad luck they've experienced this season on themselves. They weren't fancied to do well when the season began but managed to rack up a respectable seven wins from their opening eight games. At that point, some enlightened soul on their social media team decided it was appropriate to troll the sporting media about their predictions on Twitter, accompanied by a picture of Anthony Towns. Ever since the Tweet was sent, the Timberwolves have lost thirty of thirty-eight fixtures. That record may even have got worse since we wrote this. Towns has lost every game he's played in since the end of November.
In fairness to the team, they've tried to do something about it already. Bell, Vonleh, Napier, Bates-Diop, and Covington have all been traded away. Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, Evan Turner, and Juan Hernangomez have come in to replace them. That's a good start, but we suspect that more or less everyone else who's played for the team regularly this season will have to leave as well before there's a significant upturn in the team's fortunes. Depending on our mood, we might even include Anthony Towns in that. However obvious his qualities are when he's on form, a player doesn't end up on a sixteen game losing streak by accident, and nor can he shirk responsibility for it when it happens. We may live to regret saying that, but it's how we feel about the situation quite now. Towns has given interviews criticizing the fact that the team has changed around him. It's as if he doesn't realize an attempt is being made to build the team around him, and if he can't see that, he may not be the star that the team wants and needs him to be.
We could have included the Charlotte Hornets in this list very easily, but for now, we're giving them a stay of execution. If one of these teams makes the playoffs, it has the potential to make us look foolish - but we'll deal with it. An instant return to success probably wasn't on the cards for any of these teams during this trade period - and probably won't be next time either - but it would be good to see at least one of them start to head in the right direction again.