Teams on the Rise
With the 2015-16 NBA season ready to tip off in less than a week. Basketball fans are excited to finally be able to see their favourite teams play. But what teams are going to take the next step, what team can move out of NBA obscurity and make a push for the playoffs.
Below lets take a look at four teams that could possibly be the breakout teams for the up in coming season.
The Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz have the players to compete. They showed it last year went the teams record was 19-10 during the second half of the season. But in a tough western conference it’s going to be hard to get into the playoffs. With the Mavericks expected to take a step back, the 8th and final playoff spot will be up for grabs. So the Jazz should be able to compete for that final spot.
Their roster is full of young up can coming players. They got Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood, Dante Exum, (Although he tore his ACL, and is out for the season.) The list goes on, the point is they got everything to compete. So if they can keep playing elite defense, they should be able to make the playoffs.
The Sacramento Kings are in the same boat as the Utah Jazz. In a brutal western conference, it’s going to be hard for them to make the playoffs. But when you have one of the best centres in the game in Demarcus Cousins on your team, you always got a chance. The Kings have the talent to compete, they got Rudy Gay, who is a top 5 SF in the NBA and showed he was elite last year scoring 21.1 points per game on 45.5% shooting from the field.
And did I forget to mention Rajon Rondo is there point guard, easily the best pure point guard in the league. The man’s basketball IQ is out of the roof, he makes plays before the play even happens. He just knows how to play the game, there’s a reason he won a championship with the Celtics. Having Demarcus, Rudy and Rondo on the team gives the Kings a good chance to compete. So don’t be surprised if you see the Kings in the playoffs this year.
The Orlando Magic should have an easier time making the playoffs in a weak eastern conference. The team has a lot of young talent; they just need someone that will help them succeed. They were a bad defensive team last year ranking 26th in defensive efficiency. Jacque Vaughn just wasn’t a good fit for the team so they fired him, and hired Scott Skiles. Skiles is a tough coach, who doesn’t take any nonsense and will teach the young players how to compete.
One thing Skiles is known for is being a defensive minded coach. Seeing as the teams downfall came because of their defensive shortcomings. The team should have no problem making the playoffs as long as they buy in into what Scott Skiles is preaching at that’s going to be defense.
A lot of people are counting the Pacers out this year. With the losses of David West and Roy Hibbert, the teams moving towards playing faster, up-tempo basketball. Frank Vogel has been using Paul George at the 4 spot, which should be a matchup nightmare for opposing 4’s because Paul is too fast and quick for the slower big men in the league to guard. Also Paul George has shown the ability to consistently hit three-point shots. Which is going to create driving lanes for Monta Ellis and George Hill, allowing them to penetrate the defense.
The team did lose two big additions, but Larry Bird wanted the team to go in another direction. Playing faster and with more space now, will benefit the team. It will allow them to play more towards matchups, instead of playing slow, inside out basketball. And having Paul George playing PF is going to take his game to the next level. Allowing the team to succeed as well, because so much attention is going to be focused towards stopping him. So watch out for the Pacers this year; cause even though the team might look different, they still got one of the best players in the NBA on there team.