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The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

Teams with high hopes struggle as new NBA season is underway


The 2022-23 NBA season is officially underway and some teams are off to an underwhelming start.

Coming into the season, there has been a short list of teams with high expectations for deep playoff pushes. Although some of these slow starts have resulted in overreactions from fans and media, some organizations have already made changes as a result of bad play so far.

One of the more surprising teams to get off to a rocky start is the Philadelphia 76ers. There was much hype surrounding the 76ers when the team pulled off a trade to acquire former MVP and all-star James Harden.

Last season, the 76ers were eliminated in the conference semifinals after the Miami Heat defeated them 4-2. To begin the new season this year, the 76ers sit at .500 with a 4-4 record.

Despite the 76ers struggles, Harden has started the season hot and leads his team offensively. Harden is shooting 52.1% from the field and nearly 40% from three. This is great for Harden and the 76ers considering he was underwhelming during last season’s post-season and many fans were questioning if the star was “washed.”

Joel Embiid’s numbers are good as he is averaging around 27 points per game and ten rebounds to go along with it but the star has been relatively inefficient from three, only shooting 30%.

Head Coach for the 76ers, Doc Rivers, has been in question since last season. Many consider the 76ers a “championship or bust” team, so making it to the second round of playoffs was not enough. Rivers is the only head coach in the league to blow multiple 3-1 leads and depending on how the rest of the season pans out, River’s job could be in serious jeopardy.

LeBron and the Lakers have also been struggling at the start of this season. Their starting line-up consists of Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

After going 1-5 to the start of the season, a lot of the blame for the Lakers’ struggles has been placed on guard Russell Westbrook. His second year playing for the Lakers hasn’t been so fitting. Many fans and analysts have heavily criticized his game, shooting percentages, and whether his role for the Lakers needs to be changed.

Last year, with the addition of Westbrook, many fans thought the Lakers would be title contenders. Ironically, the Lakers missed the playoffs with a 33-49 record.

The Lakers currently are shooting 22.3% from 3-point range, which is the worst in the NBA thus far. The Lakers are aware of their weaknesses and their strengths as well.

“To be completely honest, we’re not a team constructed of great shooting,” LeBron James said. “We can’t shoot a penny in the ocean.”

With LeBron in his 20th season, it is only a matter of time before father time catches up to him. It is safe to say that the Lakers need to make serious adjustments to ensure that Lebron’s last couple of years does not go to waste.

Another team struggling is the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets probably had the most hectic off-season in the NBA. Star for the Nets, Kevin Durant requested a trade during the off-season but later retracted it after realizing there were no better options for him.

Additionally, there was much drama surrounding Kyrie Irving regarding whether he would opt into his contract. Also, there were rumors that Irving was trying to force his way to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers.

To top it off, there are concerns regarding Ben Simmons, who the Nets acquired in the trade in exchange for James Harden. The Nets are off to a 2-6 start even though Durant, Irving and Simmons are all healthy and playing.

The problem for the Nets could be the culture of the team. Last season, Irving missed half of the season after refusing to get vaccinated and there seemed to be no real leadership on the team.

The coaching of Steve Nash has also been questionable, so questionable that the Nets announced that Nash and the organization have mutually agreed to part ways, leaving the head coaching position for the Nets available. Interestingly, the Nets are planning to hire Ime Udoka as the head coach, despite Udoka’s scandal and suspension from the Boston Celtics.

Despite disappointing starts, the season is still early. These teams still have a chance to clean up their play and make a playoff push to contend for a National Championship.

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