Reaching The Next Level: NBA Edition

What contending teams need to do to win a championship

With+the+NBA+season+starting+soon%2C+here%27s+a+look+at+what+your+favorite+teams+need+to+do+to+win+a+championship.

With the NBA season starting soon, here’s a look at what your favorite teams need to do to win a championship.

When the NBA season came to an end a few weeks ago, many teams left the bubble with a sense of disappointment. Now, entering the offseason, teams can start anew, and make the necessary changes or upgrades to the team in order to have a chance at winning the league. Here are some teams that fell short of expectations and what they need to get a ring next season.

 

 

Clippers 

Over the 2019-2020 offseason, the Clippers did a complete overhaul of their roster and were the favorites to win the title. With all-stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, along with a strong bench presence, the Clippers were supposedly in great shape. However, when they lost in the second round to the Denver Nuggets led by Nikola Jokic, a 25 year-old Serbian center, critics immediately descended on them and called their season one of the biggest disappointments in NBA history. The Clippers’ lack of success in the playoffs was largely due to one of their stars, George, and his lack of efficiency on offense  and an inability to provide anything other than defense. 

Possible Solutions:

If the Clippers decide to keep George, they should look for a point guard who can comfortably run an offense while not taking too many shots away from Leonard and George. Guards such as DJ Augustin, who is currently on the Orlando Magic, can facilitate as well as shoot efficiently from the three point range and would be a perfect fit. This move will be perfect for the Clippers as Augustin’s contract expires this year making him a free agent. Additionally, with Augustin being 32, the Clippers can sign him for two years and a veteran’s minimum. They could package George for players such as Spencer Dinwiddie and Gary Harris, who will give the Clippers much needed offense with the ability to score the ball with ease.

 

 

 

76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers came into the 2019 NBA season with really high hopes behind all star center, Joel Embiid, who promised that they would finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference. However, he couldn’t have been any more wrong. The 76ers finished sixth in the East with a 43-30 record. They were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. The 76ers had one of the top rosters in the league and failed to capitalize on it. Here are some ways they can improve it.

Possible Solutions:

Get rid of Al Horford. Horford was an amazing player playing under Brad Stevens and the Celtics, however, playing next to Embiid just doesn’t work well. Horford, additionally is 34 and on his way out of the league anytime soon. Along with Horford, the 76ers should trade Ben Simmons. With Simmons and Embiid, the Sixers have one of the best young duos in the league however, they don’t work well together. Simmons excels in fast break offense, but Embiid can’t get up the floor fast enough to support him. Embiid excels in pick and roll offense, however, the pick and roll with Simmons is largely ineffective because Simmons has proven he can’t shoot the ball. Instead, the 76ers should sign a shooting/point guard. Simmons has a huge trade value because he is so young and since he is already an all-star, it wouldn’t be hard finding a solid player to trade for. They should trade for effective shooting/point guards such as Trae Young or Kemba Walker, who have both excelled in this capability. The 76ers also recently signed Glenn “Doc” Rivers to a five year contract to take on the head coaching position in the franchise. Rivers is undoubtedly one of the most experienced coaches in the league and could definitely benefit the franchise. If anybody can get the kinks ironed out, it would be Rivers.

 

 

 

 

Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks had an amazing regular season, finishing first in the league with a 56-17 record led  by the back to back MVP by Giannis Antetokoumnpo. The Bucks were a huge disappointment in the playoffs after getting bounced in the second round to the fifth seeded Heat. Antetokoumpo had a terrible series, but it wasn’t just him who played bad. The whole Bucks core including Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe, Kris Middleton, and Brook Lopez all played terrible basketball. With the whole Buck’s franchise including the players, fans, and staff upset at the disappointing end to the season, Milwaukee’s front office is under duress. 

Possible Solutions:

The Bucks need to get Antetokoumpo a second star. In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Heat sat in the paint and let Antetokounmpo shoot, which is the biggest weakness  in his game. Adding a second star would give the Bucks some diversity instead of running the same predictable play call every time. Adding a player like James Harden, who is actually rumored to get traded to the Bucks this season, would give the Bucks a lot more options on the offensive end. While this trade would require a lot of sharing the ball between two scoring heavy players, both players would be willing to do this in order to win a championship. This is the best option for the Bucks to improve their chances of winning with the roster they have. Obviously, there are other alternative players, but Harden seems like the best fit.