A Thursday night contest between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls is the only thing keeping basketball fans from the All-Star break. While teams like Atlanta, Toronto, Golden State and Milwaukee have certainly overachieved at the break, there’s been a number of underachievers through the first 50-plus games as well. Here’s a look at five teams that have failed to live up to expectations at the break:
Miami Heat (22-30)
A drop-off was certainly expected after losing the NBA’s best player in the offseason, but even without LeBron James, the Heat still have a trio of All-Stars in the starting lineup in Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, and Chris Bosh. Despite that, Miami ranks just 28th in the NBA in scoring, 29th in assists and dead last in rebounding. Hassan Whiteside has provided a much-needed lift inside of late, but point guard Mario Chalmers and offseason acquisition Danny Granger have been huge disappointments thus far in South Florida.
New York Knicks (10-43)
Growing pains with a first-year head coach like Derek Fisher were expected, but through 53 games, the New York Knicks have just 10 wins and are the NBA’s worst team. Forward Carmelo Anthony has put forth another All-Star campaign, but Anthony has not had much help around him at all. An aging Amar’e Stoudemire has been Anthony’s best compliment player while Tim Hardaway Jr. has failed to make the strides the team hoped for in his second season in the league. Earlier in the season, the Knicks dealt struggling guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. Andrea Bargnani has played in just four games this season.
Oklahoma City Thunder (28-25)
Injuries to two of the NBA’s best players have without a doubt plagued the Oklahoma City Thunder this season as Oklahoma City sits on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in with 29 games to play. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have combined to miss 43 games this season. In games Durant has played, the Thunder are 16-9, which still would only translate to just the eighth best winning percentage in the Western Conference. The Thunder do however, head to the All-Star break on a high note as winners in five of their last six games.
Orlando Magic (17-39)
After just 43 combined wins in the previous two seasons, many thought the Orlando Magic would make a big leap during the 2014-15 season, but Orlando has continued to play the role of cellar dweller. The Magic have a promising young roster with center Nikola Vucevic, forward Tobias Harris and guard Victor Oladipo, but that hasn’t translated into wins as Orlando is giving up more than 100 points per game while ranking just 28th in the NBA on the glass. Since firing Jacque Vaughn however, the Magic are 2-2 and would be 3-1 had it not been for a last minute meltdown against Chicago.
San Antonio Spurs (34-19)
The reigning NBA champions head to the All-Star break with just the seventh best record in the Western Conference and are on pace for their fewest wins in a non-lockout season in five years. San Antonio is also just one loss shy of equaling last season’s total. Injuries have not been to blame as veterans Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have missed just a combined 23 games. The Spurs however, have won 13 of their last 17 games and sit just two games out of the 3-spot in the West. Kawhi Leonard has picked up from where he left off in last year’s playoffs, but slight dips in production from Ginobili and Parker has some anticipating that the San Antonio dynasty may finally be at its end.