We are a couple of months into the NBA season and already we have a lot of winners and losers.
For example, the winners: the Golden State Warriors, the Phoenix Suns, and the Brooklyn Nets.
And for the losers: a whole lot of other teams.
Yes, the current NBA season has been really rocky for many squads across the association.
Some of these teams – such as the Portland Trail Blazers or New York Knicks – might have a very slim chance of recovering.
Yet, other teams could still turn the season around and make a strong run into the postseason.
Here are a few teams who need to work extra fast to get it together if they want to retain their hopes of ending the season well.
3. Los Angeles Lakers
You knew this was coming.
The current roster of the Los Angeles Lakers is something of an experiment.
Yes, it’s the oldest team in the league but it’s also a lineup that features many established stars who have never officially played together, all with their own personalities and play-styles.
Right now, this experiment isn’t paying off.
At 16-16, the Lakers are a loss away from becoming just the 3rd team with LeBron James to be under .500 through 33 games.
It hasn't happened since 2007-08. pic.twitter.com/8drx8mhF47
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 23, 2021
They have shown flashes of brilliance and they have gotten much better but they need to keep improving if they want to make it far in the playoffs.
This will require they focus more on defense, keeping up with other younger teams, and changing the ways each of them performs.
They still have time…but it’s running out.
2. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are the number eight seed in the West and sitting at .500 at 15-15.
That’s not an abysmal record but it’s not good enough – not nearly good enough.
The biggest problem with the Mavericks is that they need to become championship contenders within the next couple of seasons or else they run the risk of losing their biggest star: Luka Doncic.
Doncic is seemingly happy in Dallas but he definitely wants to achieve more in his NBA career.
Happy as he may be, he will look to other, greener pastures if Dallas remains middling and not near the top of the standings.
New head coach Jason Kidd is still feeling out his duties leading the team and he will need to perfect his techniques as soon as possible.
Additionally, Doncic will need to stay healthy and also adapt to a new form of playing if the Mavs will get better.
Right now, Doncic is too focused on hero ball and relying on himself.
If he wants his team to prosper, the rest of the season needs to truly be a team effort.
1. Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers have one of the best players in the league (Joel Embiid) and one of the best coaches in the history of the NBA (Doc Rivers) but they’re still seventh in the East.
Their current situation hurts all the more because they were a lot more competitive last season and are off their game this year.
If the 76ers want to turn it around, they need to figure out the albatross hanging around their necks: Ben Simmons.
The Simmons situation is weighing them down and the sooner it’s solved, the better.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 21, 2021
Ideally, Simmons would come back to the team in great shape, mentally and physically.
But if that’s not going to happen, it’s time to get rid of him.
Finally trading Simmons would be a good thing because the 76ers could receive another All-Star in his place and it would also greatly lighten the mood of the team and allow them to turn a page and focus on the future instead of the past.
The 76ers have the talent they need, but they require just one major move to get them in the best shape possible.