The 2019–20 NBA season is one of the most anticipated the league has seen in a long time. The number of major superstars changing teams has us very excited for the race to the NBA Finals. However, there are five teams that have the most to prove. Today we will discuss how these teams can be taken seriously in the championship chase.
Los Angeles Lakers
The first season of LeBron James in L.A. didn’t go as planned, as the Lakers finished with the No. 12 seed while dealing with injuries to James and point guard Lonzo Ball. Luke Walton was removed as head coach and former Magic and Pacers coach Frank Vogel has stepped in to take his place.
They also made a blockbuster trade for Anthony Davis. Although they traded a lot of their young core to get him, the Lakers now have a realistic shot at the NBA championship. If Davis and James are both healthy for over 65 games this season, the Lakers could be looking at the top seed in the West.
The Boston Celtics are looking to turn things around after a rough season from a chemistry standpoint in 2018. Kyrie Irving clearly was not the leader the team needed, and his leadership style did not sit well with the Celtics young core of players.
Irving is out and Kemba Walker is in at the starting point guard position, but the Celtics also lost Al Horford to division rival Philadelphia. Brad Stevens always gets the most out of his talent, but we think Boston has to make a run to the conference finals to be taken seriously next season and beyond.
Los Angeles Clippers
When you land the reigning NBA Finals MVP and trade for a player who finished third in MVP voting, you have a lot to prove. The Clippers went all-in on a three-year championship window with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Leonard reasserted himself as the best two-way player in the NBA this past season, while leading Toronto to the NBA championship. George has blossomed into arguably the second-best two-way player in the league. So it will be scary to see a lineup of those two along with Patrick Beverley to close out games. The Clippers should at the very least reach the Western Conference Finals, anything less will be deemed a colossal failure.
The Kings were one of the fastest-paced teams in the NBA last season, and we think budding star De’Aaron Fox should keep this team in playoff contention.
Are the days of the front office acting with emotion gone? No, but we think Vlade Divac has built a competent team from the coaching staff down to the players. It will be hard for them to finish with a playoff spot, but we think they can finish 9th or 10th and win over 42 games.
How good can the Trailblazers be next season? Damian Lillard thinks the team is a championship contender, and we agree even with a loaded Western Conference. Portland made it to the Western Conference Finals last season and with so many changes to Golden State, this is the time for other teams to try to climb to the top of the mountain.
Lillard and C. J. McCollum are both potential All-NBA players, and the Blazers should have a mentality of Finals or bust this NBA season.
What NBA team has the most to prove in your eyes?
After going through our five teams with the most to prove for the upcoming NBA season, which team do you think has the most to prove? For more news from around the league be sure to check out our NBA section.