Tank Watch Week 2

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Thomas the TANK engine loves what the teams on our list are doing

After writing the first “Tank Watch 2013” post last week, I realized that it provided a therapeutic value. When supporting a team that is having a tough time winning games, you have to look at the silver linings. Writing this post weekly allows me to think hopefully about the Celtics instead of fretting their demise.

The five worst teams have shuffled a little bit one week into the season. The shocking start of the Philadelphia 76ers shot them off this list. Phoenix is 3-2 with its only losses coming at the hands of Western conference powers (Thunder and Spurs). With their young core it’s unlikely we see them back on this list barring an injury. Orlando has been solid, with Brad Stevens even dubbing them “the best we’ve seen so far”, so they aren’t on this list now but I am skeptical that stays the case later in the year. Replacing those teams are the Wizards and Nuggets, only one of which should become a mainstay.

Five Worst Teams:

1. Utah (0-5): Utah has lots of talent, with Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors all having a bright future. What they don’t have is anyone who can defend on the perimeter or a cohesive defensive scheme. This team will get better as the year goes on, but as of now they are clearly the worst team in the league. Expect them to start to play better once Ty Corbin is fired and they run a defensive system that fits their personnel.

2. Boston (1-4): Despite the Celtics only winning one game, they have had the opportunity to win every single game they have played. Eventually they will get Rondo back, the young players will grow into their roles and the team will become a more cohesive defensive unit. With 18 games in the month of November this team will probably be too far gone by the time it reaches its potential.

3. Washington (1-3): This team was hoping to make the jump off the improvement of young players John Wall and Bradley Beal. So far neither can make up for their defense (their best defensive output was in their lone win when they gave up 102). Last year they finished their season strong by flourishing on the defensive end. The biggest catalysts of these defensive changes last year were Emeka Okafor and Nene. Okafor was traded after getting hurt, while Nene hasn’t been 100% yet this year. The Wizards are good candidates to panic and move some of their young assets in an effort to make the playoffs right now. This team won’t last on this list, expect them to further mortgage the future to squeeze into the last playoff spot in the East.

4. Sacramento (1-3): Sacramento came out and beat a big time Western conference power in their first game. The problem is Denver has showed itself to no longer be a power, making that win much less impressive. After their opening season two point win, the Kings have lost their next three games. They start next week with a home and away series against an average Portland team, if they lose these games and show themselves to be less than average like I expect them to, they should move up this list.

5. Denver (1-3): Poor Nuggets fans. They had a great coach, and exciting team, and a solid general manger to continue to build for the future. Cut to this year, George Karl is gone, Masai Ujiri is gone, Andre Iguodala is gone and Danilo Gallinari is hurt. This team is suddenly not very talented, without a strong base to build off. Things are going to get ugly this year in Denver, especially if they trade Faried.

Top Five Players

  1. Andrew Wiggins
  2. Jabari Parker
  3. Julius Randle
  4. Aaron Gordon
  5. Marcus Smart

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