The NBA season starts on Tuesday, and we all know who most of the top teams are going to be this season, but what about teams that aren’t always on national television? There are a lot of teams that are fun to watch that do not get games on national TV because the NBA likes to put the same five teams from the Eastern Conference and the same five teams from the Western Conference on TV.
The Pistons were the worst team in the NBA last season, but their additions help them here. They get to bring back young star point guard Cade Cunningham, who had a season-ending injury early in the year last season. They were able to draft wing Ausar Thompson in the NBA Draft, who has been pretty good in summer league and preseason. Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey showed many flashes in their rookie season last year as well. The addition of head coach Monty Williams could have them playing many close games this season. They may not win a lot of them, but they are still a young team that will need to learn how to close games.
The Trail Blazers are quietly in the second year of their rebuild, although many would argue trading Damian Lillard this offseason would make it their first year. The Blazers were one of the worst teams in the NBA two years ago and drafted shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe. Last season, they had the fifth-worst record in the NBA and were able to jump up into third in the draft thanks to the lottery, selecting point guard Scoot Henderson. Portland also traded for Deandre Ayton in the offseason. They have a good young core including guard Anfernee Simons, Portland should be able to put points on the board with all the talent they have.
The Orlando Magic were quietly very good last season after the all-star break and after Markelle Fultz returned. They have the reigning rookie of the year in forward Paolo Banchero, who looked very comfortable as a first option for the team. Wing player Franz Wagner looked very comfortable as the second option as well. Orlando added two very talented young players in Anthony Black and Jett Howard in the draft. If the two rookies can contribute, the Magic could be a play-in team this season with a chance to make the playoffs.
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