It's Time for These NBA Teams to Press the Panic Button

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It's Time for These NBA Teams to Press the Panic Button

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It's Time for These NBA Teams to Press the Panic Button

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The NBA season is in full swing and the majority of teams have hit at least the 10 game mark on their season. It’s at this time where collective fan bases tend to justify early season by making the excuse that it’s still early. While this justification might not be wrong in certain cases, 12% of the season is gone. The sample size of games is large enough to bring out the panic meter and rate below .500 teams with high preseason expectations accordingly. There are three teams from each conference who should be rated on the scale. 

Philadelphia 76ers: 5-6 

It was a rocky start to the season for the city of brotherly love. Philadelphia dropped their first three games and four of their opening five contests. Just when the Sixers were starting to get back on track via a three game wins streak, the injury bug bit them in the leg. Philly’s co-star James Harden came away with a foot injury from the win over the Wizards. The loss of Harden cascaded the Sixers to fall to Washington two days laters and lose to the Knicks soon after. Joel Embiid’s 33 points and 10 rebounds were enough to lift the short handed Sixers over the Suns but the giant hole Harden left still remains. At a game below .500 and missing their star guard in Harden for a month, nothing will come easy for this bunch. Philly has the pieces to ride the ship but a large slice of the offensive creation pie will land on Tyrese Maxey’s plate. His play combined with Embiid must elevate the Sixers to tread water for now. 

Panic Meter: 6/10 

Miami Heat: 4-7

Many media members and fans alike cast the Heat as a team for regression heading into 2022. So far, those folks are correct in their assessment of a team that has made two of the last three Eastern Conference Finals. Miami lost a key defensive piece in PJ Tucker but the most notable players from last year returned. They still have the head honcho stars in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo with a band of misfit role players that made them special. So what’s this team’s deal 11 games in? Well, the criticism for the Heat was their poor offensive output that’s caused them to go stale in big moments of playoff games. In 2022, that ORTG comes in at 109.7 which ranks 21st in the league. The counter for Miami’s suspect offense is typically dominant defense, however, the Heat’s DRTG is 111.5 which ranks 17th in the NBA. If Miami can’t ramp up their defense then they’ll be in trouble but we must have faith in Erik Spoelstra. 

Panic Meter: 5/10

Brooklyn Nets: 4-7 

Some things just aren’t meant to be. In the Brooklyn Nets case, consistent success can’t ever seem to be in the KD & Kyrie era in Brooklyn. The Nets have washed their hands with Steve Nash and will move on to Jacque Vaughn. Vaughn was a longtime assistant for Brooklyn since 2017 and receives a well deserved promotion. However, the Kyrie Irving drama continues to worsen with each passing regular season. He’s serving a five game suspension and the Nets cracking down on Irving’s antics may finally lead to him becoming estranged from the franchise. On the court for Brooklyn, Durant is once again shouldering a heavy load. Durant is sixth among high minute players in usage rate at 33% and first among the top 10 usage rate players in minutes. The off court drama combined with an injury prone roster from head to toe will leave the Nets wondering what could’ve been.

Panic Meter: 8/10

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