We’re three weeks into the new NBA season and all 30 teams have played enough games to form an opinion on their performances so far. Every team has played at least ten games so far with each one either over or underperforming.

This writeup will focus on the underperformers, five teams that have fallen short of their preseason aspirations. Here are the five most disappointing teams in the NBA so far this season in alphabetical order.

ATLANTA HAWKS

I suppose it was always going to be difficult for the Atlanta Hawks to replicate last season’s success. The Hawks finished with the fifth seed and made a run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2020/21.

But they’ve followed that with a slow start this season having won just four of their 12 games so far with a .333 record. The alarming part is that they won three of their opening four games and then lost seven of the subsequent eight matches.

The Hawks are currently on a five-game losing streak and coach Nate McMillan has to find a way to tighten up the defense.

The Hawks rank fourth in the league for turnovers but 28th for both blocks and steals. Those damning stats tell all there is to know about why the Hawks are 12th in the Eastern Conference.

BOSTON CELTICS

Right above Atlanta in the East is the Boston Celtics who are 5-6 and continue to perform below expectations. Following the restructuring that saw Brad Stevens promoted to the front office and Ime Udoka replacing him as the head coach, not much has changed on the court.

The Celtics continue to struggle as every team in the NBA has figured out their only tactic is to pass to Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown.

Starting shooting guard, Marcus Smart openly voiced out his frustration which is another sign that all is not well in Boston.

The only source of optimism is that they’ve won three of the last four games. That run of form could be the springboard to the Celtics finally turning the corner.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Thanks to their voluminous recruitment in the offseason, the LA Lakers were the preseason favorites to win the championship. And while they probably still are favorites, the season has not started according to plan for them at all.

The Lakers are 7-5 in the Western Conference and currently occupying the seventh seed which doesn’t seem so bad. But by their own lofty standards, the Lakers should be flying as high as the 10-1 Golden State Warriors.

Frank Vogel had better not repeat last season’s mistakes when the Lakers were lackluster towards the regular season. It backfired and they were subsequently knocked out in the first round by second-seed Phoenix Suns.

 

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

The New Orleans Pelicans are the worst team in the NBA, which sums it all up. New Orleans has won just one of their 12 games this season, the worst record in the league.

Worse than the Pistons and the Rockets, do you know how hard it is to be worse than those teams? It’s also noteworthy to mention that they’ve lost eight straight games, which is unacceptable for their level of talent.

Perhaps this is all down to Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram being injured or maybe they’re just tanking. Either way, it’s not a good look for head coach Willie Green and the franchise at large.

PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS

The Portland Trailblazers convinced their franchise player, Damian Lillard to stay with promises to improve the roster and become competitive. Needless to say, that didn’t happen and Lillard is playing below his lofty individual standards.

Damian Lillard is averaging 20 points per game over 12 games and has made just 38% of his field goals. His three-point percentage is currently 25% which further explains why Portland is 10th in the East win five wins from 12 games.

The Trailblazers have always been competitive in the West and it felt like they only needed one more piece to complement Lillard and McCollum. However, this season they look like a team rebuilding which is bad news for Dame at this stage of his career.