The underachievers

The Underachievers: 3 Teams Who Were Just Bad in the NBA Bubble

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With the end of the resumption of the regular eight-game season for the NBA bubble, I think we should tip our hats off to how the league has carefully executed its safety protocols in Orlando while presenting an on-court product to the standard we’ve all come to love and expect.

 

Photo Credit: NBA

In the bubble, several players have risen to the surface and raised some eyebrows due to their performances. T.J. Warren, who averaged just under 20 points per game, in the bubble averaged 26 points per game, while also posting a career-high of 53 points on Aug. 8 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Also, Michael Porter Jr., and Gary Trent Jr., have played much better than expected. So have the Phoenix Suns who have entered the bubble and left undefeated after falling short of making the eighth seed.

However, everything in the bubble hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows. While there may have been players and teams who have given fans a show in these hard times, the opposite is also true. Several teams and players just weren’t able to find their groove while in the bubble.

 

 

3. Philadelphia 76ers

 

The 3 Underperforming Teams At The NBA’s Orlando Bubble
Photo Credit: Yahoo

While the Philadelphia 76ers earned a playoff spot for their play in the regular season, their production inside the bubble was not a good sign.

To make matters worse, They’ve even had to deal with the absence of two-time All-Star Ben Simmons, who’s done for the year. Not to mention, Joel Embiid is battling a nagging ankle injury.

However, as the case with a few teams inside the bubble, it could be that Philadelphia is waiting for postseason action so they can then flip the switch. While going up against the third-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round, the 76ers will have no room for error.

 

 

 

2. Memphis Grizzlies

 

The 3 Underperforming Teams At The NBA’s Orlando Bubble
Photo Credit: The Commercial Appeal

The young bucks on this Grizzlies team have shown a lot of potential throughout this rollercoaster ride of a season. However, their hopes of making the playoffs got slim with the loss of Jaren Jackson Jr. due to a meniscus tear.

Jackson was also another one of those players who stood out inside the NBA bubble, averaging 25.3 points while hitting 3.3 three-point attempts per contest before his injury removed him from play.

Despite the stellar play from the sophomore, the Grizzlies 1-6 record since stepping inside of the bubble says otherwise.

The Grizzlies beating the red hot Portland Trail Blazers to see who would hold the eighth seed was always going to be a tough task to accomplish without Jackson Jr. It was up to likely NBA Rookie of The Year Ja Morant, who put on a show this season averaging 20.0 points, 9.9 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game, despite playing with a fractured thumb for the last four games.

The Grizzlies lost to the Trail Blazers, who will now take on the first seeded Los Angeles Lakers.

 

 

 

1. New Orleans Pelicans

 

The New Orleans Pelicans are another young team with a bright future. It seemed as if they were clicking on all cylinders during the regular season right before heading into the hiatus. However, what had Pelicans fans most upset was their underwhelming play ever since entering the bubble.

On Aug. 1, the Pelicans gave up a franchise record of 25 three-pointers to the Los Angeles Clippers. Then later, they gave up another franchise record to the Sacramento Kings, by allowing 49 points in the first quarter. On top of the losses, there were few players fans pointed out that did not perform at the high level to which they have become accustomed. Lonzo Ball, in 63 games, has averaged 11.8 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, and 7.0 assist while shooting 37.5% from behind the arc. However, upon entering the bubble, he has averaged just 5.7 points, 7.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 26.0 percent from the field and 19.2 percent from three.

 

The 3 Underperforming Teams At The NBA’s Orlando Bubble
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Lonzo has taken a lot of heat over the last week as people look for someone to blame. Lonzo took responsibility for his play and is already preparing to prove the haters wrong. Some NBA insiders reported that Ball looked and acted as if he didn’t want to be in the bubble and was quick to leave Orlando after New Orleans was eliminated.

On Saturday, Pelicans general manager Davis Griffin fired head coach Alvin Gentry. The leading candidate to replace Gentry is Griffin’s last hire in Cleveland, Tyrone Lue. This season for the Pelicans was a learning experience for the young team. Most likely, not the learning experience they had in mind, but it is one they must build upon and hope to come back next season even more potent.

 

 

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-Terence Smith- Franchise Sports Media

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