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PBT Roundtable: Who is the most overrated team in the NBA to start season?

Nov 1, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton AP

Each week the PBT writers sit at a virtual roundtable, just like the knights of King Arthur, drink mead and discuss the NBA topic of the day. This week’s question:

Kurt Helin: There are a few candidates here, but after seeing them in person opening night I will say the Clippers (and I picked them to come out of the West this season). Yes, the Lakers loss was one flukey night, yes they picked up a win in Game 2 and Chris Paul looked great, but there are some real issues to fix over the next 80 games. Some those seemed tied to Blake Griffin — Doc Rivers praised DeAndre Jordan and called out Griffin about defense after the first game (as he did his guards, who were atrocious, particularly Darren Collison). For me it has always come back to the Clippers defense, and that’s going to be more of a project for Doc Rivers than maybe we anticipated — in both games so far they have given up 109 points per 100 possessions. Small sample size, but watch them defend and Rivers has a lot of work to do.

Dan Feldman: The Knicks, always the Knicks. My only reservation about picking the Knicks is I still don’t understand how they were so good last season, so it’s tough to be so sure they’ll regress this season. The Clippers, a team I also picked to win the West, are a fine choice, too. I don’t want to overreact to one game, but that’s all we have right now. They certainly underwhelmed against the Lakers.

DJ Foster: The Cleveland Cavaliers. This roster looks great on paper, doesn’t it? Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum? Woo boy, that’s some Popovich brand nasty right there. Unfortunately, the injury histories of each of those players are, well, the other kind of nasty. It would be shocking if the Cavs stay at full strength for long, but even if they do, I still have my reservations about the wing play on both ends. Teams are going to sit in the paint, collapse on Irving, and beg someone else to beat them. I don’t know that anyone else can.

Rhett Anderson: I’ll go with the Nets. Made headlines in the offseason picking up KG, Pierce, and the Jet, but I don’t think Brooklyn’s substance deserves the level of attention they’ve been getting. Of course it’s still too early — however, judging by the offseason and by what they’re bringing back, Garnett’s and Pierce’s age mean that Deron Williams and Brook Lopez will have to shoulder most of the load to make a deep playoff run. I wrote they’re longshots to challenge the Heat in the East, and I believe that is still the case, but in the end I feel it’s just a little too much attention for expected future results.

Brett Pollakoff: After opening night, it would certainly be easy to go with the Clippers, and it would be especially easy for me considering I was the conductor of the “Eric Bledsoe is overrated” train last season. But I’m going with the Thunder, whose third threat has gone from James Harden to Kevin Martin to … Reggie Jackson? And people have this team making the Finals? It’s possible that Kevin Durant turns in a monster of an MVP-caliber season to make that happen, but given the uncertainty surrounding Russell Westbrook‘s return from injury and the rest of that roster, I just don’t see it.

  1. cruzan80 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    How in the world is the Knicks overrated when every “expert” on practically every site explains why they are gonna be so terrible every year??? Amare & Melo cant work, they cant play defense, Melo shoots too much, Woodson cant coach, they are too old, Nets are better…blah…blah…blah. Then they go out & win 54 games, finish 8th in defense & advance to the 2nd round. Now its the same story all over again. Brooklyn is better (again) & the Knicks will finish 6th (again). But this is I must admit I’ve never read before…now their overrated……..ok.

    • adamsjohn714 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      Then they went out and let some of those important guys go, and signed crappy ones to replace them. Bargnani isn’t Jason Kidd, or even Steve Novak.

      • cruzan80 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Thank God Bargnani isnt Jason Kidd (40 year old PG who went over a month without hitting a jump shot) or Steve Novak (a 30 year old one trick pony journey man). Nice try though….hater.

      • adamsjohn714 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        Yes. Thank god Bargnani can’t rebound as well as a guard, or shoot as well, or pass as well, etc. Thank God. It’s not hating to say that a HOF guard at 40 was better than Bargs. At least Novak can shoot, and doesn’t pretend he can pass/dribble/etc. so he doesn’t turn the ball over.

    • moseskkim - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      hahahaa such a good point. they are over-publicized but not overrated. its so bad that i think theyre underrated. with JR back, i think they can do some things. on a side note, is beno udrih hurt? dude can ball but havent seen him play. hmm

    • knightrider1755 - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Despite having an enormous payroll year in and year out and playing in one of the largest sports markets in the world, the Knicks haven’t won a championship in 41 years. Realistically, I don’t expect them to win one this year or anytime soon with James Dolan as their owner and a selfish, ball-hogger like Carmelo leading the charge. Call me a hater if you like but I prefer to call myself a realist.

      • cruzan80 - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        After reading that comment…I’ll just call you ignorant.

      • homieshome - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:26 AM

        your opinions are fair but the future is nearing for us.

    • redbaronx - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      @cruzan80 – Going back to Linsanity, I think it’s pretty evident that Woodson CAN coach. The problem is that having a good coach can cover a lot of problems during an 82 game season, but if there are fundamental issues, nothing will help. I think that’s what we saw in the playoffs last year.

      I expect the Knicks will win a lot of games this season, win a 1st round in the playoffs again, but that’s it unless they swing a good trade.

      • cruzan80 - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        Cant say that I disagree with anything you said sir….

    • homieshome - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Cruzan that is exactly what went through my mind when i saw a picture of the Knicks on here. How in the hell are we overrated now? It actually partly feels like a compliment only because i’m so tired hearing that they’re going to fail, fail, fail. I’ll take overrated lol. I have faith in my Knicks, those who hate are ignorant. #KnicksTape

  2. robertrobles84 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Miami Heat are the most overrated team. The only way they can win a championship is by getting the referees and Stern to help them. They have no defense and no teamwork. They got all the calls when they played against OKC and then it happen again when they played in the finals last year. The bottomline is that the NBA is a business and they are going to do whatever it takes to make the most money.

  3. cabrera24 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Most overrated team in my book THIS YEAR on my book is : .. BULLS !!!!!!!!!

    • adamsjohn714 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      I’d say warriors. They’re all claiming 50+ wins, and they only got 47 last year. They’re gonna miss Jarrett Jack and Landry off the bench. Jermaine O’neal and Speights just aren’t gonna cut it.

      • topdawg4ever - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        Wrong. GSW are deeper than they were last year with the addition of Iggy and Jermaine O’Neal. With Lee and Bogut healthy, there is no reason why they can’t meet or exceed last year’s wins.

      • adamsjohn714 - Nov 2, 2013 at 3:41 AM

        Seriously, you think Jermaine O’Neal is a better big off the bench than Carl Landry? There’s no reasoning with you.

      • homieshome - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        i agree with Top dawg, i thought last year was the important stepping stone to be what they are this year. They’ll take a huge step forward and be the top team in their division over the Clippers.

      • adamsjohn714 - Nov 2, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        I think there is a slim chance they improve if Bogut and Lee and Curry all stay healthy. I think there is 0 chance they finish ahead of the clippers.

    • universalseeder305 - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      I’m with you. After the Bulls failed to give D-Rode offensive help and now is the only one who can create his own shot.
      Reminds me a bit of LeBron’s Cavs teams, good defensive team but all the offense runs thru one player!

      • redbaronx - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        @universalseeder – I agree with your comparison of LeBron’s Cavs teams, but I disagree with you and that other guy that the Bulls are overrated, because most people aren’t expecting them to do more then the ECF at best. Barring a major trade, I don’t see the Bulls beating Indiana or the Heat, and I think most experts don’t think so either. Like you said…they’re too one dimensional on offense.

    • redbaronx - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      @cabrera24 – As the Super Fans from Chicago would say on SNL – baaaah loney! How can they be overrated? Expectations for them are to be a playoff team, make the conference semi-finals or finals. You think they can’t make that?

  4. camduzit - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    The Knicks will be fine. It’s too early to say what teams are overrated.

  5. ryanrockzzz - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    One team that I think is a bit overrated that isn’t on this list would be Denver. No one is predicting them to be a GREAT team, but really I can’t seem them being more than a middle of the pack team by the end of the year in the West. Lawson has to be the go to player this year, which I really don’t see happening. Not a fan of 33% FG percentage last year. That and he’s always nicked up. JJ Hickson and Javele Macgee are still “prove it” players who have potential, but everyone assumes one of them will realize it. Faried is being exposed a defensively savvy player who contributes sparingly on the other end, and has fallen out of favor early on. The team also lost their best overall player in Iggy who helped them a lot with defensive matchups. I would predict the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Grizzles, Kings, Warriors, Blazers, Rocket, Mavericks, and even Timberwolves will all end up with better records this year. Isn’t an obvious choice, but after making the playoffs each of the last 10 years, I would say expectations are probably too high entering the year.

  6. nygrwy - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Two games in and we are talking about overrated teams already.

  7. cabrera24 - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Adamsjohns14- I disagree . I think warriors got a pretty solid team . No one is expecting them this year to come out of the west as a top 4 team , but fact is that they will come out in top 4 seed .

    • adamsjohn714 - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Yeah, they aren’t going to sniff a top 4 seed. I’d say 7-8 seed or possibly just miss the playoffs. Let’s just chalk it up to a difference of opinion.

    • redbaronx - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      @cabrera24 – I agree with Adamsjohns14 – No way the warriors are sniffing a 4 seed. To be a four seed they would have to rank higher than:

      1) OKC
      2) Houston
      3) San Antonio
      4) Memphis
      5) Minnesota
      6) Clippers
      7) Denver
      8) Utah

      Sure Golden State might beat a couple of those teams in the rankings in the end, but four seed? 5-10 this year is going to be pretty tight. 5 is about the highest I think they could reasonably expect with full health.

      • tomasekradek - Nov 1, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        Man, I love the Wolves, but to think they finish top 5 is just crazy in my eyes, not even fully healthy which is the condition i don’t expect to be met. They’re still very young, the playoffs would be great

      • redbaronx - Nov 2, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        @tomasekradek – I don’t think the Wolves will finish in the 5 seed either. But at the same time I think if they stay healthy and their talent keeps developing, it’s not out of the question.

      • homieshome - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:33 AM

        dude you got OKC at 1? They have no depth anymore, there defense was already bad but never showed because they had such good offense but now they have no #3 guy and a hurt Westbrook. OKC will not be very good this year, much less #1! in the west, that’s just insane. You’re repeating old news without using your common sense

      • redbaronx - Nov 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        @homieshome – I didn’t mean to rank them that way. Just to list the 8 teams I think are pretty much locks for the playoffs out West and ahead of the Warriors at least at the start of the season.

        I agree that OKC is not #1 as it stands, though they can always make a trade before the deadline. Honestly, I don’t know who to rank #1 in the West. I’m not sure there is a clear cut team that is head and shoulders above everyone else. I think the trade deadline this year is going to be really critical if one team out of the top 4 I listed can get another piece. It’ll be exciting!

  8. cabrera24 - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    On paper who’s better? KNICKS OR NETS

    • cruzan80 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      No championship in any sport has ever been won on paper….so what does it matter?

  9. kpatrick51 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Two people on the roundtable pick the Clippers, and yet a Knicks pic is posted with the article. Well that makes sense. Also, pretty clear why the Knicks had a great season Feldman. They were a squad with depth and good chemistry who hit a lot of clutch shots. But good analysis saying they’ll regress while offering no facts to back that up. Quality stuff.

  10. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Bulls are over rated. Rose is an inefficient gunner and no one else on that team is capable of averaging 18 points a game. They will be a second round out in the playoffs unless they pull off a miracle trade.

  11. spursareold - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Clippers. Their problem is what it’s always been, and it’s not the big men. Chris Paul is the ONLY willing shot creator on that team and he has a bad knee. In the playoffs, their offense will get STUFFED by elite teams when he’s on the bench.

  12. yankees218 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    @Dan Feldman…do you even know what over-rated means?
    You all sit here and talk crap about the Knicks all the time, never giving them any credit, saying they’re not even that good, then you turn around and say they’re over-rated?? And ALWAYS over-rated?? Oh Please….

  13. cabrera24 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Man every team is Overrated .

  14. chiadam - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    It’s about time!! They should have run with the “Most Overrated Teams” debate around halftime of the first game.

    Who waits TWO WHOLE GAMES to decide these things???

  15. philaw123 - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    I would say the Memphis Grizzlies are the most over rated team but would anyone care?

  16. skinsfanwill - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    I’m going the other way with the Clippers argument. I personally think the Clippers aren’t that good because of Chris Paul. This team was built to run and dunk. Paul slows the game down way too much to feed post players that really are not post players. They are match up nightmares for other big men and they are not taking advantage of that enough. Run run run.

    • adamsjohn714 - Nov 2, 2013 at 3:45 AM

      They should trade Chris Paul for Usain Bolt. Foolishness is strong with you.

  17. chitownmatt - Nov 1, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    I’m gonna go with the HEAT.
    Ya’ll can call me crazy, but everyone treats the HEAT like they swept through every series in 4 game throughout the playoffs last year and the year before – they didn’t. In fact, they came pretty darn close to losing the Finals in 6.
    Too many people are far too quick to compare them to other dynasties, but they are not the 90’s Bulls and they are not the 00′ Lakers.
    They are a tentative dynasty at best and very beatable by several teams.
    I respect them and they certainly have the best chance of any team to win the championship again this year, and that is why you might think I am crazy for calling them “overrated”, but they are not the unstoppable juggernaut so many people make them out to be.

    • jimeejohnson - Nov 1, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Yer crazy. Thanks for letting me call you that.

    • kavika6 - Nov 2, 2013 at 3:49 AM

      After the first 3 games of the season I’d also say the Heat. They’ve already lost to an average team and a below average team. It took a major Popovich coaching blunder to win it last year.

  18. cabrera24 - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Not that I care , but I really think GSW will be top 4 seed .

  19. cabrera24 - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    @redbaronx –
    Portland and Dallas have a much better chance at the 8th seed instead of Utah .

  20. jimsjam33 - Nov 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Good idea Helin . Write some insane article about the Clippers being over-rated after only one game into the season . The Clippers are the team for this season . I expect to see them in the NBA Finals and replace the Heat as World Champions .
    Why ? Because defense can be taught . A winning mentality can be taught . I’ve been looking at Doc Rivers on the sideline and he is the penultimate coach who is working every second of the game . I would say 20% of the game is played between a players two ears and the rest on talent . The Clippers have the talent , coaching , and the focus to win . When a team believes they can do it they’re dangerous .
    J.J. Reddick and Jared Dudley at the 2 and 3 are huge additions to the front line . They give the Clippers a starting five un-matched in the NBA. The second line of Collison , Crawford , Barnes , Hollins , and Mullens are okay , but questionable at two positions . Hollins is mistake prone and Mullens is soft for a seven footer . Before the season is over a rugged rebounder needs to be added . I was sorry to see Admundsen go .

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