The Most Improved NBA Team?
In this week’s HOOPSWORLD poll we asked readers to tell us which NBA team they thought would be the most improved when the 2011-12 NBA season finally gets underway.The choices were as follows:
1) Los Angeles Clippers
2) Minnesota Timberwolves
3) Milwaukee Bucks
4) Washington Wizards
5) Golden State Warriors
6) Cleveland Cavaliers
In last week’s poll we had some close calls, but this week there was a clear winner. We’ll start with the sixth-place team.
#6 – Milwaukee Bucks – The “Fear The Deer” team that took the playoffs by storm a couple of seasons ago wasn’t nearly as exciting last season. They added a key player in Stephen Jackson before the lockout started and Andrew Bogut is finally 100% healthy, but neither of those factors was enough to keep the Bucks out of last place in our poll. They garnered just 6% of the vote.
#5 – Washington Wizards – The Wizards have plenty of unanswered questions, even though they were able to unload Gilbert Arenas’ enormous contract to the Orlando Magic. There is a distinct possibility that they will amnesty Rashard Lewis, who came back in that deal, but even with the prospect of cap space and a great young franchise player in John Wall, the Wizards have plenty to prove. They came in with just 7% of the vote.
#4 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert may have vowed that the Cavs will get a title before the Miami HEAT do, but that seems like a stretch. They have a good head coach in Byron Scott, a new floor leader in Kyrie Irving and some good young talent, but they also have some veterans who don’t seem to fit in the post-LeBron era. The Cavs rung up 9% of the vote.
#3 – Minnesota Timberwolves – The Timberwolves are finally getting Ricky Rubio to join the rotation this year, and with Rick Adelman at the helm they are bound to see significant improvement. They weren’t the top vote-getter, but they were the first significant applicant with 19% of the vote.
#2 – Golden State Warriors – New Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is certainly talking a good game, and if the first-year head coach can find a way to instill a more intense defensive mentality the Warriors could make a push for the playoffs. With Andris Beidrins healthy and Ekpe Udoh a year more advanced, it could be a good year for the Warriors, who got 22% of the vote.
#1 – Los Angeles Clippers – By far the winner in this week’s poll, the Los Angeles Clippers are a team on the rise. In fact, it will be a shock if they don’t make the playoffs. Blake Griffin is the real deal, and with budding young talents like DeAndre Jordan and Eric Gordon, and All-Star point guard Mo Williams in the mix, the Clippers look like a new force in the Western Conference. They scored big, with 37% of the vote.
Be sure to check the HOOPSWORLD main page for this week’s poll, and tune in next weekend for the final results!