The worst feeling in sports is when you’re team isn’t good. You feel like there is no hope and no future. But, sometimes there are exceptions.
For example, the team with the worst record in the NBA and the worst record in the NFL are in good position moving forward and their brutal seasons will pay off in the future.
In other cases, it’s not okay that the teams suck.
When it’s okay to be bad
Golden State Warriors
On Wednesday night, the Warriors lost to the NY Knicks 124-122 in overtime, to officially give them the worst record in the NBA at 5-21.
Noone is going to feel bad for the 3-time NBA Champions, who have appeared in the NBA Finals in each of the last five years. But take your shots at the Warriors now, because the Warriors are likely going to have a top 5 pick in the NBA Draft in 2020. The lottery system means anything can happen now, but if the Warriors finish with the worst pick, they will be guaranteed a top 5 pick, which means one of Anthony Edwards, Cole Anthony, LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, RJ Hampton.
That top 5 pick will join a (presumably) healthy Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, plus Draymond Green and (barring a trade) D’Angelo Russell.
One of the biggest issues with the Warriors in recent years was their lack of depth and youth and with this season already lost, the goal has shifted to developing some of the young talent (Eric Paschal, Jacob Evans, Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson).
Like I said, get your shots in now because in 2020, the Warriors will have 4 All Stars, a top 5 pick, and a strong, young bench to get them back into the playoffs.
Entering week 15, the Bengals are 1-13. They last made the playoffs in 2015 and have not won a playoff game since 1990! That almost 30 year playoff win drought is obviously the longest in the NFL.
One of the biggest problem with the Bengals the last few years has been their competitiveness. They have always just been decent enough to hang around but pick in the middle of the draft or in the #10 range. That will finally change in 2020.
Bengals are clearly in need of a complete reset and for the first time since 2003, they will pick #1 overall. Andy Dalton has always been a solid quarterback. Good enough to get them to the playoffs, but that was pretty much his ceiling. A solid, but unspectacular QB. After being drafted in 2011, it’s time for everyone to move on.
Joe Burrow, who is expected to win the Heisman Trophy Saturday night, is an Ohio kid and would transition perfectly to the Bengals QB and face of the future. And while it’s never a fun thing to have as bad of a season as the Bengals are now, sometimes it’s a necessary evil. “Take a step back, to take 2 steps forward.”
It’s not okay to suck
Knicks Still Suck
It shouldn’t be a huge surprise to most people that the Knicks still suck. But in reality, when you add the #2 pick, to play with last year’s #9 pick, and the year prior’s #8 pick, and spent $70 million on 7 different free agents, you really shouldn’t have the worst record. But here we are. Again. The Knicks suck again.
They fired their head coach. Again. It’s once again a dysfunctional team in turmoil. Fans have hope because of rumors of big names coming to The Garden to rescue the franchise (Masai Ujiri or Sam Presti in the front office).
Breakout of Hawks and Pelicans on hold
Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans were both trendy breakout candidates in 2019-20. Both find themselves near the bottom of the standings in their respective conferences (both 6-19 records).
Pelicans have an easy built in excuse – #1 overall pick Zion Williamson has yet to take the court this year and it’s now looking more and more questionable whether he will at all this season.
Trae Young has been a complete star for the Hawks but no one else has stepped up to answer the challenge. John Collins and Kevin Huerter haven’t taken the expected next steps. Rookie Cam Reddish has been disappointing.
It’s disappointing because many people (myself included), thought both of these teams would be playoff teams. They should still have bright futures, but the lack of development makes me wonder if they have the right supporting casts in place.
Jets should fire Adam Gase
What an absolute disaster the NY Jets are. I’m not going to fault them for getting blown out by the Ravens on Thursday, because everyone gets blown out by the Ravens this season. But this whole season has been a giant disaster for the Jets, especially after cleaning house in the front office and coaching staff and going on a big free agency spending spree.
Let’s talk about the “offensive guru” that is Adam Gase. First, in Miami, WR Devante Parker is having a career year. Lackluster wide receivers in their fifth year in the league are supposed to fade away, not breakout. Parker has already set new career-highs for yards (882) and TDs (6). He only had 9 career TDs in 4 years coming into this season. His breakout, since Gase’s departure, makes you wonder if the coach was holding him back?
Speaking of being held back – Ryan Tannehill. Woooo. What a story! Titans are 6-1 since Tannehill took over as the starting quarterback and legitimately looks like a top-tier QB over the past couple of months. Tannehill, like Parker, is a former first round pick, who Gase seemingly could not coach up.
These are just two examples of players having career years without Gase. You know who is not having a career year? Leveon Bell. Maybe it’s the offensive line’s problem. Maybe it’s more of a Bell problem, after he sat out last year. But Gase and Bell reportedly don’t get along and it’s been said Gase never wanted to sign Bell. It’s pretty clear when watching the Jets that it’s true.
Sam Darnold is a weird QB. One minute he looks like pure gold. The next he looks awful. Again. Maybe it’s just who he is. Maybe it’s the OL or the lack of playmakers (sans Bell) around him. Or maybe he just needs a real coach who can maximize his talent and coach him up.
What’s worse for Darnold – three head coaches/offensive coordinators in his first three years? Or playing for Adam Gase? I’d say the latter without hesitation.
Connecticut Huskies are going to be an Independent FBS football team beginning in 2020, as they move to the Big East in all sports and out of the AAC in football.
Their transition is….not going well.
19 players is the equivalent of an entire recruiting class and is approximately 20-25% of their entire roster!
I have written about this several times but it’s hard to see a future for UConn football. How do you recruit kids there? “Come to UConn – you won’t play for a conference championship, but you’ll be the homecoming opponent for half a dozen teams. If we win 6 games, we go to the Idaho Potato Bowl”.
UConn 100% made the right decision going back to the Big East to revitalize their basketball program. But they might as well just eliminate football in the process and spread those funds around to their other sports too.