We’re three weeks into the young NBA season and this is the point in the year where we should start getting a feel to who, or what, teams really are. Every week, we’re going to bring you “NBA Panic Meter Monday” for a handful of NBA teams, where we basically decide where on the panic meter (0-10) each team is.
Essentially, at 10 and you should start freaking out and completely sell your team’s chances this season. A zero means don’t panic at all.
Simple enough? Let’s play…
Sacramento Kings (2-7)
The Kings started the season with a win, then lost seven of their next eight games. DeMarcus Cousins hasn’t developed as we expected him to so far this season, and without a true leader on the team, how can we expect more from this team? I think the Kings can improve, obviously there’s room for it, but I just don’t think we’re looking at a real threat to do anything in the Western Conference this season. Back to the drawing board, Sacramento.
PANIC METER: 8
Memphis Grizzlies (5-5)
We still don’t really know who the Grizzlies are this season. Their best win was against the Golden State Warriors. Apart from that, they haven’t really impressed all that much. I think we give them a pass because of what they did last season, but the next three games (against the Clippers, Warriors and Spurs) could be indicative of who this Memphis really is. They could either make a strong statement or reinforce what they’ve been during the first few weeks of the season. You always give the Grizzlies a shot, but their defense just hasn’t been what we’ve known them to be. That needs to change pretty quickly.
PANIC METER: 5
Detroit Pistons (3-6)
Not smooth. Not at all, and they showed why the Greg Monroe, Josh Smith and Andre Drummond trio hasn’t been working so far this season – they simply cannot defend together. Against the Lakers, they allowed LA to shoot nearly 60 percent from the field while on the court together. During that same stint, the Lakers were averaging 127.8 points per 100 possessions. Ouch. However, they’re in the Eastern Conference – which is bad. They’ll still be in striking distance for a lower-seeded playoff spot when it’s all said and done.
PANIC METER: 4
Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7)
I jumped on the Cavaliers bandwagon way to early in the season—before it even started. I was wrong. A lot of us were. I saw Kyrie Irving having a much bigger effect on this team in terms of wins, that hasn’t happened. Andrew Bynum is doing much better than I expected, but the team isn’t necessarily. I’m a bit surprised to say the least. Maybe disappointed, too. But with that said, the Eastern Conference is bad. It’s top heavy. Well, actually it’s Indiana and Miami and then everyone else. Even with the bad start, the Cavs are only one game out of the fourth spot in the East. Yeah, that bad. Maybe the Cavs will be able to turn it around, maybe they won’t. Either way, I still think this is a playoff team. Just barely.
PANIC METER: 6