We're a month into the NBA season and some teams are already priming themselves for a long playoff run. Others however, can start making holiday plans for May and June.
The expected heavy hitters like the Bucks, the LA teams, Utah and Denver have started the season on track, whilst some surprising sides in Boston, Dallas, Toronto and Miami have inserted themselves into the conversation. However, not every franchise has been able to make it cleanly off the starting blocks.
Today, Inside Sport takes a look at the teams that, more than likely, can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye for this season.
New York Knicks
Let's start with the low hanging fruit, shall we?
So many virtual trees have been sacrificed to log the trials and tribulations of the Knicks over the years – there's no need to rehash them right now.
This season, though, was one where the Knicks brass expected to make a playoff push even after striking out in free agency.
What has occurred through is a conference worst 4-12 record, bolstered by a pair of revenge victories over former Golden Child Kristaps Porzingis' Mavericks.
The additions the team did make haven't proven to be fruitful.
Julius Randle puts up nice looking lines, but is that most wonderful of things: a ball hog on offence and a turnstile on defense. Bobby Portis has had some moments, but that's his career in a nutshell: big flourishes punctuating weeks of below average production.
Despite the rose tinted spectacles of the front office, this was never going to be a playoff season in the Big Apple, but to be on track for a measly 20 wins is not what even the pessimists had in mind.
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After years of chasing their tail in keeping the famed Grit'n'Grind era alive, Memphis finally embraced the rebuild in 2019 with the trades of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley.
Unlike the Knicks, who are caught in never ending maelstrom of incompetence, the Grizzlies are a team with a future.
This team is young (2nd youngest in the league if you discount the exiled Andre Iguodala) and talented. Ja Morant is very, very real. He's supported by a talented young squad where the only contributor over th4 age of 27 is role player Jae Crowder.
The roster is long, athletic and oozing with potential which has shown itself in fits and starts this season, as is to be expected from such an inexperienced lineup.
Even their head coach, 35 year old Taylor Jenkins, is in his first lead role.
This is not an overnight fix – this core is going to take time to develop both as individual players, and as a team trying to reinvent itself. A 5-10 record at this stage of the season, especially considering injuries to starting front court Jonas Valanciunas and Jaren Jackson Jr, will not alarm the front office, nor should it concern the fans at FedExForum.
The Grizz are doing things the right way.