NBA Basketball: The 3 Biggest Disappointments From The First Half

The NBA season has made its way to the halfway point – not the All-Star break, which comes after the 50-game mark of the season, but the true halfway point in terms of games: 41 out of the full 82. Which three teams have disappointed more than any others?

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

This is the obvious number one choice. The Cavaliers were not expected to put everything together right away. There was supposed to be an adjustment period this season. However, after two months or so, the team was supposed to get things rolling. That just hasn’t happened yet, at least not in a big way. The Cavs have won three straight games, but they are still 4-6 in their last 10. They were good for a time, winning 12 of 15 games at one point, but they’ve had two really bad extended stretches surrounding that one really good patch of play. They are buried in the standings, improbably just half a game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers are still 4.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls for fourth place in the East. If Cleveland was 4.5 behind Chicago in the race for first place, that would be fine, but the Cavs are going to find it hard to be anything better than third in the East, and that’s a noticeable disappointment.

2. Charlotte Hornets

It is true that the Hornets are improving. They have won seven of their last 10 and two in a row to pull within just half a game of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. However, the Hornets were not supposed to have any doubts about their playoff status. They were supposed to be a better team than they were a year ago, and with only 17 wins in the first half of the season, they’re probably not going to reach the low-40s win total they achieved last season. That has to be seen as a failure on the part of this team to adapt and adjust to its new pieces, especially Lance Stephenson, the high-profile acquisition from the Indiana Pacers in the offseason. Charlotte’s offense averages just 95.8 points per game, one of the worst totals in the NBA. Stephenson was brought in precisely to give this team a dose of offense, and he has failed to do that.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder have missed dozens of games with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant being injured – those strokes of bad luck have certainly played a part in hurting OKC. However, you have not seen Serge Ibaka playing as well as he needed to in order to lift this team to a higher level. You have not seen Reggie Jackson respond positively to a new situation. You have seen Kendrick Perkins waste a spot on this team’s roster. You have seen Oklahoma City cease to be efficient on offense, averaging just 100.2 points per game. There is little question that head coach Scott Brooks has failed to get the most out of this roster. This organization has a real problem on its hands in terms of being able to make the playoffs.