NBA Brooklyn Nets

5 NBA Teams with the Most to Lose

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5 NBA Teams With the Most to Lose

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t a single team in professional sports that isn’t after the W at the end of the day. Everyone wants to win. If they didn’t, there would be no love for sports. This year in the NBA, there seem to be more contenders than ever. Many teams are built with the postseason in mind, each one using a different formula to try and bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy for the home town. Some rely on offense, some on defense, and one relies entirely on Steph Curry.

As that iconic commercial warns, “there can only be one”. At the end of the playoffs this year, there will be 15 losers and one winner. Those who lose will go back to the drawing board. Some will blow the team up, while others will make minor adjustments. This could be the first or last of many experiences for a lot of players and teams.

However, some teams have a lot more to lose than others. Trying to win a championship is often a gamble. When that gamble doesn’t work out as planned, there can be a price to pay. Assembling a championship team by nature must have serious future consequences, seeing as the goal is to win a championship in the future. However, whether the team meets its desired outcome or not, things will change. For many teams, not winning means losing a lot more than the chance at having a banner hanging from their rafters at the end of the season.

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5. Golden State Warriors

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Right now, the Golden State Warriors are being heralded as the next great West Coast team. They have a rising star in Steph Curry and one of the best offensive games in the league, period. While the jury is still out on the Andrew Bogut situation, they could turn into a truly fun and exciting team to watch. The question is, are they the real deal? A nasty loss in the playoffs could bring this team down to earth. It would bring an end to offense-first play, and be a major setback for a team that was set to be so very successful.

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4. Los Angeles Clippers

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Anything short of a Western Conference Finals appearance for the Los Angeles Clippers would be detrimental for the team. Since bringing in Doc Rivers in hopes of taking the Clips from "fun to watch" to "nasty to behold", the LA management has gone all in. Rivers called the current edition of the Clippers the most talented team he’s ever coached. If they can’t succeed, it may be time to start moving a few folks out of town. On top of that, I doubt Chris Paul wants to hang around on an early playoff exit either.

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3. San Antonio Spurs

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs have allegedly been on their last legs for about a thousand seasons. While their success and team core is never changing, their star players of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli aren’t getting any younger. With a playoff team built like the Spurs are, especially coming off of a near championship season, anything short of serious playoff noise, and things could be shaken up. If nothing else, a bad year for Duncan is just a bad year for basketball. Time he spends dwindling away his career leaves us thinking what could have been.

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2. New York Knicks

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are a team built to win right this second. Composed of a dysfunctional, yet entirely talented group of young players, as well as a few scrappy vets all packaged around Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks are going all in. If a championship doesn’t pan out, not only does their supporting cast grow older and begin to look elsewhere, it could scare off free-agent-to-be Anthony. Anthony has expressed interest in exploring free agency, and should the Knicks season end in disaster, his mind could wander form NYC fairly quickly.

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1. Brooklyn Nets

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If the Knicks are a team built to win now, the Nets are a team built to win yesterday. If there ever was a “one season, one shot” team, it is the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have thrown their chips in the middle betting on Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to team with their already excellent group in hopes of cruising to victory. Right now, the luxury tax on the Nets is even higher than expectations. Anything short of a Finals appearance could mean the end of a truly competitive Brooklyn super-team.