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NBA Atlanta Hawks

Every NBA Team’s Biggest Weakness Right Now

Every NBA Team's Biggest Weakness Right Now

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks
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Every NBA team has strengths and weaknesses, regardless of how complete their roster may appear. From the lowly Philadelphia 76ers to the world champion Spurs, here is each team’s biggest weakness heading into the upcoming season.

30. Atlanta Hawks (Offensive Production from Wing Players)

Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game Five
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30. Atlanta Hawks (Offensive Production from Wing Players)

Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game Five
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The Hawks are stout in the frontcourt, with two All-Star-caliber players in Horford and Millsap. They also have quality play from their point guard spot with Teague, and Schroeder has shown signs that he could be a good NBA player. However, in the SG and SF spot, the Hawks are very heavy on defensive-minded players. When Korver is your best option on the wings, although he is a world-class shooter, you certainly have a weakness.

29. Boston Celtics (Perimeter Shooting)

Charlotte Bobcats v Boston Celtics
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29. Boston Celtics (Perimeter Shooting)

Charlotte Bobcats v Boston Celtics
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Last season, the Celtics were ranked 26th in the league in 2pt FG percentage, and 28th in 3pt FG percentage. Nothing they did this offseason addressed this glaring issue for the Celtics. Evan Turner is a poor shooter. Marcus Smart is a defensive stopper, but needs a lot of work on his jumper. James Young has the potential to be a good perimeter shooter, but he has a LONG way to go. Expect more of the same from the Celtics this year.

28. Brooklyn Nets (Rebounding)

Indiana Pacers v Brooklyn Nets
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28. Brooklyn Nets (Rebounding)

Indiana Pacers v Brooklyn Nets
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Only Miami was worse last season at rebounding, and the Nets did nothing to address this issue in the offseason. For as big and skilled as Brook Lopez is, he is not a good rebounder. Kevin Garnett led the team last year at 6.6 per game, which is fairly atrocious. This will continue to plague the Nets this year.

27. Charlotte Hornets (Creating Offense)

Charlotte Bobcats v Boston Celtics
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27. Charlotte Hornets (Creating Offense)

Charlotte Bobcats v Boston Celtics
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The Hornets are one of the best defensive teams in the league, but struggle at times to put the ball in the basket. They helped out their cause this offseason by adding Lance Stephenson, who can create his own shot, and P.J. Hairston, but they will still struggle as a team to create good shots and will be a below average perimeter shooting team.

26. Chicago Bulls (Shooting Guard Position)

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks
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26. Chicago Bulls (Shooting Guard Position)

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks
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The Bulls may be the envy of the league in terms of their frontcourt talent and depth, and their point guard position is certainly in good shape with the return of Derrick Rose and the addition of Aaron Brooks, but their shooting guard position is still very shaky. Jimmy Butler made a huge jump in year two, and Tony Snell has shown signs over the summer of being ready to make a similar jump, but that certainly isn’t guaranteed.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers (Depth at Point Guard)

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers
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25. Cleveland Cavaliers (Depth at Point Guard)

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers
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The Cavs are quickly building up one of the deepest teams in the league, but their lack of talent behind Kyrie Irving should be concerning. Matthew Dellavedova was one of the team’s biggest surprises last season, making an impact as an undrafted free agent, but he is certainly far away from being a consistent contributor as a backup point guard. The Cavs had better hope Irving can stay healthy, or they may have LeBron running point.

24. Dallas Mavericks (Team Defense)

Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns
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24. Dallas Mavericks (Team Defense)

Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns
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The Mavericks were towards the bottom of the league in most defensive categories and lost one of their only true defensive players in Shawn Marion. They did add Tyson Chandler, which should help in the paint, but there aren’t many players on this roster that are even above average defenders.

23. Denver Nuggets (Lack of a “Go-To” Player)

Washington Wizards v Denver Nuggets
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23. Denver Nuggets (Lack of a “Go-To” Player)

Washington Wizards v Denver Nuggets
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The Nuggets have incredible depth but lack a true “go-to” player that can be depended on in crunch time. Often, this has led to confusion in the waning moments of games, as no one appears willing to step up to take the big shot. Ty Lawson is usually the most likely candidate to make that leap, but he appears to be reluctant to embrace that role.

22. Detroit Pistons (Josh Smith’s Contract)

Detroit Pistons v Phoenix Suns
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22. Detroit Pistons (Josh Smith’s Contract)

Detroit Pistons v Phoenix Suns
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The Pistons paid Josh Smith the type of money you would expect to pay a franchise player. The problem is he isn’t one, and he is being forced to play out of position given Drummond and Monroe’s presence on the roster. The Pistons need to figure out a way to get out from under Josh Smith so they can build this team around Drummond.

21. Golden State Warriors (Inconsistent bench play)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors
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21. Golden State Warriors (Inconsistent bench play)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors
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The Warriors undoubtedly have a loaded starting lineup, but their bench remains one of the most frustrating things about this team. Adding Shaun Livingston should help bring some more consistency, but until Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes proves they can be counted on any given night, this will remain an issue for the Warriors.

20. Houston Rockets (Perimeter Shooting)

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets - Game Six
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20. Houston Rockets (Perimeter Shooting)

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets - Game Six
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The Rockets weren’t a very good perimeter shooting team last year anyway, but they also lost two of their top threats from deep in Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin. Adding Ariza should help, but really outside of him and James Harden, this team doesn’t have any players that opposing teams need to account for. Teams should be able to sit back and allow the Rockets to shoot their way out of games.

19. Indiana Pacers (Collective Uncertainty)

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game 5
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19. Indiana Pacers (Collective Uncertainty)

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game 5
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The Pacers had a tough offseason, losing Lance Stephenson to free agency and Paul George to injury. Now the team really has more questions than answers. Can Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles provide enough offense to balance out the loss of George and Stephenson? Can Hibbert rebound from his historically poor playoff performance? Can George Hill finally run the point like the Pacers expected when they signed him?

18. Los Angeles Clippers (Frontcourt Depth)

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors - Game Six
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18. Los Angeles Clippers (Frontcourt Depth)

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors - Game Six
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The Clippers have solid depth at the PG, SG, and SF spots, but lack the depth in the frontcourt that championship contending teams typically have. Behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan sits Glenn Davis and Spencer Hawes, and that’s it. If any one of those four gets injured, this team is in big trouble. They could really use one more quality big to bolster their depth.

17. Los Angeles Lakers (Talent)

Carlos Boozer Press Conference
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17. Los Angeles Lakers (Talent)

Carlos Boozer Press Conference
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Lakers fans may not like to hear it, but this team is incredibly short on talent. For a team that finished with the second worst record in the west, adding Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin doesn’t scream championship contender. Sure, Kobe Bryant will be back, which of course helps, and the Lakers got a steal in the draft with Julius Randle, but this team is three or four players short of being a contender.

16. Memphis Grizzlies (Athleticism)

Memphis Grizzlies Introduce Vince Carter
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16. Memphis Grizzlies (Athleticism)

Memphis Grizzlies Introduce Vince Carter
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The Grizzlies are a solid, fundamentally sound and defensive-minded team. They lack much in the way of explosiveness and athleticism though, which puts them at a disadvantage in an up-tempo Western Conference. Their biggest move of the offseason, the addition of Vince Carter, only accentuates this problem rather than fixing it.

15. Miami Heat (Not Having the Best Player on the Planet)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Two
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15. Miami Heat (Not Having the Best Player on the Planet)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Two
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It should be no secret what the Heat’s biggest weakness is. Anytime you lose the best player in the world, you are going to get weaker as a team in general. They did an admirable job replacing his production by adding Luol Deng, but his impact obviously pales in comparison to that of LeBron James. The Heat have also become the oldest team in the league, and we all know that father time slows down for no man.

14. Milwaukee Bucks (Team Shooting)

Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors
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14. Milwaukee Bucks (Team Shooting)

Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors
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The Bucks are flat out a poor shooting team. They lack any real threats on the perimeter outside of Khris Middleton, and though they added a potentially great player in Jabari Parker through the draft, outside shooting isn’t in his wheelhouse either. Expect the Bucks to continue to struggle with their team FG percentage.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves (Finishing Games)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors
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13. Minnesota Timberwolves (Finishing Games)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors
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The Timberwolves were really bad in games decided by four points or less (6-13). They became only the third team in history with an average margin of victory of more than 2.78 points to register a below .500 record. With Kevin Love’s impending departure and the T-Wollves picking up a package of talented, but very young players, expect this to only get worse.

12. New Orleans Pelicans (Small Forward)

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings
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12. New Orleans Pelicans (Small Forward)

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings
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The Pelicans are quietly building a pretty talented roster. However, the small forward position remains a mystery for this squad. Tyreke Evans has and will continue to spend some time at the SF position, but he is undersized and is better suited for the two guard spot. Outside of Evans, the prospects get very grim. Luke Babbitt and Scotty Hopson are next on the depth chart. Ouch.

11. New York Knicks (Defense in General)

Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Four
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11. New York Knicks (Defense in General)

Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Four
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A team anchored by Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon spells bad news on the defensive end. They should have no problem putting the ball into the basket, but nearly everyone on this team is a defensive liability.

10. Oklahoma City Thunder (Coaching)

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns
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10. Oklahoma City Thunder (Coaching)

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns
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Watching the Thunder play basketball is like watching my kids play when they think they are not being supervised. There is no structure to the offense and players seem to do whatever they want. I have never seen a coach who is as clueless in how they draw up plays as Scott Brooks. Until they change coaches, this team will never win a championship.

9. Orlando Magic (Half Court Offense)

Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors
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9. Orlando Magic (Half Court Offense)

Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors
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The Magic can get out and run with the best of them, but their effectiveness in the half court leaves much to be desired. They really only compounded the problem this offseason when they traded Arron Afflalo and drafted two athletic, but half court-challenged players in Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton. Channing Frye may help out a bit, but he certainly won't solve all of their problems.

8. Philadelphia 76ers (Youth and Health)

Philadelphia 76ers v Chicago Bulls
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8. Philadelphia 76ers (Youth and Health)

Philadelphia 76ers v Chicago Bulls
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The 76ers are not keeping their team vision a secret, stockpiling loads of young talent to use as assets in the future. Dario Saric and Joel Embiid won’t play a single minute this season. Nerlens Noel sat out all of last season with injury, but looks like he is ready to be an impact player for this team. They are the second youngest team in the league, and will continue to show their youth and inexperience this year.

7. Phoenix Suns (Turnovers)

Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns
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7. Phoenix Suns (Turnovers)

Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns
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The Suns are not good at taking care of the ball. They ranked 26th in the league in total turnovers last season. Sure, it is easy to say that this could be a result of their fast-paced style, but regardless, it is something they will need to correct if they want to make the playoffs this season.

6. Portland Trail Blazers (Team Defense)

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four
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6. Portland Trail Blazers (Team Defense)

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four
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The Blazers are a really good offensive team. They are built to score the ball. On the defensive side, that is a completely different story. They allowed the 22nd most points of any team, and the second most for any playoff team. They were dead last in team steals. This will remain the team’s biggest issue heading into next season, as they really did nothing to address it.

5. Sacramento Kings (Power Forward)

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings
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5. Sacramento Kings (Power Forward)

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings
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The Kings are not a good team and have plenty of weaknesses to talk about. Probably their most glaring hole is at the power forward position. Right now, it is most likely going to be a platoon of Reggie Evans, Carl Landry and Derrick Williams; not exactly a scary unit. The Kings had an opportunity to address it in the draft, but instead went with who they felt was the more talented player in Nik Stauskas.

4. San Antonio Spurs (Age of the Big 3)

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four
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4. San Antonio Spurs (Age of the Big 3)

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four
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The Spurs are still the best team in the league, but at some point the collective age of the team, and the Big 3 in general, will begin to become a problem. Maybe that happens this year, maybe it doesn’t. It is hard to find many faults with this team, but Father Time could come calling, and at some point the young, athletic teams in the league will prevail.

3. Toronto Raptors (Playing at a Fast Pace)

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven
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3. Toronto Raptors (Playing at a Fast Pace)

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven
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The Raptors are an extremely effective half court team, but struggle when forced to play at a fast pace. This isn’t as big of an issue in the Eastern Conference, but if they want to become a contending team, they are going to need to be able to adapt better to their opponents' style of play.

2. Utah Jazz (Youth)

Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors
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2. Utah Jazz (Youth)

Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors
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The Jazz are the youngest team in the league, and although they are admittedly collecting a lot of talent, with youth comes mistakes. The Jazz were in the bottom half of the league in most offensive and defensive categories, and you should see that trend continue until they gain some more collective experience.

1. Washington Wizards (Being Average at Everything Offensively)

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards - Game Four
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1. Washington Wizards (Being Average at Everything Offensively)

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards - Game Four
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The Wizards are smack-dab in the middle in most offensive categories. While they are a top-10 defensive team, until they prove they can score the ball with more consistency, they will continue to struggle to get out of the east with a top seed. Losing Ariza will hurt this team offensively more than they know, and they will be counting on John Wall for more offensive consistency.