The NBA season is long at 82 games. It takes eight months to complete, and is an absolute marathon for everyone involved.
Much like the players, who have to find ways to pace themselves through the dog days of the season, even the most hardcore NBA fans can have a hard time getting up for a random night of games on a Wednesday in January with the best game being a contest between the Mavericks and Magic.
Finding the rhythm of the season and pacing yourself is crucial as an NBA fan to avoid burnout, and a big part of that is knowing which teams to watch even when the slate that night doesn’t feature marquee matchups. You have the obvious choices — good teams that are playoff locks and feature MVP candidates and/or superstar duos — but you were always going to watch them, and there will be plenty of chances to check them out on national TV throughout the year. What about when you’ve seen enough of the Lakers, or Celtics, or Rockets, or Bucks? That’s when you turn to less-heralded squads.
Some teams are bad in the grand scheme of things. They’re not going to be in the hunt for a championship and likely won’t make it to the playoffs, but they have young talent and while that doesn’t translate to a ton of wins it can be far more fun to watch. These teams can be the perfect palate cleanser when that evening’s national TV isn’t worth watching for one reason or another.
Of all the teams that will be on this list, the Bulls have the best chance, in my opinion, of making a playoff run. There’s some actual talent on this roster. Otto Porter Jr. is in an environment where, based on his brief stint in Chicago last year, he could really have a breakout season. He was extremely underused as a playmaker or finisher in Washington, and he never had a usage of 20 percent or higher his entire time with the Wizards, a statistic that jumped to 21 percent as soon as he got to Chicago. Considering Chicago’s lack of NBA capable point guards, expect them to make a lot better use of Porter as a primary offensive playmaker.
Besides Porter, this team boasts a collection of interesting players. Zach LaVine can score, Lauri Markkanen is an extremely skilled big man, and Thad Young is one of the most consistent players in the NBA. While none of their role players will blow you away, there aren’t many dudes that you look at and wince at the idea of them being on the floor. A potential road block would be Coby White struggling early on, as young point guards typically do. He’s not a great shooter and it’s rare that rookie point guards immediately thrive when they come into the league.