Every NBA season tells its own story. But in truth, we all have our expectations of what we think the upcoming season should look like. From the high expectations of a team that came close the year before, to the upstart squad that made additions, we have expectations. This current NBA season has been full of surprises. Some of these are teams that have underperformed based on what the general public expected of them in the off-season. So, roll with me. Check out the list of teams that have underwhelmed this season. Let’s hope that some of them end up proving me wrong.

Phoenix Suns

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The Phoenix Suns made waves this past off-season by acquiring all-star guard Bradley Beal. With his playmaking ability and scoring prowess, it was viewed as a benefit to the club. I actually think it has been, in a vacuum. But it seems that a proliferation of injuries to key players this season and hurt team continuity.

So, at the time of this writing, The Suns sit at the sixth spot in the west — not a place they thought they’d be, having just been in the NBA finals a couple of years ago. Do they have one last push left in them?

Cleveland Cavaliers

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have found their footing in recent years since LeBron James’ departure in 2018. Through a series of good draft choices and sound trades, the Cavs are a team to respect in the Eastern Conference.

Even being third in the Eastern Conference, there just doesn’t seem to be any imminent fear in crossing this team during the postseason.  If healthy, they may hit a stride as long as they have their main engine: Donovan Mitchell.

Washington Wizards

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After the departure of Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns this past off-season, it seemed as if the Wizards were entering a rebuilding year. Focused on cultivating young talent, expectations were high for a team boasting Kyle Kuzma and scoring threat Jordan Poole.

What has materialized in the Wizards being in the penultimate spot in the Eastern Conference? They’ve shown shades of potential, but any hopes of becoming a play-in team are simply dead in the water.

Memphis Grizzlies

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The Grizzlies caught a bad break this season. With all-star point guard Ja Morant undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in January, any hopes of a Grizzlies playoff run went up in smoke. Sitting currently in the 13th spot, Memphis unfortunately is already looking forward to next season’s campaign.

Sacramento Kings

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The Sacramento Kings have been resurgent in recent years. They’ve reminded me of some of their former success during the early 2000s. But this season, in regards to their consistency, I think that they’ve taken several steps back.

They still have an opportunity to move up a bit in the standings, but as of now, they will have to defend their eighth playoff spot during the play-in. And that’s something that most teams dread having to do. With De-Aaron Fox at the helm, the Kings still have an opportunity to turn some heads this post-season.

Los Angeles Lakers

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The Lakers are perpetually always involved in conversations about playoff aspirations. What was expected this season was for the Lakers to at least be able to repeat a Western Conference finals appearance. The team retooled with role players as well as re-upped Austin Reaves.

Ironically enough, Anthony Davis and LeBron James have been as healthy as we could’ve asked. But unfortunately, with injuries to key role players throughout the season, the Lakers sit in the ninth spot in the west. It’s a play-in spot, that they may be able to dig themselves out of, having gone 5-1 on the road recently. Time will tell, but we didn’t anticipate the Lakers in the play-in.

Golden State Warriors

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I’ve written recently about what I deem as the Warriors’ “Irish exit” from their dynasty. With Klay Thompson not being what he once was, and Andrew Wiggins no longer bringing the two-way threat that he once was, the Warriors are different. I figured the end of their dynasty would end with them ending quietly and gracefully. But at moments this season, it seemed that wouldn’t be possible. Like many of the teams on this list, it took a while for this team to find its footing this season.

Navigating injuries and game suspensions from Draymond Green didn’t lend itself well to staying in a rhythm. Since we have the amount of respect that we do for what is a legendary core group of players, I tend to think we all had higher hopes for them. Currently, in the 10th spot in the west, I think this off-season will leave us with more questions than answers about Golden State.