NBA Playoffs: 3 Teams That Aren’t Quite Ready for a Championship Run


Apr 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives to the net around Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass (30) during game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 85-78. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

So far in these NBA playoffs, all the higher seeds have won, except of course Chicago, who just beat Brooklyn yesterday for a 1-1 series tie. Things are going pretty well if you’re teams like the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Other teams like the Indiana Pacers, and of course the San Antonio Spurs are rolling. With that being said, there are many teams out there that believe they’re ready for a title run, even though they’re actually not.

These teams are highly energetic, but too young and experienced for the toils they will have to deal with deep into the postseason. Other guys like LeBron James and Kevin Durant are mentally endured, and ready to lead their arsenals at any given time. You cannot, however, say the same about Carmelo Anthony, because he’s not quite ready yet.

1. New York Knicks:

Some may argue that the shining brilliance of and MVP-type player like Carmelo Anthony may be just enough to power a team deep into the postseason, but that’s not true. Inexperience is a huge factor when teams get deep into the postseason. Melo is a great scorer, but has never really been deep in the playoffs. The Knicks may have that type of attitude, when playing in Miami, that it’s like a regular season game, where they beat Miami twice. Too bad it’s not, however.

What separates playoff games from regular season games is the intensity. From pretty much everyone in the building. It floats around, it can been in the air. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh really know how to ignite their crowd. One thing leads to another, and suddenly, the home crowd is the noisiest thing that Melo’s ever heard, and it’s getting inside his head.

Until he and the Knicks experience more of this, they won’t exactly be ready for a championship run.

2. Denver Nuggets:

The Nuggets may be deserving of a championship run, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll necessarily get it. Denver, who has been untouchable at home, is on a 24 game winning in that building. That may be because of the altitude, it may not be. They’re an almost average road team, but sometimes, their depth is a bit too much to handle and other teams are overloaded. That’s why they can win so many road games.

Now, you may be thinking that the Nuggets are certainly ready for a postseason run, but that’s not the case. It almost never is in the NBA. If the Nuggets are unfortunate enough to be paired with the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference finals, they’ll likely lose, but not because they’re not a good basketball team, it’ll be because of hype. At this point in the season, teams are very desperate to get to the championship, but all the obstacles that they encounter really wears them out.

The Nuggets are deep enough to not be fatigued, but they need a superstar to pull them out of trouble. Andre Iguodala has been an all-star before, but not because he’s an incredible scoring threat. Ty Lawson has yet to become an all-star and still struggles with his jump-shot. The Nuggets need a superstar that will pull them out of a tough situation. For example, Kobe Bryant can make a 9 point game a tie in 45 seconds.

If the Nuggets are capable of making a postseason run, they’ll likely be bested by the Thunder and the Spurs, who seem to play great in high pressured games. It may because the NBA wants them to play the Heat for ratings, or may be because the Nuggets just aren’t good enough to make the championship yet. Whatever the case may be, Denver has a ton of growing up to do before they’re ready for the run.

3. Los Angeles Clippers:

Last year was the first year the Clippers have been, well good, in a while. While they may flop a lot, there’s no substitute for good play on defense and offense. The ref isn’t going to call a foul on the flop every time. In fact, they’re doing a better job in not calling those, unless it’s players like James Harden, who are untouchable.

With that being said, the Clippers are a great basketball team, who will make the postseason in the next couple of years. What’s weird for them, however, is that they’re right on the verge of becoming legitimate contenders, but aren’t quite there yet. What I mean by that is that they may not be at that point for a long time. Sure, they showed signs of invincibility, but towards the end of the regular season, they didn’t do so well. The Nuggets have been in the playoffs for 10 straight years. Enough said.