Not even one week into last summer's offseason and everyone was convinced the NBA was set for its most-balanced season in ages. Some teams around the league have lived up to their expectations this year while others have fallen drastically short. Here are this year's five most disappointing NBA teams heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been a fringe-postseason team the last two years but have been a playoff afterthought this season. Despite a hot start, one tweet set off a spur of losses, and the T-Wolves never recovered. Although star center Karl-Anthony Towns has dealt with knee and wrist injuries, the rest of the team has fallen flat around him. Minnesota moved on from Andrew Wiggins at the trade deadline in favor of D'Angelo Russell, and currently sits at 16-38, one spot in front of the last-place Golden State Warriors.
4. Detroit Pistons
After the Detroit Pistons made the playoffs for just the second time in 10 years last season, it looks doubtful they'll make a postseason return in 2020. Detroit has been spotty this year just as it seemed like Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose were capable of taking the Pistons to new heights. Injuries slowed any momentum the team had, and they ended up trading Andre Drummond for... practically nothing. At 20 games under .500 and seven games out of a playoff spot, Detroit is all but bound for another lottery pick. May they use it wisely.
3. Golden State Warriors
It's hard to blame the Warriors' struggles on anything more than poor injury luck, but with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson sidelined the team has floundered. From NBA Finals to worst record in basketball, no team looks more different from last season than the Warriors. They'd top this list if not for the fact that injuries are what have caused this downward spiral, but for a fanbase so accustomed to winning, this season has been a pain.
2. Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers made the conference finals last season for the first time since taking the eventual champion-Lakers to a seventh game in 2000. Even with a reloaded Western Conference, the expectations were high for Portland this year. Despite Damian Lillard averaging close to 30 points per game, the Trail Blazers are on the outside looking in at the playoffs at 25-29. Nothing has held Portland back more this season than Jusuf Nurkic's injury and its frontcourt depth without him. Hassan Whiteside has been solid, but he can't do it all.
1. Brooklyn Nets
You'd think adding Kyrie Irving, among other big-name free agent signings, to a team in the postseason last year would mean progession, right? Apparently not. Granted, Irving hasn't been healthy for the whole season -- and obviously neither has Kevin Durant -- but the Nets haven't been the matchup nightmare we thought they'd be this year. As Spencer Dinwiddie continues to develop, Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan struggle to find consistency on offense. After being mentioned among the winners of the offseason, Brooklyn is lucky to own a playoff spot right now at 26-29.