Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 2

Source: Stephen Dunn / Getty

The 2014-15 NBA season has been a strange, but entertaining one for fans. On one end of the spectrum, you have the two best teams in the league: the Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks. Both teams play a ‘run and gun’ type of game that’s fun to watch, and they’re relatively new to being considered two of the best teams in the league.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lake Show has been a perennial fan favorite dating back to the 80’s when Earvin “Magic” Johnson ran at point, and the team was given the nickname “Showtime.” But times have changed for the Lakers. They’ve been a bad team for the past two seasons, and this year hasn’t been any different. This season will mark the earliest the Lakers have been eliminated from playoff contention in over 50 years.

Kobe Bean Bryant was the biggest reason to watch the Lakers. As likely a first ballot NBA Hall of Famer, fans wanted to see if he could catch a few other former greats (such as Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain) in some historic categories like the all-time scoring list and the most shots missed in NBA history. That all came to a halt after it was discovered that Bryant would need season-ending surgery to repair his torn right rotator cuff in his shoulder. Now, the Lakers consistently have to lean on “questionable” NBA talents such as Nick “Swaggy P” Young and Jeremy Lin — the man responsible for the “Linsanity” craze that swept NYC back in 2012— to lead this current Lakers squad. The Lakers have also brought in former Laker great Byron Scott as head coach to help guide the team going forward. The Lakers are looking to bring in some top free agents…..ahem…Kevin Love….in the next few seasons to hopefully get back in contention very soon.

NBA All-Star Game 2015

Source: Elsa / Getty

The Lakers aren’t the only “marquee” NBA team that has struggled to win recently. Championship NBA teams of the past such as the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the New York Knicks have all fallen on some tough times. Similar to the Lakers, the Knicks have also been eliminated from playoff contention already this season with their star player, Carmelo Anthony out with a knee injury. With the league’s worst record at 13-53 and a host of players that are unfamiliar to even the biggest basketball fan, it has been a long season for the Knicks and their fans. The Knicks did bring in Hall of Fame coach and former Knicks player Phil Jackson as the teams GM to try and ‘right the ship’, but so far the results have been a disaster. Again, similar to the Lakers, the Knicks are also looking to get better by luring some big time free agents to Gotham. The Knicks are also in the running for the number one overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The Knicks could consider star big men such as Jahlil Okafor from Duke or Karl Anthony Towns from Kentucky if they decide to enter the draft. Two former NBA Champs, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, are trending upwards but still have losing records. The Celtics and 76ers both have young teams that are looking to build for the future and looks to be in position to contend in the East very soon. Since a mid-season trade in which they acquired point guard Isaiah Thomas from the Phoenix Suns, the Celtics have strung together a few victories and are actually still in contention for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Regardless of what happens this season, fans of these former iconic teams are going to want to see improvement with their favorite franchise or face another irrelevant and difficult season with no playoff basketball on the horizon.

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