With the NBA season coming around the corner, let’s look at some teams how could of a breakout season. I’ll give you a hint: it’s two teams who had a tough regular season. I think both of these teams will end up making the playoffs. These teams will surprise the casual NBA fan:
I think Miami is going to surprise a lot of people. Yeah, last year had many more downs than ups, but that was in the past. Miami had an excellent offseason resigning Duncan Robinson, acquiring Kyle Lowry, P.j Tucker, and Markieff Morris. Lowry is going to help out Miami in various ways, and Bam Adebayo is going to have a career year with Lowry coming to Miami.
Lowry is a point guard, though and though. Lowry’s ability to move at his own pace and looks to push the ball down the floor for the ” look ahead.” That is something Miami hasn’t had since the big-three era. Jimmy Bulter does too much for Miami on both ends. With Lowry on Miami, Butler can be used more as a cutter for easy points.
Tyler Herro is going to have an excellent bounce-back year for Miami. You heard it here first; Herro will be in the sixth man of the year conversation. A lot of people were down on Herro last year, I thought. Robinson has gotten better as a defender more than people realize. Miami signed guys who fit their “culture” do not be surprised if Miami lands as a third or fourth seed. Miami’s offense will be more fun this year due to Lowry’s play.
Speaking of teams who had a rough year last year, the Toronto Raptors had a season from hell. Toronto’s previous season played in Tampa, Florida, where players were away from their families for almost the whole season. Plus, with covid going on as well. I felt for Toronto last season. Toronto had a sneaky excellent offseason, acquiring Precious Achiuwa, Scottie Barnes, and Goran Dragic. Those names don’t jump off the page but adding those three to an already underrated team.
I think a bounce-back year from Pascal Siakam is in the cards. Barnes is my favorite rookie from this class; Barnes can guard 1-5, same with OG Anunoby, a fantastic defender. Those two running around the perimeter are scary. Anunoby is underrated.
Chris Boucher is a fun league pass watch but has improved a lot over the past couple of years. Fred VanVleet is a brilliant player with the ball in his hands. Gary Trent Jr is another guy to watch out for. Trent can get hot at any moment.
Achiuwa needed a fresh start. Achiuwa has a lot of tools but needs to learn to slow the game down for himself. He plays too fast at times. If Dragic is on the team for the whole season, I like Toronto making the playoffs even more. Dragic and VanVleet can both be on the court together, just like Lowry and VanVleet did. Toronto finally has their ducks in a row.
Miami and Toronto are similar teams in the sense that both have a great organization. With both having top coaches in the league, I think both organizations needed a break from last year. Miami had to jump right back in the season after a long finals run in the bubble. Like I said about Toronto, they had a tough season last year due to covid. I think both teams will surprise a lot of teams this year. I have both making the playoffs this year.