Top five current NBA teams this season that haven’t won a championship

Unlike+the+Clippers%2C+this+franchise+has+been+to+the+NBA+Finals+once%2C+in+1976.

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Unlike the Clippers, this franchise has been to the NBA Finals once, in 1976.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers 

 This team made a huge splash in the 2019 off-season by signing two All Stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, with both averaging over 20 points per game (PPG) this season, with the help of  Lou Williams. Williams is a three time 6th Man of the Year and a leader on this team, averaging 6 assists per game. The team is off to a very good start this year, being second in the Western Conference with a record of 33-16. The task for this team however is exactly that. They are in the West. Their conference has some very good tests for this Clippers team, such as their Staples Center counterparts, the Los Angeles Lakers. They have Lebron James, who has been in eight straight NBA Finals in his career, has averaged 27.1 PPG this season and is also a four-time regular season MVP. The Lakers also have Anthony Davis, ranked second in rankings of power forwards in the NBA this season by Bleacher Report and averaging 26.5 PPG this year. These two players will be a difficult challenge for the Clippers, as well as the depth on the bench for the Lakers. Could this be the match in the Western Conference Finals this NBA season? Nobody knows, but one thing’s for sure. It would be a hell of a match-up.

  1. Denver Nuggets

Unlike the Clippers, this franchise has been to the NBA Finals once, in 1976. With the solid team they have this year they could possibly make a deep run into the playoffs again. Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic is a key player for the team, leading them in PPG with 20.6, and is the king of both rebounds and assists for the team, while also being seven foot, but a very good three-point-shooter. That is a huge frustration for other teams, because he can score close to the basket and from range. Another top player on Denver this year is Jamal Murray, who is averaging 18.1 PPG and at 22 years old, looks like a very promising player who could develop into a later in his career. The two teams from LA are the big test for this Denver team, as well as playoff difficulties throughout the franchise’s history. They have only made the Western Conference Finals once in the 2000s, so experience could be a difficulty in this year’s playoffs. However, if they are playing at their top level against the Lakers or the Clippers, they definitely will compete, and might be able to beat either of them in the playoffs.

  1. Utah Jazz

The Jazz has been on the rise for the past three years, making the playoffs in the 2016-2019 seasons after missing the playoffs the four prior seasons. Several players have been huge for them to be fourth in the West. Donovan Mitchell is their leader in PPG this year with 24.1 and they have a variety of leaders in other categories, with their center Rudy Gobert leading them in rebounds, and their sharp shooter Joe Ingles leading them in assists. The balance of talent on this Jazz team is good, but they don’t match up as well against the best teams this year. The Jazz have always had a tough home crowd to play against in the playoffs, which was big for them in their series wins against the Clippers in 2017 and the Thunder in 2018. They will have to play a big role for the Jazz to beat the good teams in the West like the Lakers, Clippers and the Nuggets in this year’s playoffs. 

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Many people expected OKC to not be able to compete in 2020, after they traded their star player Russell Westbrook, to the Houston Rockets for veteran Chris Paul and a package of first round picks from OKC. However, the players on this Thunder team have been phenomenal. One example is 21 year-old Shai Gigeous-Alexander, who is averaging 19.1 PPG this year as a second year player, as well as the veteran on the team, Danlillo Galinari, averaging 19.3 PPG. OKC’s point guard Dennis Schroder is also having a very solid year averaging 19 PPG. These players stepping up  has been key for the OKC Thunder to be in the sixth playoff position in the West. Could the Thunder finally end their years in the 2010s of coming up short in the playoffs? We will have to see how they deal with the other talented teams in the West they will battle yet again.

  1. Indiana Pacers

The Pacers are a solid team in the East this year and they will benefit even more with having their star player Victor Oladipo back from his major knee injury in the 2019-2020 season.. Players like T.J. Warren (18.5 PPG) and Domantas Sabonis (18.3 PPG) have been a big boost while Oladipo has been out and helped keep them in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers competition is pretty stiff with the Boston Celtics (3rd in the East) who swept the Pacers by winning four of four games in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Most importantly however, the Milawaukee Bucks, the top dog in the East, have a dominating record of 46-8, and have maybe the next great player in the NBA Giannis Antetokumpo who is averaging a staggering 30.9 PPG this season and is the favorite in the running for MVP this season. The former NBA champs this season (Toronto Raptors) are also in the Eastern Conference in front of them who were also victorious in beating Indiana in the playoffs in 2016. Can the Pacers fight off their playoff demons and finally win the NBA championship? It seems unlikely with their competition, but upsets are always a factor in sports, and have always been in the NBA.