The most watchable teams in the league this season

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The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#1 » by Godymas » Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:09 pm

Every NBA season always presents itself with the challenge of figuring out "which teams are going to be fun to watch on a nightly basis, and which are just kind of filler or dull"

In the past 2-3 years it's felt easier to pick out these teams because there were legitimately exciting new super teams emerging around the league and it was clear as day who was worth watching because of the hype factor.

I would say this season, from a pure watchability stand point, has been one of the hardest to figure out. It's not like the 2016-2019 era where basically you had to watch teams like the Warriors, Spurs (until Kawhi was traded), OKC, Cleveland, Boston, Portland, Houston, etc. every season.

Right now the league is actually in a strange place. This is the time when all the guys who were drafted 2013-2017 are entering or in their primes right now. However these drafts were actually kind of weak looking back on them in hindsight. A ton of guys busted, a ton of top 5 picks that are no longer in the league or barely playing and a ton of talent that hasn't lived up to expectations.

It's not like the late 10s where basically you had two top 10 players of all time facing off in the finals and putting on a show and a slew of top 25 or so guys as well as a few remnants like Duncan/Kobe still kinda hanging around. Like you look at the biggest names in the league today, LeBron, Curry, Harden, CP3, Kyrie, Dame, etc. these guys were 100% in their primes from 2015-2020 and today are just starting to show or have been showing decline.

So this season it's been harder than ever to figure out what's fun to watch and what's kind of a been there done that experience that just doesn't feel as exciting anymore.

To me there are maybe 5 teams that are 100% you have to watch them when you can as a fan of the sport because these are the most exciting or intriguing teams in the league. That doesn't mean these are the best teams and you might not even call all these contenders, but I feel like from just a pure watchability PoV very few people would argue that these are the teams that put on a show every night.

1. Memphis
2. Denver
3. Sacramento
4. New Orleans
5. Cleveland

Like these teams either have extremely exciting or innovative guys, extreme athletes barely entering their primes, loaded talent with elite selections, a sky high potential for being teams that could be making massive championship noise down the road.

Now I would say there is a slight dip and then there comes a clear second tier string of teams. These are teams that you watch because you're a fan of their superstar player, or a fan of the team in general or live in the market. I would say that the way these teams play basketball is pretty much a known quantity. You know what you're going to get from these teams tuning in and so you watch them. However they don't have that "young and hungry" or "uncharted territory" factor of potential awesomeness that the above 5 teams so clearly exemplify with their young superstars and dynamic playing styles.

Basically the almost has-been grouping of teams

1. Philadelphia
2. Brooklyn
3. Boston - Tatum and Brown are very known quantities and we've watched them play more playoff games than any young duo possibly in the history of the NBA considering how long they've been in the league
4. Clippers
5. Warriors
6. Lakers
7. Portland
8. Miami
9. Chicago
10. Atlanta
11. Milwaukee
12. Phoenix
13. Knicks

Basically every single one of these teams has a current or former All Star that is well into their 30s and past their prime but still playing on a high level. You watch these teams because you either love the franchise or you love the player but you aren't watching them because you want to see new and exciting basketball that could be winning a championship.

Now there is this next grouping of teams, I would argue that these teams are all 100% more interesting to watch than every team in the has-been grouping above. HOWEVER, these teams all are highly flawed in some way. It could be poor roster construction, it could be not far enough along in a rebuild, but they have clear superstars and guys that you want to pay attention to and so if they are playing one of the teams in the first 5 grouping you are probably going to tune in because they are going to have a superstar in their prime one day competing for a championship against teams like the first group of 5.

1. Orlando
2. Dallas
3. Minnesota
4. OKC
5. Indiana

What ties all these teams together is they have one of the most coveted young guys in the league with a legitimate roster and coaching staff behind them. However the rosters these guys have are not even close to the roster that these teams would want to contend with or are missing crucial things to make them closer to the first grouping. These teams are more likely to be able to one day join the first grouping of 5 teams and can still be very exciting to watch.

Then there's the next group of teams is the "blow it up" teams. These are the teams that no one really wants to watch because you know that they aren't going anywhere, it's more exciting to see what trades these teams do rather than watch the nightly product unless you live in their markets.

1. Utah
2. Toronto
3. Washington

Then there's the final grouping of teams, the classic teams no one cares about because they are just a hot mess and have a bunch of raw undeveloped talent, poor coaching staff and no one knows what the hell they are doing. Some of these teams have franchise players but it just isn't exciting or intriguing because of how raw the teams are or how lacking the roster is.

1. Charlotte
2. Detroit
3. San Antonio
4. Houston

If you watch any of these 4 teams and are not an NBA analyst for a living, I question what you're doing with your free time.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#2 » by Jadoogar » Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:20 pm

Generally agree with your rankings.
My favourite teams have been:
Nuggets - Jokic is elite and the supporting cast has been really good
Cleveland - Mitchell has propelled them very high
Raptors - they suck but most of their games have been entertaining because no lead is safe
Magic - by far the best of the "tanking" teams. Interesting mix of players, unique lineups
Sacramento - sabonis is basically Jokic jr

Teams that should be higher if not for injuries
Clippers - you don't know what you're getting on a nightly basis
New Orleans - would have been in the top 5 if Zion wasn't hurt

Teams i have no interest in watching
Wizards - definition of treadmill
Blazers - definition of treadmill, west
Hornets - no thanks
Spurs - nothing remotely interesting
Suns - too many injuries and not super interesting even when healthy
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#3 » by zeebneeb » Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:46 pm

I can tell you the most unwatchable, and I say this as a 30+year fan, the Detroit Pistons.

I challenge anyone to sit through an entire game.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#4 » by 76ciology » Wed Jan 25, 2023 5:26 pm

Jazz.

They’re exactly the type of team i want to watch. They play beautiful basketball and every upset against playoff teams feels good. Except if they play against my Sixers :lol:
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#5 » by Harry Garris » Wed Jan 25, 2023 5:43 pm

I love watching the Spurs, they’ve been my second most watched team this year after the Blazers. I will admit I’ve kind of been riding a Jeremy Sochan high this season though.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#6 » by CraftylikeaFox » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:03 pm

The Jazz are very watchable. Markkanen has one of the most visually pleasing games in the NBA.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#7 » by Ito » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:06 pm

Lakers
Knicks
Hornets
Cavs
Hawks
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#8 » by jasonxxx102 » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:10 pm

Can't believe nobody has mentioned the Kings yet. They play beautiful basketball.

Watching the Kings offense is like smooth jazz.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#9 » by Jadoogar » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:13 pm

zeebneeb wrote:I can tell you the most unwatchable, and I say this as a 30+year fan, the Detroit Pistons.

I challenge anyone to sit through an entire game.


Sucks that Cade is out. Duren is putting up good numbers but i get that he isn't exciting to watch. How's Ivey been?
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#10 » by G R E Y » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:22 pm

Teams that like to share the ball and don't have an ISO-centric scheme are more fun to watch. Likewise teams with superstars who are terrific in passing are more fun to watch, too.

Teams with players who take turns dribbling the air out of the ball are boring even with some flashy plays.

Of course I love watching Spurs play, even through a lot of growing pains this season. But that's the point: with no pressure of standings, watching players grow, learn to play together, and figure out how to play better is really a joy.

Sochan in particular has stood out well:

Read on Twitter


Read on Twitter


That doesn't even take into account things that don't show up on a stat sheet like timely changing of speed and direction to shift defenses and open passing or driving lanes. BBIQ and instincts and hustle.

Tre is having an improving season finishing better versus bigger players (and most of them are bigger).

Malaki has adjusted his frisbee-flat shot, creates space better, and will be a three-level scorer.

Devin who is injured is probably our best two-way player (so our best player). He improved his PPG by about 13 points from last season and he's just scratching the surface of what he can do on O.

And we're third in the league at 27.2 assists per game so it's fun to watch the movement-oriented style of play.

We're bad on D and those habits will continue to take time to instill. Frankly more players that have foundations on D are needed and that's also what this rebuild season is for.

Beyond us, Denver with Jokic is fun to watch. Luka is a wizard even though he has the ball a ton.

Kyrie and KD are probably 1 and 1a (interchangeable) in terms of pure basketball aesthetics and skill.

GSW with their movement and sharing are fun to watch too as they know their schemes so well.

No coincidence that top assist teams are GSW, Denver, us. Nets are 8th.

Utah runs some familiar schemes and their ball sharing has stood out.

Teams that defend well are fun, too. To that end, Celtics stand out consistently really well from the teams I've watched.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#11 » by nomansland » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:25 pm

I can't say the Nuggets since I'm a Nuggets fan, but the Nuggets.

Also the Kings, Thunder, Cavs and Magic.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#12 » by Kingdibs19 » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:28 pm

Lakers are unwatchable when Westbrook is on the floor without Lebron or AD.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#13 » by TwitterFingers » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:38 pm

As a long time knick fan it’s the Knicks. Two of our top
3 guys (Randle and Barrett) are so boring to watch
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#14 » by Liam_Gallagher » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:41 pm

In about 2 weeks it'll be the Lakers. I predict LeBron to break the record in NEW YORK. Will be epic.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#15 » by Liam_Gallagher » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:42 pm

Kingdibs19 wrote:Lakers are unwatchable when Westbrook is on the floor without Lebron or AD.


I actually think it's the opposite. He's beyond unwatchable when AD and LeBron plays because of the fit. When neither play, it's actually entertaining seeing him play like his old self in stretches.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#16 » by wojoaderge » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:50 pm

As a fan of the midrange and low post offense, the Bulls are my favorite team to watch. Conveniently, they are also my local team. Bol Bol by himself makes the Magic 2nd on my list. Pelicans are 3rd, also for the first reason.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#17 » by zeebneeb » Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:50 pm

Jadoogar wrote:
zeebneeb wrote:I can tell you the most unwatchable, and I say this as a 30+year fan, the Detroit Pistons.

I challenge anyone to sit through an entire game.


Sucks that Cade is out. Duren is putting up good numbers but i get that he isn't exciting to watch. How's Ivey been?
Erratic is putting it nicely. His end to end speed is unparalleled, and his jumping ability ridiculous.

He doesn't know how to finish at the rim, and gets caught in the air consistently.

His defense is horrendous as well. He has the physical tools to be amazing, but his growth is going to be painful over the next several years.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#18 » by zeebneeb » Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:09 pm

Harry Garris wrote:I love watching the Spurs, they’ve been my second most watched team this year after the Blazers. I will admit I’ve kind of been riding a Jeremy Sochan high this season though.
Sochan is that guy, that every team wants. He gets after it.
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#19 » by Young Stapler » Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:31 pm

The Kings of course!

Good exciting team, great stadium and announcers. It makes for a comfortable night of basketball :)
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Re: The most watchable teams in the league this season 

Post#20 » by Infinite Llamas » Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:46 pm

G R E Y wrote:Teams that like to share the ball and don't have an ISO-centric scheme are more fun to watch. Likewise teams with superstars who are terrific in passing are more fun to watch, too.

Teams with players who take turns dribbling the air out of the ball are boring even with some flashy plays.

Of course I love watching Spurs play, even through a lot of growing pains this season. But that's the point: with no pressure of standings, watching players grow, learn to play together, and figure out how to play better is really a joy.

Sochan in particular has stood out well:

Read on Twitter


Read on Twitter


That doesn't even take into account things that don't show up on a stat sheet like timely changing of speed and direction to shift defenses and open passing or driving lanes. BBIQ and instincts and hustle.

Tre is having an improving season finishing better versus bigger players (and most of them are bigger).

Malaki has adjusted his frisbee-flat shot, creates space better, and will be a three-level scorer.

Devin who is injured is probably our best two-way player (so our best player). He improved his PPG by about 13 points from last season and he's just scratching the surface of what he can do on O.

And we're third in the league at 27.2 assists per game so it's fun to watch the movement-oriented style of play.

We're bad on D and those habits will continue to take time to instill. Frankly more players that have foundations on D are needed and that's also what this rebuild season is for.

Beyond us, Denver with Jokic is fun to watch. Luka is a wizard even though he has the ball a ton.

Kyrie and KD are probably 1 and 1a (interchangeable) in terms of pure basketball aesthetics and skill.

GSW with their movement and sharing are fun to watch too as they know their schemes so well.

No coincidence that top assist teams are GSW, Denver, us. Nets are 8th.

Utah runs some familiar schemes and their ball sharing has stood out.

Teams that defend well are fun, too. To that end, Celtics stand out consistently really well from the teams I've watched.


Off topic but I’m curious why Isaiah Roby hasn’t played more. He looked like he was starting to develop in OKC. Seems like he has been in Pops doghouse all year.
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