Bad luck, bad management and injuries all find a way into the narratives of the most disappointing teams in the NBA. With two weeks to go, these five have underwhelmed the most this season. (All records are through Tuesday.)
5. Charlotte Bobcats (17-57) » Michael Jordan's club is perfecting the art of finding rock bottom. After starting the year 7-5, the Bobcats lost 52 of the next 62. Capturing the best odds in the draft lottery for a second straight year is all but certain.
4. Philadelphia 76ers (30-43) » A year ago, the Sixers were a scrappy playoff team on the way up. But after the disastrous Andrew Bynum acquisition, even threatening to sneak into the postseason is a minor miracle. It's hard to know which will tire of the other first, the front office or coach Doug Collins.
3. Phoenix Suns (23-51) » It was easy to have sympathy when they lost Steve Nash to the Lakers and failed to sign restricted free agent Eric Gordon. But there's no applause for embracing awful, and the Suns have aspired only to be terrible since January in the hopes of improving their fortunes in the draft.
2. Los Angeles Lakers (39-36) » They've been the most intriguing team in the NBA all season; they were supposed to be one of the best. The only consolation is Kobe Bryant finding the fountain of youth could make them dangerous if they eke out the last playoff spot in the West.
1. Dallas Mavericks (36-38) ?»
Two years removed from an NBA title, the Mavericks are a mishmash team coming together too late and in need of a miracle to avoid their first lottery appearance since 2000. Hopefully, Mark Cuban has a plan that consists of more than growing beards and drafting Brittney Griner.
- Craig Stouffer