As we slowly creep closer to the new NBA season, predictions for every team have been well accounted for. There are consensus conclusions on who the contenders are around the league, as well as some playoff-bubble and bottom of the barrel teams. However, here are three underrated NBA teams as we begin the new season.
The Hawks may not be one of the more underrated NBA teams, but with the acquisitions made this off-season, they are underrated title contenders.
The Hawks have made the playoffs each of the past two years. They even went so far as to make the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, and were just two wins away from the NBA Finals. They followed that up with another playoff appearance in the 2021 season. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it nearly as far, bowing out in five games in the first round.
Atlanta has since improved their team after that disappointing playoff run. They traded Kevin Huerter to Sacramento, but recouped that loss after picking Up Dejounte Murray from San Antonio. Murray will add some much-needed defense to their backcourt, and form a dynamic duo with Trae Young. The Hawks certainty aren’t being counted out of the playoff race, but they should be looked at as more of a legitimate contender.
The Wolves found themselves back in the playoffs last season, and they put up a solid fight in the first round. This off-season, they upgraded by getting one of the best defenders in the league, Rudy Gobert. The price for Gobert was far from cheap, with Minnesota having to give up a whopping four first round picks.
The Wolves were willing to pay that price though, and the team is better because of it. Gobert and Karl Anthony Towns immediately form one of, if not the best big-man duos in the league. Minnesota was already on the upswing, but after picking up Gobert, they should be considered a contender in the western conference.
New York Knicks
The Knicks made the playoffs in the 2020 season, but failed to perform up to that caliber last year. We saw the quick decline and departure of Kemba Walker in New York. The Knicks were able to replace him with a massive upgrade in Jalen Brunson.
Brunson really had a breakout season last year, and made himself a lot of money with his playoff performance. He moves to the big apple this year, and will lead a team that is very similar to the squad that secured the fourth seed in 2020. The potential of this team is exciting. With the addition of Brunson, they should be considered a true contender in the eastern conference.