What every NBA team should be thankful for this Thanksgiving
With it being Thanksgiving, the NBA has put a pause on the season so players and coaches can spend the day with their families.
While they do that, I will give you all a reason for each team to be thankful! I have been getting a lot of requests from some readers that we here at Fourth Quarter Sports need to have more NBA articles, so that is what we will try to do. Thank you all for the feedback and want for more NBA articles.
Let’s see what each team is thankful for so far this season. Keep in mind that not all teams will have a good thing to be thankful for. I will do it in the order in which they are seeded in the standings from worst to best.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-14) – NOT thankful for LeBron James leaving again! The Cavaliers will once again be the worst team in the league without the best player in the world.
29. Atlanta Hawks (3-15) – Thankful for Trae Young and Vince Carter! Mixing the young with the old hasn’t really worked so far, but then again, it wasn’t supposed to this season!
28. Phoenix Suns (3-14) – Thankful for DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker! I don’t believe the Suns will have that great of a season, but we could at least see these two guys start to create chemistry together.
27. New York Knicks (5-14) – NOT thankful for Porzingis’ injury. With Porzingis out, the Knicks are having a tough time finding wins. It was the same result last year.
26. Chicago Bulls (5-13) – Thankful for Zach Lavine! Resigning Lavine was the best thing the Bulls could’ve done, he is slowly becoming a star in Chicago.
25. Miami Heat (6-11) – NOT thankful for Dwyane Wade’s return. The Heat went from being a playoff team to a team looking to give their best player over the last 15 years a good farewell. It continues to take away from the games.
24. Washington Wizards (6-11) – Thankful for John Wall and Bradley Beal! But I think it’s time to break that up, because it clearly isn’t getting them past the first round of the playoffs anymore, if they even make it that far.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-11) – Thankful for the Jimmy Butler trade to Philadelphia. Now that the Butler drama is out of Minnesota, they can focus on being a playoff contending team again!
22. Brooklyn Nets (8-11) – Thankful for the young talents on a hot start! I know eight wins out of 19 isn’t really a hot start, but for a team like the Nets, that’s a really good start.
21. Utah Jazz (8-10) – Thankful for Ruby Gobert and Donovan Mitchell! These two were able to lead their team to the fourth spot in the West standings last year. I do expect them to make it back into the playoffs again.
20. Dallas Mavericks (8-9) – Thankful for Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith. The Mavericks are slowly changing faces on the team. These two guys, along with Harrison Barnes, will be the future of the Mavericks franchise. They should also be thankful for all the years Dirk Nowitzki has given them.
19. San Antonio Spurs (8-9) – Thankful for LaMarcus Aldridge! With the Spurs of old finally gone, Aldridge can take over the team like he was suppose to in years past.
18. Boston Celtics (9-9) – Thankful for Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward! Unfortunately, things aren’t going as planned for the Celtics right now. With Irving and Hayward paired together, the future of this team is bright.
17. Orlando Magic (9-9) – Thankful for team chemistry! The Magic are another one of those young teams who haven’t been that great, but they have managed to get themselves some very big wins early this season. Hopefully they can continue to get big wins and make the playoffs.
16. Sacramento Kings (10-8) – Thankful for De’Aaron Fox! The Kings have surprised many of us this season with the way they started. I’m not sure how long they can keep it up in a tough Western Conference, but Fox playing well is great for the team’s moral!
15. New Orleans Pelicans (10-8) – Thankful for Anthony Davis! Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for Davis, the Pelicans wouldn’t be anything more than a last place team. He has taken them into the postseason, where they have lost to the Warriors in back-to-back seasons.
14. Charlotte Hornets (9-8) – Thankful for Kemba Walker! It’s a contract season for Walker. Though the Hornets haven’t proven anything with their records and missing playoffs, Walker has something more to prove. He wants to prove to the Hornets and all teams that he can led a team to the playoffs. That’s what he will be doing all season.
13. Detroit Pistons (8-7) – Thankful for Blake Griffin! The Pistons have an average team with one star! Or now you can make it two! With Griffin playing well alongside Andre Drummond, the Pistons should be looking for a playoff spot in the East.
12. Houston Rockets (9-7) – Thankful for a healthy Chris Paul and James Harden! When the two of them are healthy and playing well, they could be the best team in the league. There’s no question of what they could’ve done if they were both healthy and available for the Conference Finals last season.
11. Los Angeles Lakers (10-7) – Thankful for arrival of the King! With LeBron James joining the young Lakers team, their future is brighter than it ever was. They could very well be at the top of the league before we know it!
10. Denver Nuggets (11-7) – Thankful for Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. With the way both of these guys are playing so far this season, the Nuggets are in for a successful season. They need to get help from the rest of the teams in the Western Conference if they want to remain a top competitor.
9. Indiana Pacers (11-7) – Thankful for Victor Oladipo! The good thing that came out of the Paul George trade last year was the emergence of Oladipo into an All-Star. We expect to see him continue to grow as the Pacers season goes on.
8. Golden State Warriors (12-7) – NOT thankful for the Draymond Green Drama… I’ve been telling everyone since LeBron joined the Lakers that this is the last year the Warriors have a chance to win a title. They went out to get DeMarcus Cousins to ensure they will continue being the top team in the league despite what the Lakers and LeBron do. With the drama Green is creating in the Warriors locker room, it could cause for a long season.
7. Philadelphia 76ers (13-7) – Thankful for the process! The process looks like it’s finally coming into formation. The Sixers were the 3rd best team in the East last year and are looking to be the top team. With the addition of Jimmy Butler, that could be very possible once they all start to connect with one another.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder (11-6) – Thankful for Brodie’s loyalty! Despite everything the Thunder organization has gone through over the past seven years since their finals run, the one thing we all love is Russell Westbrook and his heart for the team. We saw how important he is to the team earlier this season when he missed some games, and they still managed to be the fourth best team in the West right now.
5. Los Angeles Clippers (11-6) – Thankful for team effort! The Clippers don’t have a true star player on their team, but they still managed to start the season strong. As long as everyone stays healthy and plays well, they could be right back where they want to be!
4. Portland Trail Blazers (12-6) -Thankful for Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Can this be the year the Blazers actually make some noise in the Western conference? As long as the two of them are playing well, then everything should be good!
3. Memphis Grizzlies (12-5) – Thankful for a healthy Mike Conley. The Grizzlies season lays in the hands of their point guard play. With Conley healthy, they could be a playoff team again this year.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (13-4) – Thankful for the Greek Freak. Giannis Antetokounmpo is literally a freak of nature. He has been tearing it up all season, as he’s out to prove himself worthy of winning MVP. With the second best record in the league, that is very possible!
1. Toronto Raptors (15-4) – Thankful for the Kawhi Leonard trade! Leonard is one of the best two way players in the league and he has really helped Toronto found a way to play better defense. That has led to better offense and the best record in the NBA right now.
Let us know what you think your favorite team is or is not thankful for! Also, don’t forget to share what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving!