This 2020-2021 NBA season is shaping up to be vastly different from its predecessors. For starters, it's only 72 games, which is 10 fewer than usual. Arenas that normally house thousands of screaming fans are quiet and the few venues that allow fans do so with a reduced number.

Much like any other season though it has its highs and lows. Below are three lows so far.

Occurrence of Coronavirus Cases


The NBA received praise — rightfully so — when they conducted the bubble in Orlando. After playing multiple regular-season games and the postseason, there were no positive coronavirus cases. This season, however, is a different story.

At the start of the month, there have been 32 games postponed; almost all of which were due to the league's health and safety protocols. If a team cannot field eight players, then a game is postponed. The Memphis Grizzlies lead the way with six games postponed and three teams had five games postponed.

It's just too challenging having so many people move around in different places, then joining in an arena for a game. Some of the biggest stars to be affected are Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns.

The regular season has always been unpredictable, but the pandemic has made it even more so. Perhaps, when the postseason starts and fewer teams are playing the league could consider having another type of bubble arrangement.

Miami Heat going cold

One of the biggest surprises in the bubble were the Heat. As the fifth seed, the gritty Heat swept the Indiana Pacers, almost did the same to the Milwaukee Bucks, dispatched the Boston Celtics in six games, before finally losing to the heavily-favored Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals. It was quite a Cinderella story.

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

When Jimmy Butler left the Philadelphia 76ers for the Heat in the 2019-2020 season, it looked like he gave up chasing a ring for a payday. After all, the Sixers had young, established talent in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and were a bounce away from possibly reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. Butler saw what many didn't a championship-caliber team and culture.

Expectedly, Miami was one of the teams to watch this season. Unfortunately, the shortened offseason and health issues have battered the roster, resulting in a rough start. They have started to gain momentum heading to the All-Star break with an 18-18 record, which puts them at the sixth spot in the East.

While the roster remains relatively unchanged compared to the previous year, it may not be enough to get them to the Finals again. The East has gotten stronger. The Brooklyn Nets added James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Moreover, Kevin Durant will no longer have minutes restrictions or rest back-to-back games in the playoffs. Jrue Holiday was acquired by the Bucks and might be the missing piece to getting over the proverbial hump. Embiid is playing like an MVP and the Sixers have better spacing. 

Top NBA rookies underperforming

Unlike the first two disappointments, this one is bound to happen, as surely as the sun will rise the next day. After all, despite all the resources spent on analytics, scouting, interviews, and film reviews, the selections in the NBA draft are at best, educated guesses. However, the bar is set higher when you go first or second overall.

This is just the first half of their first season and is by no means an indicator of their career trajectory. Some players had terrible rookie seasons, who became All-Stars and individuals, who peaked in their first year. 

The Timberwolves had the first overall pick again and used it on Anthony Edwards. Edwards can certainly score, but he does it so inefficiently with 37.1% shooting from the field and 30.2% from deep. He is able to contribute to other facets of the game. Oddly enough, although he is built like an NFL linebacker, his defense needs improvement. 

The Golden State Warriors drafted next and used it on center James Wiseman. The benefit of being selected by an awful team is you have guaranteed playing time just look at Edwards. Wiseman was chosen by a team with playoff aspirations. He only plays around 20 minutes a game and in those minutes he looked raw even for a rookie. To make matters worse, he sustained a wrist injury.

Wiseman is only 19 years old though and has great, physical tools. Also, Draymond Green is mentoring him, which is a plus as long as he doesn't learn to kick anyone.

 The silver lining for fans, who closely follow rookies is that Charlotte Hornet LaMelo Ball, who went third overall has been living up to the hype and when you have LaVar Ball as your dad, that's a lot of hype.