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5 Second-Tier Superteams Fairing Better Than ‘Real’ Superteams Lakers And Nets

NBA, Lakers, Nets, Warriors, Bulls, Heat, NBA

The Lakers and the Nets were considered as favorites to win the NBA championship this season. With an All-Star laden roster, it’s clear that these two teams have a surplus of talent. But despite parading loaded rosters, slow starts have hit both teams. Both the Lakers and Nets are posing 2-2 records. While this isn’t an entirely bad thing just yet, fans expected these two teams to dominate right from the get-go.

Surprisingly, a couple of “second-tier” superteams are doing a far better job than these two contenders in the early part of the season. While these teams may not have put together the biggest names, they have the All-Stars at their disposal to get the job done. For this piece, let’s take a look at five second-tier super teams that are doing a better job than the Lakers and Nets.

Red Hot NBA ‘Second-Tier’ Super Teams

Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo are fresh from winning a championship, and they aren’t slowing down just yet. The Bucks are currently sporting a 3-1 record, which is good for fourth in the East. While Giannis took a shot against current superstars for forming superteams to win a championship, some like Stephen Jackson would actually consider the Bucks as a superteam.

Giannis is easily the superstar of this team and a top five player in the league, especially after a historic run to end the Bucks’ championship drought. Although Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez aren’t elite superstars, they’re still players who made it to All-Star teams at some points in their respective careers.

With a championship under their belt, the Bucks are looking to pull out all the stops to successfully defend their title. And so far, they’re on the right path especially after re-asserting their mastery over the Nets in a convincing 127-104 victory in their season-opener.

Utah Jazz

The Jazz are looking like they’re off to their second straight winning season. After finishing at the top seed in the West last year, they are so far looking good to duplicate that feat this season. The Jazz are currently 3-0. They are spearheaded by their own trio of Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Mike Conley.

While some dislike the traditional playing style of Gobert, his defense has been a vital piece for the Jazz’s success. In fact, he’s the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and even earned a spot in last season’s NBA MVP ladder. Gobert has been averaging 18.7 points and 19.0 rebounds per game after a string of monster double-doubles.

On the other hand, although Mitchell hasn’t been in the race for NBA MVP, he is clearly the best player of this team. The two time All-Star was the centerpiece of the Jazz’ offense in their campaign to secure the top seed. And so far, Mitchell is looking just as great. He is currently averaging 21.5 points, 4.0 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game.

And while Conley was considered to be the best player to never play in an NBA All-Star game, that all changed last year. Conley is an underrated scoring guard, and has been a reliable scoring option next to Mitchell. The All-Star guard is averaging 14.9 points per game.

Just like the other super teams in this list, the Jazz don’t have the biggest names. However, aside from those three stars, the Jazz possess a lot of depth. To compliment their stars, the squad’s supporting cast includes reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson, Joe Ingles, and free-agent pickup Hassan Whiteside. Because of their stars and their depth, the Jazz are looking like a legitimate contender in the early stages of the regular season.

Miami Heat

After an early playoff exit last season, the Heat are planning to make this year their revenge season. Miami has raced to a 2-1 start, which is at fifth seed right behind the Bucks. Their statement game came in the season-opener, where they blew out the defending champions, 137-95.

The Heat have paraded their newly formed Big Three in Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and top free agency acquisition in Kyle Lowry. With a new Big Three, the Heat look like they can make another strong run for a NBA championship.

In contrast to their 2020 Finals run, Butler will now have plenty of support this time around. The addition of Lowry gives the squad a floor general that push the pace. Furthermore, his presence will reduce the ball-handling and scoring duties of Butler. So far, Lowry has been averaging 7.0 points and 7.0 assists per game. Although his scoring has taken a hit, the Heat looked better with him as they’ve won all the games with Lowry in action.

Although this isn’t a Big Three that has the same caliber as the 2013 iteration in Miami, this version possesses a lot of depth. Aside from already having young talents in Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, the squad also has NBA champions Markieff Morris and PJ Tucker. Furthermore, they’ll also be awaiting the return of their fourth star in Victor Oladipo.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors would’ve been dubbed as NBA championship favorites heading into the season. However with Klay Thompson still out and back-to-back absences in the postseason, people didn’t expect them to revert to championship form at this early stage. But despite the absence of their second star, the Warriors have been hot lately with their All-Star trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala.

With the return of Iggy to the Warriors, the team has looked better than ever. He is averaging 6.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. While his athleticism and production has taken a step back, it’s his veteran presence that brings a lot of value to this Warriors squad.

As of this writing, the Warriors are only one of two teams that’s sporting a 4-0 record. Curry has been the spearhead for the Warriors, averaging 31.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game. The two-time NBA MVP dropped a triple double in the season-opener victory against the Lakers before going off for 45 points against the Clippers.

On the other hand, Green has provided a little bit of everything for the Warriors. In their victories, Green has averaged 10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game. Despite the Warriors still awaiting the recovery of their elite sniper, they are already looking like a legitimate contender early into the season. It also helps that Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole have made vast improvements to their game.

Chicago Bulls

Aside from the Warriors, another hot team early into the season are the Bulls. While already forming a dynamic duo last season by pairing Zach LaVine with Nikola Vucevic, the franchise added four time All-Star DeMar DeRozan to make a Big Three of their own.

With their new trio, the Bulls have went on to a 4-0 start. It’s the hottest start for the franchise ever since the 1996-1997 season. While it’s still too early to tell if this Bulls team is a contender, a hot start is a good sign.

LaVine is playing great basketball, averaging 25.5 points per game. On the other hand, newcomer DeRozan has remained consistent by averaging 22.5 points per game. Vooch has also given a good account of himself in his second season with the Bulls. As the starting center, Vooch is averaging 14.3 points and 11.5 boards per game.

Although the Bulls’ trio doesn’t have the same star power as the likes of the Nets and the Lakers, the squad has surrounded their trio with pieces that fit seamlessly. Newcomers Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso have done fantastic jobs in setting up their teammates. Furthermore, they’ve also answered the call to simply make an impact for the team.