Reviewing the 2020-21 NBA Teams

July 4th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Hope you guys are having a happy Independence Day! To recap the 2020-21 NBA season, I decided to take the time to assess every NBA team’s performance, as well as how their players and their head coach did.  From there, I then proceeded to make preliminary projections for next season, even though the 2021 NBA Draft and free agency has not taken place yet.

Here are the NBA teams that I will review from each of the six divisions.  When I have finished reviewing them, you will find a link to each of the teams’ reports.  The teams that have reached the 2021 NBA Finals will be reviewed last as their seasons will not have finished until completion of their series.  Most likely, all of the assessments on the 2020-21 NBA teams will be written up just before the 2021 NBA Draft.

The Eastern Conference

Milwaukee Bucks’ superstar forwards, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton have played very well, and both of them were instrumental in helping lead their team to the 2021 NBA Finals this season.
(Photo:
Winslow Townson/Associated Press, via Bleacher Report)

The Central Division
Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers
Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons

Atlanta Hawks’ head coach, Nate McMillan, and superstar point guard Trae Young led their team to get to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, as they were able to rattle off impressive playoff series wins over the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers.
(Photo:
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images, via Bleacher Report)

The Southeast Division
Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat
Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets
Orlando Magic

The Brooklyn Nets were dealt with a lot of unfortunate injuries throughout the season, but Kevin Durant and company led their team to seven games in the second round, and he scored 48 points in Game 7, but the Nets ended up losing their playoff series to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA playoffs.
(Photo:
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press, via Bleacher Report)

The Atlantic Division
Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks
Boston Celtics
Toronto Raptors

The Western Conference

Phoenix Suns’ superstar guards, Chris Paul (pictured right) and Devin Booker (pictured left) have had some tremendous games in the playoffs this year, and they helped lead their team to get to the 2021 NBA Finals.
(Photo:
Matt York/Associated Press, via FiveThirtyEight)

The Pacific Division
Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings

The Denver Nuggets’ superstar point center, Nikola Jokic was named the MVP of the 2020-21 NBA season. Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz had the best record in the regular season this year, and Utah Jazz’s center, Rudy Gobert was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in his career.
(Photo:
David Zalubowski/Associated Press, via The Salt Lake Tribune)

The Northwest Division
Utah Jazz
Denver Nuggets
Portland Trail Blazers
Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder

Dallas Mavericks’ superstar Luka Doncic (pictured left), and Memphis Grizzlies’ star point guard Ja Morant (pictured right) played very well this year, and both players led their teams to playoff berths this past season.
(Photo:
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Mavs Moneyball)

The Southwest Division
Dallas Mavericks
Memphis Grizzlies
San Antonio Spurs
New Orleans Pelicans
Houston Rockets

Brooklyn Nets’ superstar forward, Kevin Durant and San Antonio Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich are two legends that are still at the top of their game.
(Photo:
Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group, via The Mercury News)

While reviewing NBA players, I also gave their season a letter grade, as this was a combination of how they fared this season, as well as if they met or exceeded the expectations that I had for them this year.

In projecting NBA players for the 2021-22 NBA season, I rated them on a 0.5 to 5 star scale, which is as follows:

My 2021-22 NBA Player and Coach Rating Scale:
5 star player – Hall of Famer/MVP/Legend
4.5 star player – Perennial All-Star
4 star player – All-Star
3.5 star player – Very good player
3 star player  – Good player
2.5 star player – Above average
2 star player – Average
1.5 star player – Backend rotation player
1 star player – Fringe roster player
0.5 star player – Not NBA material

This scale also basically applied to how I rated NBA head coaches as well.

For the information I gathered for research purposes, Basketball-Reference, No Trade Clause, and Wikipedia were very valuable.  Basketball-Reference had the statistical information of every NBA player, and No Trade Clause listed each of the contracts they had.  Wikipedia also listed out who has what picks in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Sometime later this month in July 2021, I’ll post a 2021 NBA mock draft on this website.

Currently, the NBA Finals will begin on Tuesday, July 6th, at 9 PM EST.  It will be interesting to see the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns play against each other, and which team will emerge as the NBA champions this year.  There will be more exciting NBA playoff games to come, so stay tuned for that.  Thanks for reading.

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