A lot can change in the span of one year in the NBA. We can see players get traded or sign elsewhere as well as new players come into the league.
Then, there is the matter of team success on a year-to-year basis.
There were some teams that made the playoffs in 2018. Right now, things aren’t looking too good for them to start 2019.
Here is a list of teams that made the playoffs in 2018, but won’t in 2019:
Last year, the Cavaliers were in the NBA Finals. Now, in 2019, they currently have the worst record in the NBA. The team has had a lot of changes that started in the offseason. The most notable loss was the departure of LeBron James.
The team has also been without their best player in Kevin Love as he has only played four games this season.
Things have not been the best for Cleveland and the playoffs will not be in their future this season. This will be the first time since the 2013-14 season in which they won’t make the playoffs.
This season is definitely not what the Wizards expected. The team is currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, which has been a disappointment.
There is still time for Washington to turn things around but the team is still without center Dwight Howard as he is still dealing with an injury.
And to make things worse, star point guard John Wall might be out for some time as he is dealing with a heel injury. The injury could be a potentially season-ending injury which would end the Wizards New Year’s resolution of making the playoffs.
The Timberwolves had a rocky 2018. The team made the playoffs last season which came down to the very last game of the regular season. The offseason was even rockier as Jimmy Butler was not happy in Minnesota and requested a trade.
Eventually, they dealt him to the Sixers for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. You would have thought that they would find their groove, especially Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
The Timberwolves are currently 17-20 and are in 13th place in the Western Conference. The one thing that can be the T-Wolves saving grace is that the West race is very tight. Winning three games in a row could see them slide up to the eighth seed. This can be also a con too as they could miss the playoffs by a few games.
New Orleans Pelicans
Despite Anthony Davis putting up MVP caliber numbers this season, his efforts might not be enough to make a trip to the playoffs. The Pelicans also have the unfortunate luck of playing in the Western Conference.
The Pelicans currently have the second-worst record in the NBA with a record of 17-22 and are 3-7 in their last ten games. If the Pelicans miss the playoffs, this would be a big disappointment for a team that advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
The Jazz also has the very unfortunate luck of playing in the Western Conference. Their chances are still very much alive as the team is currently in 10th in the West.
Missing the playoffs would come as a shocker as many people thought that the Jazz would have one of the best records in the league this season. Many figured Donovan Mitchell would take that next step and evolve into an All-Star. Not to mention, many thought Rudy Gobert would have a solid chance at making the All-Star team too.
Instead, the Jazz have struggled to tread water. However, it is worth noting that they appeared down and out a year ago. Utah could go on another magical run to start off the new year.
Honorable Mention- San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are not too far off from missing out on the playoffs in 2019.
If that were to happen it would be the first time since the 1996-97 season in which they missed the playoffs.
San Antonio is currently in 7th place, the same place they finished last season. There is some reason to worry as the playoff race is very tight and will be even tighter closer to the end of the season. But on the other hand, the Spurs are still coached by Gregg Popovich one of the greatest coaches of all-time.
Not to mention even though they traded superstar Kawhi Leonard in the offseason they received DeMar DeRozan who is still an All-Star player.
DeRozan knows how to lead a team to the playoffs. He is having one of his best seasons as he is not just being a scorer he is becoming more of a facilitator as he is averaging the most assist in his career this season at 6.4.