6 Underdog Teams That Could Surprise Us in the Next NBA Season

6 Underdog Teams That Could Surprise Us in the Next NBA Season

Teams that are usually not considered contenders for championships will have a new chance to create an impression in the next NBA season. This piece explores the NBA's upcoming season's possible surprises by highlighting six underdog NBA teams that have the potential to shock the league and make a lasting impression.

The NBA is renowned for its dynasties, big-market teams that constantly garner attention, and juggernauts. But the teams that don't get as much attention—the underdog NBA teams—are frequently what provide even more excitement to the league. In the upcoming season, the following underdog NBA teams are expected to have an impact: Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, and New Orleans Pelicans.

In this article, learn the unsung tales of guts, perseverance, and growth that these underdog NBA teams' potential for success is based on.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland's season finales were not the finest. Despite this, they still have a long-term deal with their youthful, talented unit. With talented young players, a team in the Eastern Conference always has a chance. The Cavaliers did make the playoffs the previous season, and Donovan Mitchell was chosen for the All-NBA team.

You could have a winning combination if you combine their versatile big men pair of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen with a more confident Mitchell. Isaac Okoro has to improve his shooting, but he should remain a top-tier defender. The Cavaliers will be an exciting basketball team and a formidable foe in the league.

New Orleans Pelicans

Injuries have consistently been the Pelicans' biggest issue. Over the past few seasons, its two best players—Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson—have missed many games.

Williamson led the team in the Western rankings before his injury, scoring 26 points a night. Their squad is sufficiently deep. Trey Murphy, CJ McCollum, and Jonas Valancuinius are all talented NBA players.

Coach Willie Green has the players to play any team, which is important because matchups are crucial in the playoffs. Especially in the playoffs, no team wants to play the healthy Pelicans. It is among the underdog NBA teams of exceptional quality.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs are unmissable with a player of Doncic's talent in the lineup. A player of a generation, Luka Doncic, can grab a bucket whenever he wants. Scoring points won't be an issue with Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry on the team. It's the other side of the floor they have to worry about.

Grant Williams' signing ought to improve the defense. Dallas can defeat any team in the league if head coach Jason Kidd gets a defensive mindset in his players.

Utah Jazz

Utah has the potential to surprise the Western Conference with a combination of talented rookies and seasoned veterans. Even while playing, the bigger boys, Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, and Lauri Markkanen, can score enough points to win games.

Maybe the player in Utah with the highest ceiling is Walker Kessler. The Jazz will be a formidable foe if he fulfills the commitment to be a defensive stalwart and shows significant improvement on the attacking end. Additionally, Taylor Hendricks, a rookie for the Utah Jazz, proved talented enough in college to make an immediate difference for this club.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Few predicted that the Thunder would make it to the 2023 play-in round. The offensive firepower of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Josh Giddey is the Thunder's key to victory.

With so many young players, they have made it a priority to develop them. The previous season saw the beginning of that gamble paying off, and the upcoming season will undoubtedly see even better results. There's no way to predict where they could end up if they strengthen their defense and Chet Holmgren stays healthy.

Memphis Mavericks

The young and gifted Memphis Grizzlies are a team that is rapidly improving. They have shown great promise in recent seasons, led by the dynamic pair of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant.

The Grizzlies have a fast-paced game and a commitment to defense, which might make them a formidable team in the Western Conference.


  1. What is the underdog in the NBA?

An underdog is an individual or team favored to lose in a competition, typically involving sports or the arts. The team, individual, or party predicted to win is called the favorite or top dog.

  1. Who usually wins the NBA?

There have been 21 NBA Finals winners overall, with the Denver Nuggets taking home the most recent championship in 2023. With 17 championship wins apiece, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers share the record for most triumphs.

  1. Why are underdogs so popular?

Because inspiration is a high arousal level that makes the onlooker feel such emotions, the inspired audience typically connects emotionally with the underdog. Underdogs are typically portrayed as people lacking talent in real life and fabricated narratives.

  1. Which NBA team has the longest playoff streak?

The San Antonio Spurs equaled the NBA record with 22 consecutive playoff appearances in 2019. The Spurs' run ended after being eliminated from the 2020 NBA playoffs. It began in the 1998 NBA playoffs. During their run, the Spurs were the NBA champions five times.

  1. Was LeBron James an underdog?

Always been the underdog. He was typically the underdog in every Finals he participated in, except 2012 and possibly 2011. Despite having made ten trips to the NBA Finals, James has only won four championships, which some consider a major mark against his record.


Even though there are usually several well-known teams competing in the NBA, underdog NBA teams can surprise both fans and analysts. Whether we refer to it as "one of the best," "among the elite," or "at the pinnacle of excellence," the idea is still the same: this particular team has made a unique contribution that makes it stand out from the competition. These statements serve as a tribute to the team's talent, hard work, and dedication, in addition to showcasing their extraordinary attributes.

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