The NBA makes it very clear heading into every season which teams it thinks will bring in the most revenue through television ratings. When the league puts together its national television schedule, certain teams make a lot more appearances than others.
This season, the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers will all have at least 36 of their 82 regular season games televised on either ABC, ESPN, TNT or NBA TV.
In this article, we will move to the other side of the spectrum. USAbetting highlights four teams that are getting much less shine on national TV, but will still be entertaining to watch. By purchasing NBA League Pass, you will have much more access to these teams’ games.
Atlanta Hawks (9 national TV games)
The Hawks are on the upswing after bottoming out at 24 wins in the 2017-18 season. Atlanta has stockpiled a great young core in Trae Young, John Collins, Kevin Huerter, DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish. All five guys are between the ages of 20 and 22 years old.
The young squad’s defense is going to struggle quite a bit. There’s no point in pretending that won’t be the case, as Young and Collins are especially ineffective on that end and inexperienced players tend to need time to develop into strong defenders.
However, if you are looking for highlight plays and fun basketball, the Hawks are your team. Young has unlimited shooting range and a knack for amazing passes, Collins is a big dunker, Huerter has a beautiful shooting stroke and Hunter and Reddish are athletic wings who can dazzle around the rim.
Chicago Bulls (4 national TV games)
Considering the large size of the Bulls’ media market and how many dedicated fans they have, it’s a bit surprising how few games they have on national TV.
Not only that, the Bulls actually have a pretty fun and intriguing squad. Rookie point guard Coby White is going to make sure Chicago pushes the pace on offense, which is something that didn’t happen enough last year. Zach LaVine is a two-time dunk contest champion who’s becoming a more versatile offensive player every year. The young big man duo of Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. form a potentially elite frontcourt pairing if they can both stay healthy and reach their potential.
Veteran additions Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young will help stabilize the team on and off the floor, as well.
I’m still not sold on head coach Jim Boylen as a long-term answer but the Bulls will make a considerable jump from last season’s 22 wins and be entertaining at the same time.
Memphis Grizzlies (4 national TV games)
The Grizzlies will be one of the worst teams in the league. They also play for a franchise that his historically been one of the least-followed teams in the league. It totally makes sense why they aren’t slated for very many national TV games.
I know I’ll attempt to tune into a lot of their games, though. Young prospects Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. are the main reasons why. All three guys are some of the league’s most physically gifted prospects in the NBA right now.
Morant is a point guard who flies down the court in transition and loves either rising up for a thunderous dunk or dishing off a nice assist to finish the break. Clarke is another fantastic dunker at the forward spot who has a knack for making the right defensive play, often in entertaining fashion. Jackson is a prototype modern big man who can hit threes, protect the rim and defend the perimeter capably.
Orlando Magic (6 national TV games)
Only five teams have fewer national TV games this season than the Magic. Unlike Orlando, all five of those teams missed the playoffs in 2018-19.
The Magic aren’t a super flashy team, as they have formed their identity mainly on defense. Last season, Orlando had the eighth-ranked defense in the NBA, but it ranked much higher in the second half of the season.
Young, defensive-minded players such as Jonathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon, Mo Bamba, Wesley Iwundu and Isaiah Briscoe put on a clinic each night as they demonstrate how to prevent opponents from scoring. The Magic don’t have very much offensive firepower. However, Nikola Vucevic, D.J. Augustin and Evan Fournier are all good decision makers who usually make the correct play.
If you are a basketball purist who enjoys watching a team play with great defense and effort, Orlando is your team.