3 Dark Horse contenders for the 2020-2021 NBA season


(Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

By: Crina Mustafa


Every season, we always have those few teams that appear to be better than the rest. Analysts and fans alike focus most of their attention on teams like the Lakers, Nets, and Clippers. However, in every season, there is always a chance for some teams to prove their worth to those “sleeping” on them. Here are 3 teams that might have the potential to surprise everyone.


1. Denver Nuggets

(Photo via BellyUp Sports)


With players like Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, it should be no surprise that they are on this list. However, it seems like people are sleeping on this team once again. Jamal Murray, a player that I placed on another list here, led the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals, so who says they can’t do it again? Many had the battle of LA happening last season, and those predictions have carried over into the 2020-2021 season as well. It wouldn’t be out of the question if the Nuggets subverted everyone’s expectations once again.

As the season begins soon, make sure to keep an eye on the Denver Nuggets. They had a solid preseason and should not be counted against.


2. Dallas Mavericks

(Photo via Dallas News)


The Dallas Mavericks still have a bit to figure out, but they could be one of those teams that slips from right under our noses and outperforms everyone else. Last season, they made the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Although they lost in the first round to the LA Clippers, it was an improvement from their recent years. Luka Doncic is the star of the Mavericks, and might even be the next superstar of the NBA. You can find him on the same list as Jamal Murray here, so it is no surprise that I’ve placed the Mavericks here too.

The Mavericks have the potential to improve even more this season, possibly even making it past the first round of the playoffs.


3. Philadelphia 76ers

(Photo via The Sixer Sense)


The 76ers have been solid season after season, but they’ve never really crossed that line into contention. This could be the year that they finally make that push, otherwise, we might start to see some big changes coming soon. Here are some of the changes they made this offseason:


Traded/Got Rid Of: Al Horford, rights to Vasilije Micic, a future first-round pick to OKC, Josh Richardson, rights to Tyler Bey to Mavs, Brett Brown (fired)

Acquired: Danny Green, Seth Curry, Dwight Howard (FA), Tyrese Maxey (draft pick), Doc Rivers (new coach), Daryl Morey (president)


All of these moves were pretty smart in giving Philly a solid chance at being in the mix. As always, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are the key pieces of the puzzle, and hopefully, they can solve it.


2020-2021 Season

The NBA season kicks off Tuesday, December 22, 2020, at 7:00 pm EST. As you watch all these teams get into it, don’t forget to keep your eye on some of the dark horse teams on this list. As certain as some people think this season will go, they just might dazzle us.