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The whilrwind 66-game season and offseason saw players go down with injuries or leave for greener pastures (or NBA championships). Some teams were hit hard with injuries and/or transfers, but the following five teams were punched harder in the ticket stub:
5. Chicago Bulls
After losing in the first round of the playoffs despite a top seed finish, injury woes not only plague the Bulls’ bench, but also the Bulls’ box office. The average price for Bulls tickets dropped 28 percent from $178 last season to $127 this upcoming season. An early playoff exit isn’t the only factor that can be attributed to slumping ticket prices. Derrick Rose’s torn ACL also plays a role. The injury to the two-time NBA All-Star, 2011 MVP, and Chicago’s Savior could see him in the sidelines wearing a suit rather than a Bulls’ jersey for most of the season. Luckily, Luol Deng is postponing wrist surgery until after the 2012-2013 season. Bulls’ fans were worried the British national would undergo surgery after his Olympic run this summer in London, and not return to training camp or the season on time.
The Bulls’ offseason moves haven’t been impressive. The Bulls let go of Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, CJ Watson, and Omer Asik. However, Chicago did acquire veteran point guard Nate Robinson, and Nazr Mohammed through free agency. The Eastern conference next season is a shark tank with a renewed Brooklyn Nets, defending champions Miami Heat, and slowly rising New York Knicks. The Chicago Bulls defense is solid, but without Rose, they lack shooting prowess. The only hope for ticket sales to go back up is for the Bulls to re-sign “White Mamba” Brian Scalabrine.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
After failing to make the playoffs last postseason partially due to the loss of star center Marcus Camby, the Portland Trail Blazers made some promising draft picks and signings during the offseason. However their next season will unravel, ticket prices have gone down. Average prices for Trail Blazer home games have gone down 33 percent from $120 last season to $80 this upcoming season. This is a great deal for Trail Blazer fans since the first three home games will be against the L.A. Lakers (<a href=" http://www.razorgator.com/tickets/sports/basketball/nba/portland-trail-blazer…|1″>minimum ticket price: $68), L.A. Clippers (minimum ticket price: $22), and San Antonio Spurs (minimum ticket price: $17).
During the offseason, the Portland Trail Blazers drafted Damian Lillard from Weber State, and Meyers Leonard from Illinois. They also signed veterans Sasha Pavlovic and Ronnie Price from free agency. With a solid lineup, and optimistic new head coach Terry Stotts, the upcoming Trail Blazer season might give ticket buyers more bang for their buck.
3. Orlando Magic
It’s official! Dwight Howard is leaving Orlando and headed to sunny L.A. to join Steve Nash in the Lakers. But even before Thursday’s announcement, Dwight Howard, the one they call Superman, and his decision stalling has been kryptonite to Orlando Magic ticket prices. The average price for Orlando Magic home game tickets has dropped 34 percent from $142 last season to $92 this upcoming season. The Magic still have Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu.
The Magic are used to such woeful partings (Shaquille O’Neal, Doc Rivers as coach, and Tracy MacGrady). Also, it’s not like the Magic are receiving nothing for Dwight Howard. In a four team deal with the Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, and L.A. Lakers, the Magic acquired Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington from the Nuggets, Nikola Vucevic and first-round draft pick Moe Harkless from the 76ers, and future first round draft picks from each of the three teams. The Magic could make the playoffs, but not the final, so Orlando Magic tickets are a bargain.
2. Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors haven’t made it to the postseason in five years, and were only recently relevant for being Jeremy Lin’s former team. They finished thirteenth in the Western conference with a 23-43 record. Despite a lackluster finish, the Warriors were 9th in the league in assists thanks to versatile guard and amateur photographer Monta Ellis, who was traded to Milwaukee in March. Even though Warriors’ stats were up, ticket prices have gone down compared to last season. Average Golden State Warrior home ticket prices have gone down 35 percent, from $118 to $75.
The Warriors lost Nate Robinson, but they still have Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut returning from injury to help David Lee add to their shooting statistics.
Warriors fans should look forward to home games against a renewed Brooklyn Nets (minimum ticket price: $11), a resurgent L.A. Lakers (<a href=" http://www.razorgator.com/tickets/sports/basketball/nba/golden-state-warriors…|1″>minimum ticket price: $57), and a promising L.A. Clippers (minimum ticket price: $26).
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves haven’t made it to the NBA postseason in nearly ten seasons. During that time, the Timberwolves have seen the rise and departure of Kevin Garnett. The Timberwolves ended last season at 12th place in the Western conference, just above the Golden State Warriors. Despite some solid players like Olympian Kevin Love, veteran JJ Barea, and star rookie Ricky Rubio, the Timberwolves home tickets have plunged. The average ticket price has gone down 42 percent from $71 last season to $40 this upcoming season.
The Wolves added Brandon Roy, who is coming back from retirement after what was thought to be career-threatening knee problems. The Wolves let go of Michael Beasley who joined the Phoenix Suns. Minnesota is looking forward to the return of Kevin Love after competing in the London Olympics with Team USA, and Ricky Rubio from recovery of a torn ACL.
Wolves fans should look forward to great deals for home games against these top teams: Brooklyn Nets on January 23rd (minimum ticket price: $9), L.A. Lakers on February 1st (minimum ticket price: $34), and defending champions Miami Heat on March 4th (minimum ticket price: $34).