The Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns played against one another in the 2021 NBA Finals, and both teams have looked more convincing than most others in this season's playoffs as well. Both rosters are amazing and have excellent players but are small-market teams, in cities that aren't among the most prominent in the country.
While parity across regions and franchises is excellent for the competitiveness of the league, big-market teams doing well is also important, although that hasn't been the case lately. The New York Knicks have been poor for nearly a decade now, despite making the playoffs last season, and while the Lakers were champions in 2020, the franchise is currently in total disarray.
The Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics have been doing well and are still in the playoffs with a chance to make it far, but the Lakers and Knicks couldn't even make it to the play-in tournament. As such, they have now been called out by Magic Johnson, who has expressed his opinion that these teams need to be better.
"The two big market teams that need to improve are the Lakers and the Knicks."
The Lakers just parted ways with their coach, and have a looming decision regarding Russell Westbrook's status pending. What they choose to do about these issues and Anthony Davis' health are the two main factors that will affect how they perform next season.
The Knicks have seen a regression in the man that was supposed to be the next big thing with the franchise, Julius Randle. There are other issues with his psyche as well, but they continue to lack a consistent and top No. 1 option to make them a perennial winning team.
These teams doing well is good for revenue and good for the league, but considering how much success the Lakers have always enjoyed, fans of other teams might enjoy their current struggles. The Knicks, on the other hand, are at a point where it is difficult for anyone to have any faith in them. Magic is right about the team needing to improve, but it truly is easier said than done.