12/6/08

Top 5 underachieving players

Fans and teams have huge expectations of certain players. Just like the surprise players every year, there are also disappointments. Here are the top 5 disappointments thus far.

Elton Brand: He left the Clippers hanging even though they made the move for Baron Davis, but the expectations for the Sixers were through the roof, and now they are back where they have always been. The Sixers are desperate for success. They gave up AI with the expectation that they could rebuild. The team has failed to perform up to par, and Elton Brand is not helping change that notion. The only reason I didn't put Iguodala on this list is because I have always thought he was overrated and not equipped to fill the role of Iverson. The acquisition of Brand was suppose to shoot the Sixers into Eastern Conference title contention. Instead, they are 9-11 behind the Celtics and Nets. Brand is averaging 16.7 ppg and 10 rebs. You may say that isn't so bad, but that is the lowest ppg he has had since he has been in the league. His 10 rebs are about his average. Remember, the Clippers were about to pay him around $100 million until he left to Philly for less money, but still due to make $13.7 million this season. One could also make the argument that Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala are taking away from his production, but Andre is only averaging 15.5 points (1.1 point higher than his career average), and Iguodala is averaging the lowest ppg since his sophomore season at 13.9 ppg. There is enough to go around, Brand just isn't getting it done. The Sixers record combined, expectation, salary and Brand's career low in points makes him the clear pick for the most underachieving player.

2. The Raptors: I can't pin point one player on the Raptors who is underachieving. Did we really expect Jermaine O'Neal not to get injured? They fired their coach Sam Mitchell which was a scapegoat move for their abysmal performance this season. Chris Bosh has done his part by scoring 26.1ppg and 10.3 rebs. The next highest scorer is Jose Calderon at 12.7 ppg and then Jermaine O'Neal at 12.6ppg. Having a 14 point difference between your #1 and #2 scorers is not going to get it done. The Raptors are also waiting on their project Andrea Bargnani to start producing. Currently Bargnani is averaging 11.16 ppg and 5.1 rebs which is solid, but they need more from him. The Raptors also have some pretty good role players in Jason Kapono, Anthony Parker, and Jamario Moon, but still not enough to get them to a winning level. On paper, this is a team that could be top 3 in the Eastern Conference. They have the pieces there, they might be a little undersized, but it is not looking good for them right now.

3. Brad Miller: This guy has been on the decline for a while. He is a two-time former All-Star, but has failed to live up to that standard since he made the All-Star team in 04. He got a huge paycheck when he left Indiana and joined the Kings. He is due to make $11.3 million this season. However, he is just averaging 11.9 ppg this season and 7.9 rebs. He averaged 13.4 ppg and 9.4 rebs last season. The reason Miller makes this list is due to how much he will constrain the Kings until the summer of 2010. Judging by Miller's play, he won't be getting paid anywhere close to the contract he has right now. What is frustrating is that he has proven he can compete at the 5 position, but has been inconsistent in producing that. Night after night Miller continues to get beat up by the Western Conference's size. He is also an injury prone player that has not been able to get the job done against the bigmen in the West, and I'm sure the Maloof brothers are regretting the decision to give him such a huge contract. The Kings will be stuck at the bottom of the Western Conference for a few more years.

Allen Iverson: It is tough to make the transition to a new team suddenly after you have been preparing to be with one team for the whole seasson, but Iverson is a superstar. He is not suppose to have decreases in production when he is traded. He averaged 26.4ppg and 7.1 assists last season for the Nuggets. For Detroit, Iverson is averaging 17.8 ppg and 5.5 assists. He is averaging about 10 points lower than his career average of 27.5 ppg. Dumars made the trade for AI with the expectation that AI was going to continue to produce at the level he needed to. Detroit managed to hand the Lakers their first loss of the season, but outside of that, they have been very inconsistent. Out of their 8 losses, 4 have come from Minnesota, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York. Those 4 teams are all worse than Detroit. They should have been easy wins for the Pistons. Their struggles in their 8 losses can be attributed to AI's decline in play. The Pistons are 7-8 with Iverson so far. He makes $20 million, but is not playing like the superstar we have known him to be. AI better turn this around fast or he will find himself with less than impressive contract offers this summer that will take him to the last years of his career.

Shawn Marion: It is tough to put Marion on this list because of the major turnaround the Heat have had this year. They are 11-9, and showing no signs of slowing down. Wade leads the league in scoring, but Marion has seen a major decline in production. Marion only averages 12.6 ppg behind Beasley's 14.1 ppg. Marion's is also averaging 9.4 rebs and 1.5 blocks which are in the ballpark of his career averages. The drastic drop in points is surprising. Marion is constantly around the basket and is known to get a lot of hustle points. That has seemed to take a hit this season as Beasley is grabbing a lot of rebounds and Chalmers is another credible scorer the Heat have this year. Imagine if Marion came up to the levels that he has played his whole career. The Heat would be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Marion is also the highest paid player on the team, and wants a big extension from the Heat or a new team. Marion has not helped his case thus far.

Izzy

1 comment:

TEK said...

Sick blog. Good to see the update.