Disappointment, by definition, is not living up to expectations.
Arguably there is no greater expectation, then when you are a big name, proven star, in the NBA. Your team, coach, fans, reporters, even the towel boys expect you to perform to expectations that you’ve set in the past or expectations that your ability dictates you to perform at.
At roughly the halfway point in what has been a terrific NBA season, let’s take a look at some of the players who have NOT lived up to their expectations. It should be noted, on my mission to find the top 5 disappointing players this year, you will find no small names, I’m going after some of the biggest names in the league. That is of course, where you find the biggest expectations.
Told you I was going after big names! It doesn’t get much bigger.
The 2015-2016 season penciled Stephen Curry into the record books as one of the all-time special players. Back to back MVP seasons is something that has only been done by 11 players. It was also a season that saw Curry emerge as the face of the league, with some incredibly exciting play. The feature was his shooting, 3 pointers from ridiculously deep spots on the floor. Averaging 30ppg. He has led the charge of a new style of play. The NBA was better for Steph and he changed the game.
This season, we were all looking forward to the fun beginning all over again. Sadly though, Steph has taken a backseat, averaging a tick over 24 ppg with his overall shooting percentage taking a dip.
This change has obviously been to the benefit of his team, and we all know why – allowing Kevin Durant to seamlessly fit into the new super team and he should get so much credit for doing what so many others wouldn’t. Allowing his stats to dip for the benefit of the team.
However, his form has been a major disappointment for the fans and the NBA as a whole would be better if Steph was doing the Steph things from last year.
Cast your mind back a couple of months, the only discussions around PG13 were if he would stamp himself a genuine contender for MVP? And would he cement his spot as a top 3 or top 5 players in the NBA take his career to the next level? He was even the face of 2k17. A privilege reserved for genuine stars such as Allen Iversen, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Not a bad list to be on.
Has he lived up to such expectations? The answer has to be a certain no.
Fast forward to the present day the conversations around George is a very different one. Is he even a top 20 player at the moment? It’s got to the point where there are even suggestions and rumors he should be traded.
This season seemed like the ideal time for PG13 to make the leap from good to great, instead, it’s been a year where the only jump has been in a backward direction.
New York have high expectations, but Knicks fans are growing increasingly frustrated with Melo as his career progresses. The once savior is now failing to get his team out of tricky spots as he once did for so long. And this season is perhaps seeing tension rise to boiling point.
“When we win it’s us, but when we lose it’s me”. Is a quote from Carmelo this week, perfectly illustrating the frustration in New York.
Two things are at the heart of the frustration from Knicks fans:
1) the huge $124 million dollars 5-year contract, which includes a no-trade clause. When you sign that sort of a deal it’s only natural for the fans to expect gold class results.
2) Carmelo’s style of play. Often accused, even by the Knicks President Phil Jackson, of stopping the offense and being a ball hog, this style is all roses when the team is winning, but as Kobe found out in LA, when results aren’t going your way it leads to major frustrations.
Without a doubt, Anthony is still a superb offensive player, BUT with the additions of Derrick Rose, gun big man Kristaps Porzingis and others to the team this year, many expected this could be the year where Melo and the Knicks could make their presence felt in the league.
Have we even heard about CP3 this year? Put aside the 20 points and 20 assists game, would you even know he was playing?
Statistically, to date, this has been Paul’s worst offensive year in 4 years averaging only a touch over 17 points per game (below his career average of 18.7), his assist numbers are also down to the lowest point in 5 years, all be it still a handy 9.6 per game.
Where would you rank him amongst guards this year? If early voting for the NBA All-Star game is anything go by, he just barely scrapes into the top 10. Curry, Harden, Westbrook, Thompson, Irving, Wade, DeRozan, Thomas – all the list of names who comfortably polled more votes.
With players such as Damian Lillard and Kyle Lowry behind him in votes tallied, you could even make a case he is lucky to be in the top 10.
Yes, he has spent some time out of the team recently with a hamstring injury and how much that has impacted his play prior to missing games this year we don’t know, but nobody can argue this is been an extremely disappointing year to be a Clippers fan. As one of the major players on the team, Paul has to take serious responsibility.