It’s pretty early to make bold statements just yet, but almost two weeks into the NBA regular season and with all teams playing at least 3 games, we can already know who's impressed and who has really let us down after all the expectations of the offseason.
Shaking off the rust may take a while for the veterans, as they’ve spent most of the offseason training on their own or nursing injuries while youngsters take the floor in Summer League and the preseason, but now that every game matters, some players have failed to step up quite yet.
Inexperienced players may also take a while to prove their worth and make the adjustment to NBA level, but even though some growing pains may be fair to expect, some guys have just failed to deliver when given the chance to do so.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 6 players that have disappointed us so far, hoping they turn things around and prove they got a lot to give in the hardwood as we all know they can.
6. Zach Randolph
Zach Randolph shocked everybody with his decision to join the Sacramento Kings and work as a veteran mentor for Willie Cauley-Stein, Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere, and even though nobody was expecting huge numbers out of him at age 36, his poor display has really let us down.
Through 3 games so far, Z-Bo is averaging just 8 points and 6.3 boards on 31% from the floor with a horrid 8.2 PER in merely 22 minutes per game. With the Kings looking to develop their young talents, he might as well end up at the bottom of the bench in a couple of months if he doesn’t improve.
5. Dwyane Wade
There were times during the last season when it seemed like the old Dwyane Wade had never left, showing glances of his speed and scoring a touch, but for most of the time; the flash looked pretty much done and washed out.
And now that he’s decided to go back to playing alongside his buddy LeBron James, he has been a major bust so far, even asking coach Lue to shift him to a bench role after averaging 7 points and just over 2 boards and 3 assists in 37% from the floor.
4. Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry also surprised everybody with his decision to stay put at Canada and resign with the Toronto Raptors after most people thought that the veteran point guard was poised to change his environment and go back to the Western Conference.
Fans were really encouraged to see their core stay together and a whole season with Serge Ibaka, but so far, Lowry has failed to deliver and seems to be in his postseason mode, averaging merely over 12 points and 6 dimes per contest in under 40% from the floor and a horrid 27% from beyond the arc. C’mon man, they already got DeRozan to brick threes.
3. Tim Hardaway Jr
Tim Hardaway Jr decided to go back to the big apple after the New York Knicks pretty much gave him away from nothing to the Atlanta Hawks, where he apparently saved his career and improve his scoring game a lot making the most of his athleticism.
Nevertheless, it seems like the Knicks uniform just doesn’t fit to well for him, as he’s playing exactly the same terrible way he was during his first NY stint. So far, the youngster has posted mediocre averages of 9.3 points, 1.3 boards and 1.3 assists in 24.3% from the floor and 22.7% from three, just horrible.
2. Markelle Fultz
The standout prospect was one of the most hyped players and a guy that everybody was looking up to watch during his rookie season, and most people even thought he could be fighting for the Rookie of the Year award with his teammate Ben Simmons.
Sadly, Fultz failed to show anything good at all during the offseason and over his first couple of contests, being completely out of touch and rhythm and getting a lot of his shots blocked. Besides, he’s mightily struggled from the line as well, but his agent has stated that’s due a nagging injury that hasn’t been nursed properly, and that he’s just going to get better as the season progresses.
1. Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray won the starting point guard job for the Denver Nuggets, that waived Jameer Nelson and are trying to move Emmanuel Mudiay, so he definitely has his minutes locked down and isn’t likely to lose his gig for the foreseeable future unless the team winds up trading for Eric Bledsoe as expected.
Murray has been a stud on defense and a major bust on offense, the aspect of his game that seemed to be way more developed and NBA ready. The combo guard has been horrid from all over the floor, shooting 29.8% from the field and just over 10% from downtown. He’ll turn things around pretty soon, as well as the Nuggets, though.