With just over a quarter of the NBA season gone by, it’s time for congratulations. A lot has gone down, including a too-hot-for-ESPN 13-letter-word (what could it have been!?) and a large amount of confusing awfulness in the East. We can blame Lawrence Frank for most of it, obviously, but it’s important to honor the players as well.
First up, the “We’re Really Disappointed in You” team.
In case you missed it, check out the The NBA All-Underrated Team.
(Note: Selections are based on talent and the subsequent squandering of said talent. Striking a fine balance between skill and noncommittal defense, questionable shot selection and wasted potential is essential).
Without further ado, the players:
- Professional offensive black hole
- Consummate pro who’s exceptional at pointing out what’s wrong and doing nothing to fix it
- Voted unanimous winner of the Guy-You’d-Least-Like-to-Have-with-You-on-the-Titanic
Undoubtedly an incredible basketball talent, Anthony produces elite results on teams that are often known for their championship contending irrelevancy. With great talent comes great responsibility and on this all-disappointment squad, there’s always room for a star who avoids it like the plague.
Melo Tony has fashioned his NBA career after Billy Zane in my favorite James Cameron flick about a sinking ship and has shot his way out of everything he hasn’t liked – from Denver to the Jeremy Lin situation – at middling efficiency rates and max-dollars. This year, he’s hoisting nearly nine pull-up jumpers a game and has managed to be less effective (35.1 percent) shooting them than Rudy Gay (40.9 percent), per SportsVU.
But let’s face it, the real disappointment is how the Knicks are going down and all he cares about is that Heart of the Ocean diamond he left in his coat pocket. At 29, the window for Melo to prove he’s willing to commit to something all legitimate superstars have already committed to (defense) is currently being boarded up with nails.
- Gifted lefty with great court vision.
- Has many skills; prefers to play to weaknesses
- League leader in missed jumpers that lead to Andre Drummond dunks
(screen shot courteousy of Vorped)
- Banned stats from locker room in last-ditch self-preservation effort
- League hot-potato
- First player to be traded by John Hollinger
After being traded to his tenth team in the past two years, Gay finds himself on a Sacramento squad with DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, and a starting lineup that will need at least two more basketballs and two less players.
Perhaps the definition of a low-efficiency gunner, Rudy has dropped to near Ricky Rubio depths this season, shooting just 38 percent. To be fair, he hasn’t shot that poorly from three (37 percent) and most players would kill to shoot threes at an overall FG% clip. Gay can still get a shot off on anyone at anytime, which has value. Just not $17.89 million value.
“John, if you come work for us, we’ll let you trade Rudy” was the Grizzlies’ first and only pitch they used to woo stat guru John Hollinger away from ESPN.
- Only player in history to pump fake a free-throw.
- Space cadet defense and ability to fight through screens rivaled only by blind dogs.
- He doesn’t always pass, but when he does, he prefers the ball back immediately.
He is… The Most Swaggiest Man in the World.
Young’s antics are no secret by now. He’s having a career-year, averaging a hair over two rebounds a game with nearly 1.5 assists as a 6-foot-7 basketball player. He’s infamous for his Twitter handle “Swaggy P,” his Smaug-ishly desolate box scores and being Kendrick Lamar’s cousin.
A gifted athlete who could be a plus-defender, Young only seems interested in becoming the next Kobe despite not possessing any of the primary or secondary skills that make Kobe really good. Young’s swag is undeniable. His instincts – and his positive impact on the basketball court – not so much.
- Takes 1-vs-5 as the ultimate challenge
- Inappropriate tweeter, construction expert.
- Not a fan of shot-efficiency
After winning the 6th Man Award last year, Smith has gone off into the NYC sewers in search of albino alligators, shooting under 35 percent and a mere 17.9 percent on pull-up jumpers this season, according to SportsVU.
He’s sliced his PER in half and continues to be more defensive on Twitter than the actual basketball court. A very talented player who taps into about 75 percent of his potential each season, this year he’s settled for about 17.9 percent.
At this point, it’s not clear who’s better — Smith, or his brother, Chris.