- 02/07/2012, 07:29AM ET
Hyped78 said 02/07, 07:29 AM
Pick only 1.
I am going with the New York Knicks.
There are different choices available but I feel the Knicks, 10-15 as I write these lines, are the biggest disappointment so far.
If the playoffs were today they would just be watching on TV, like the rest of us.
They are behind Eastern teams that were supposed to be far weaker than them, namely the Bucks and the Cavaliers.
A team that was supposed to be a contender, namely with the addition of Tyson Chandler, is now a mere pretender.
The frontcourt of Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony (who has now had time to fit in with the team and D'Antoni's system) is theoretically one of the most menacing in the league.
But look at Stoudemire as an example of their woes: scoring the fewest points since his rookie season, while also posting the worst FG% of his career.
And while the backcourt isn't as powerful, there are enough bodies to make it a competent unit (Toney Douglas, Iman Shumpert, Bibby, with Baron Davis out).
A good coach and 3 All-Star caliber players? This wasn't to be expected.
Somebody of Note said 02/07, 12:45 PM
Good to see you again, Hyped. Nice of you to bring some rust with you. Calling Tyson Chandler an All-Star calibre player? He's never made the game. Calling Mike D'Antoni a good coach? Knicks fans definitely disagree. He's been sub .500 half of his seasons.
I have to go with a team that is also currently sitting on the outside of the playoffs. The difference is that, very much unlike New York, they won the title last season. Yes, I'm picking the Dallas Mavericks.
With New York, you had to expect failure. For starters, they had a losing record after acquiring Carmelo (14-18), and Melo and Amare have shown that they're incompatible on the court. Both play horrendous defense, both need the ball in their hands (they were both in the top 7 in shot attempts last season), and both are known for selfishness. Anthony will never fit in D'Antoni's system, and the backcourt is awful (so bad that Jeremy Lin now gets starter minutes).
Dallas, meanwhile, has a team that's proven to work, yet they just haven't won. Dirk's PPG is down by 6 points! Dirk, who was such a beast in the playoffs! To go from champs to chumps is far more disappointing than living up to predictions.
Hyped78 said 02/08, 02:30 AM
Allow the correction.
Yesterday, when you wrote your 1st argument, the Mavs were 9th due to tie breakers, but they were tied with other teams for the 6th seed.
Now, as the Jazz lost, they are the 8th seed due to tie breakers, but tied with 4 teams for the #5 spot at 14-11.
Last time we had a shortened lock-out season an 8th seed went to the Finals.
And the Western Conference is more competitive than the Eastern.
In the East you can be an 8th seed with a losing record. Not in the West.
If we want to compare directly, the Mavs are 14-11, the Knicks are 10-15. Which team is worse?
You'll say "the Mavs are the champions", as expected.
What you forget is that the majority of analysts were predicting, before the season start, that the Mavs were going to be far worse than last season.
Their top defensive player and rebounder, Tyson Chandler, is gone. He went to the Knicks, while we're at it.
They also lost Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, JJ Barea (who was extremely important to them in the playoffs) and Kidd is a year older.
More important, what you forgot to mention: Nowitzi and Kidd have been having injuries, and Odom hasn't found his place on the team.
Somebody of Note said 02/08, 08:27 AM
You do realize that your statement that the majority of analysts were predicting Dallas to be far worse is a lie, eh? Over half of SI's analysts predicted that Dallas would make the Western finals in an article published 12 whole days after Chandler left. It's also interesting that you say I forgot to mention Nowitzki's injuries (he's only missed four games). Aren't those disappointing too?
And your 8th seed-Finals arguments is irrelevant. The topic you put forth is the most disappointing team so far this season.
You spent curiously little time defending the Knicks, so let me help you inform the voters about them. The team revolves around two (and only two) superstarish players. Last season in the playoffs, they showed the world how out of sorts they were. With Melo hogging the ball, Amare shot an astronomical 38.2%, and they got swept by Boston. Adding Chandler, an overrated player who doesn't fit the system, didn't help.
Meanwhile, only 3 defending champs have missed the playoffs since 1950...and those teams lost Bill Russell, Jordan and Shaq. Tyson Chandler IS NOT one of the greatest players of all time. Dallas being in serious danger is a colossal failure.
Hyped78 said 02/08, 09:18 AM
Here is SI's preview of the Southwest division:
Dallas to finish 3rd in that division, behind the Spurs and the Grizzlies.
They're 2nd... actually better than predicted!
About Nowitzki's injuries... they are disappointing for the Mavs, but they're not what makes the team disappointing.
If anything, their injuries justify their less than impressive start.
Still, if the playoffs were today, the Mavs would get in. And that's in the West.
That Knicks wouldn't. And that's in the weaker East.
"Chandler, an overrated player"
Chandler was the 2nd most important player on the Mavs last year. The 2nd most important player on the championship team.
Curious to call him "overrated".
He has been selected as one of the 20 finalists for Team USA for the Olympics.
Check out who the other 19 players are. All elite.
"Overrated" indeed... maybe we should check who were considered by SI (you "picked" the site, not me) the top free agents 2011-12?
Somebody of Note said 02/08, 09:51 AM
Of the seven writers listed here, four of them selected Dallas to make the Western finals. I didn't realize that one writer made a majority. But if we want to play the "one writer makes a majority" thing, Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated had Dallas third in his preseason power rankings. That's above, oh, almost everyone.
You can chase my red herrings. I'll bring up the key points.
The Knicks are undeniably a worse team than Dallas. That has always been the case. Last season, the Knicks were a grand total of one game over .500. After acquiring Carmelo Anthony, they were a sub .500 basketball team. And this season, guess what? They've been under .500. If it's the worse team who is more disappointing, we'd have picked Charlotte.
If you want to talk about injuries, Dirk dominated the 2011 Finals with a torn tendon in his finger and a 101 fever. Now? He's got less PPG than Nick Young, and his team has lost by 10+ six times. They've lost 3 straight. That's what I would call disappointing.
An elite team struggling to stay in the playoffs is worse than a mediocre team playing mediocre.
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