This year has been tough for some of the games biggest stars, whether it be due to a large drop off in performance or a lack of team success, or a combination of the two. Here are three NBA stars who are disappointing this season
Take into note that this list does not include players whos poor play is almost entirely due to injuries (e.g. Blake Griffin)
3. Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vučević was one of last season’s breakout stars. The 29-year-old Montenegrin averaged a twenty point double-double last year while making his first All-Star Game and leading the Orlando Magic to the playoffs.
Sadly, Vučević has not been able to recreate his success from last season. While he still remains a very effective player his numbers dropped across the board, most alarmingly a steep dive in field goal percentage from 51.8 percent to 45.9 percent. Vučević was not selected as an All-Star this season, losing his spot to young upstart Bam Adebayo, a potential candidate for the most improved player.
The Magic finished last year with a winning record of 42-40 and this year sit at just 23-31, still good enough to grab the eighth seed in the playoffs due to the weak bottom half of the eastern conference. But they have hit a skid recently and are just 2-8 in their last 10 games. Vučević is going to have to step up his game if he wants the Magic to make a second straight playoff appearance.
2. Karl-Anthony Towns
This might be a controversial pick since Karl Anthony Towns is having an incredible statistical season once again, including an incredible 41 percent from three-point range, but there is no excuse for the Timberwolves continued awful team performance with one of the best players in the NBA.
While Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging over 26 points and 10 rebounds per game this season these have been almost entirely empty numbers. Before the Timberwolves victory over the Clippers on February 8, Towns had not won an NBA game since November 27, going 0-17 in that stretch.
The Towns and the Timberwolves are well on their way to another awful season and currently sit at 16-36. If Towns wants to be a true superstar he needs to drag the Wolves to some wins. With fellow NBA all-star and friend D’Angelo Russell now on the team with him, Towns needs to prove that he has what it takes to win.’
1. Draymond Green
The Warriors season has been a total disaster this year, mostly due to injuries to star players Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as well as the departure of Kevin Durant to Brooklyn. But it has also been due to poor play from one of the Warriors’ most iconic players, former defensive player of the year Draymond Green.
With the Warriors’ main scoring threats injured, Draymond needed to step up his offensive game and provide effective scoring as well as continue his elite defense. His defense has still been solid, but not quite at the elite level, the Warriors would have hoped for. He’s averaging under a block per game for the first time in six seasons and his defensive advanced metrics point to a slight drop off in his defensive play.
Green’s real problem is at the offensive end. Instead of stepping up to be a reliable second or third scoring option, his offense has taken a complete nosedive this season. His shooting splits of 38/28/76 are absolutely atrocious and his offensive rating of 101 is among the worst in the league. He makes the already last-place Warriors’ offense somehow even worse when he is on the court, almost a feat worthy of praise.
The best-case scenario for Draymond is to sweat this season out and get back to what he does best next year without the pressure of being the key piece in an offense.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference
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