After ranking the top 30 players of the first round, who brought up the rear as the biggest flops of the postseason so far? (Second round included.)
10. Travis Outlaw
“Mr. 4th Quarter” needs to show up for the other three. He had a couple crunch-time moments in the Blazers/Rockets series, but Outlaw’s shot was generally off throughout (31% FG, 9.0 ppg). With a $4 million salary that comes off the books in 2010, and the Blazers bringing back a healthy Martell Webster next season, don’t be surprised if Outlaw gets traded.
9. Andrei Kirilenko
Could have been a vital X-factor in the Jazz/Lakers series if he’d played his usual all-over-the-court game, but simply didn’t make enough of an impact (11.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.2 spg). After AK admitted he typically loses about 10 pounds during every season, now Jerry Sloan is saying he needs to get stronger in the summer.
8. Dikembe Mutombo’s knee
No one’s blaming Deke, and after playing close to 20 years in the League without many signficant injuries, maybe he was just due. Either way, it sucks that his career ended like that, especially when his team could be in the middle of a magical postseason run. The saddest/most disappointing moment of the playoffs so far.
7. Tayshaun Prince
Granted, he was playing hurt (back), which is why he isn’t higher on this list. Because 3.8 points on 25 percent shooting from an Olympian is ugly any way you slice it.
6. Hedo Turkoglu
His only saving grace in the first round was hitting that game-winning three in Game Four. Last night in Boston, Hedo (12.3 ppg, 36% FG) bricked free throws, bricked crucial jumpers in the fourth quarter, committed at least one silly turnover (an 8-second backcourt violation) and had trouble with Brian Scalabrine guarding him.
5. Rasheed Wallace
We’ve been over this before. Averaged 6.5 points against Cleveland and got progressively worse as the series went on. My question for the ‘Sheed apologists who claim “He just wants to win” as a defense: Why doesn’t he play like he wants to win in the games that matter most? Everybody wants to win. But you have to do something about it to make it happen.
4. Greg Oden
He had more fouls (27) than rebounds (26), and just 30 points total in six games against Houston.
3. The rest of the Spurs
If this was the “2-on-2 for Brotherhood” tournament, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan would have done alright. But since it’s 5-on-5, they needed some kind of help — any kind of help — and didn’t get it. Players 3-through-12 on the Spurs roster averaged just 40 points a game between them. Most glaring in his no-show was Roger Mason, who was supposed to be a decent fill-in for Manu Ginobili but averaged just six points per against Dallas.
2. Andrew Bynum
This is the guy who’s supposed to lift the Lakers over the championship hump? After racking up five fouls in seven minutes in Game Three against Utah, Bynum was benched for the rest of that series. Back in the starting lineup last night against Houston, he got dominated by Yao Ming and played just 15 minutes.
1. New Orleans Hornets
All of ’em. The average margin in their four losses was 30.7 points, which of course included The Kobayashi Game. Not to mention they did everything in their power to give away their Game Three win. Chris Paul was OK, David West was OK, and everybody else was irrelevant. It was like the Hornets were still in preseason mode, and ran into a real professional team who knew what time it was. Turrible.