Every NBA season brings both its share of surprises and disappointments. Sometimes it’s teams with high expectations that disappoint. Other times its players expected to make leaps in their game that disappoint. Here are 10 biggest disappointments to date in the 2012-13 NBA season.
10. Michael Beasley
Throughout his career, Michael Beasley has been a massive underachiever. Drafted second overall in the 2008 NBA Draft, Beasley came into the NBA with high expectations. Beasley has never lived up to the expectations and been an inconsistent player, showing only flashes of greatness.
Before this season, Beasley came to the Phoenix Suns with expectations of becoming the star he was expected to be coming out of Kansas State. Instead of breaking out as a star, Beasley has regressed tremendously. Beasley is averaging career lows in shooting percentage, points, rebounds and minutes. Beasley doesn’t appear to be the franchise player the Suns desperately need and his inconsistency from game to game still continues.
Still just 24 years old, it doesn’t look like Beasley will ever live up to being the second overall pick in the 2008 draft.
9. Roy Hibbert
The 2011-12 NBA season was a breakout season for Roy Hibbert. Hibbert emerged as a leader for an Indiana Pacers team that made it to the second round of the playoffs, losing a tough series to the Miami Heat.
Hibbert averaged career highs in points and rebounds, making his first All-Star appearance. Coming into this season, Hibbert was expected to build on last season’s gains and become one of the premier centers in the NBA.
However, Hibbert has completely lost his shooting touch. Hibbert is shooting 41 percent from the field, worst in the league for a starting center. Hibbert is still a foul-prone player with the second-most personal fouls of all NBA players. Hibbert is fifth on the Pacers in win shares and is struggling to justify the max contract he was given in the summer.
8. Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers were one of the surprise teams in the league last year. Making the playoffs as the eighth seed they made it to the seventh game of the second round before losing to the Boston Celtics.
Planning a step forward, they made a splash when they traded for All-Star center Andrew Bynum. This season has seen the Sixers regress from the standard they set last year.
Expected franchise player Bynum has yet to play a game this season due to knee injuries. The Sixers are in danger of missing the playoffs as they’re currently in ninth place in the East with a 20-26 record. The Sixers are one of the worst offensive teams in the league, 29th in the league in offensive rating. The Sixers team as constructed appears to have peaked, and the future looks bleak in Philly.
Every season figures to be the season when Andrea Bargnani finally lives up to the hype of being the first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. And every year turns out to be another disappointing year in the career of Bargnani.
Bargnani has never been able to dispel the label of his being a soft player not worthy of his draft selection. The Toronto Raptors have made the playoffs just twice in Bargnani’s career and are on the verge of missing out again. Before suffering from an elbow injury, Bargnani was shooting 39 percent from the field and averaging 16 points a game.
Bargnani is still terrible on defense and no closer to shaking off the soft label. Bargnani also found himself once again the subject of trade rumors out of Toronto. It’s now clear that Bargnani will most likely never be an NBA star. nor is there much of a future for him in Toronto.
6. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs qualify as a disappointment this year because this season looks to become the first time since 2000 that they’ve missed the playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki has missed much of this season due to injuries and hasn’t looked his normal self.
The Mavs’ defensive rating ranks 22nd in the league as their defense is no longer up to the standard of just last year. The decision by Dallas not to resign Tyson Chandler in 2011 looks worse by the day as the Mavs championship, and now, playoff window appears to be fully closed. Rebuilding the Mavericks appears to be the next step for this franchise.
5. Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards spent the offseason making moves they expected to make them a playoff team while still building their youthful core.
An injury to Wall before the season signaled the doom that was ahead for the Wizards. The Wizards lost their first 12 games this season, starting out with a 4-28 record. The Wizards are the league’s worst offensive team lacking in offensive firepower.
Not a single Wizards player shoots at least 50 percent from the field. Vesely has regressed from last year and appears to be a massive bust. It remains to be seen whether Wall will develop into a superstar player on the Wizards.
4. Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio was one of the most exciting rookies in the NBA last year before his season ended due to an ACL injury. Expectations were high to see whether Rubio could build on his performance last season on a rising Minnesota Timberwolves team.
Rubio’s year to date has been nothing short of disappointing. Rubio has made only one 3-pointer this season and is shooting a miserable 30 percent from the field. Rubio’s poor shooting has made opponents dare him to shoot, limiting his passing opportunities.
Rubio’s rebounding has also suffered this season as he’s become a nonfactor in rebounding. Rubio has appeared tentative on the court, scared of reinjuring his knee. Much has been made of Rajon Rondo’s struggles in shooting the ball, but Rubio’s are much worse.
If Rubio is to ever be a star point guard in the NBA his shooting must drastically improve. As it stands his season is so far a major disappointment.
3. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics finished the 2012 season one game short of the NBA Finals. The Celtics decided to reload for another run in the offseason adding Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and re-signing Kevin Garnett.
The Celtics moves this season have not panned out and the season has been a disaster for Boston. The Celtics have seen star guard Rajon Rondo and rookie Jared Sullinger’s seasons end due to injury. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have declined due to age and questions have started about whether to trade them.
The Celtics have continued struggling in putting away teams and in rebounding. The Celtics defense, which has been their strongest point over the last several seasons, has sharply dropped. For a team that had championship aspirations to start the season, the Celtics have been a major disappointment.
2. Dwight Howard
A back injury is possibly the most devastating injury an NBA player can get. Larry Bird and David Robinson remained All-Stars after back injuries, but were never again close to their pre-injury selves.
Larry Johnson rapidly declined after injuring his back. Dwight Howard appears to be heading down their road.
This season has seen Dwight’s explosiveness and athleticism disappear almost entirely. Dwight is no longer the fearsome defender and rim protector he’s been in years past.
Aside from his diminishing athletic skills, Howard has struggled integrating into the Lakers offense. Howard has complained loudly about his role on offense and no longer resembles the player he was just last year. Howard has also battled shoulder injuries this season.
Whether Howard can co-exist with Kobe Bryant has yet to be fully established, and the Dwightmare that enveloped the NBA last season appears to be continuing.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA’s biggest story this season due to their terrible start this year.
After adding Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, the Lakers were expected to easily dominate this season en route to a possible title. The Lakers instead have been a sub-.500 team the entire season.
Gasol has bickered with D’Antoni and is on the trading block. Instead of winning a championship, it’s a good question if the Lakers will even make the playoffs.
The Lakers’ lineup of four future Hall of Fame players is not just the league’s biggest disappointment this season; the 2012-13 Lakers might be the most disappointing team in NBA history.
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