The first round is over, meaning there are just eight teams left in the race for this year’s Larry O’Brien Trophy. Meanwhile, eight other teams are trying to figure out how it all went wrong. To give them a few clues, let’s look at five players who severely underachieved in the first round, as we rank the biggest individual duds of the 2013 NBA playoffs so far.
5. Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets
As we learned during the regular season, the days of Joe Johnson being an elite scorer are over. Still, there was hope that we might see the old Joe in the playoffs. It never happened. Johnson averaged 14.9 points per game in the seven-game series. Admittedly, that’s not so bad, but he only shot .256 from 3 despite taking 5.6 attempts from downtown per game. It was obvious that Johnson still thought he was the top-flight scorer he was during his peak seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, but the skills just aren’t there anymore. The fact that Johnson has one of the biggest contracts in the league just makes the problem worse.
4. Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers
After having one of the best regular seasons in his career, Crawford really floundered during the playoffs. After performing well early in the series, his shot would disappear as the games went on and he was unable to break free from Tony Allen‘s punishing perimeter defense. Crawford is known for his prowess from beyond the arc, but he shot just .273 from 3-point range in this series. Crawford’s most egregious issue, however, was that in the deciding game of the series, he played just 12 minutes and failed to record a point. For a player known his ability to come through when it matters, Crawford really shrunk from the moment in this series.
3. Jordan Crawford, Boston Celtics
Before these playoffs started, Crawford already had a bad reputation. He was known as a poor shooter who took way too many shots and wouldn’t be any fun to play with. Somehow, after making the playoffs for the first time, his reputation has probably gotten worse. After struggling to hit shots early in the season, Crawford find himself getting very little playing time the rest of the way. By the time it was over, he had shot just .308 from the field, his offensive rating was a pathetic 65, and LaLa Anthony burned him on twitter. If you see Jordan Crawford, maybe give him a hug. But also tell him to shoot less.
2. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks
Brandon Jennings has never been much of a shooter. He’s struggled to crack 40 percent from the field every year he’s been in the league. Still, no one could have seen this meltdown coming. Jennings shot just .298 from the field in the Bucks’ Round 1 loss to the Miami Heat. There were a few moments in the series when the Bucks actually looked competitive, like they might actually be able to pull out a win or two after all. Perhaps if Jennings hadn’t been bricking everything in sight, things would have been a bit closer.
1. DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
This was supposed to be when Jordan broke out and proved he was valuable for reasons beyond defense and dunks. Instead, he regressed in major way, as Marc Gasol rendered him useless on the defensive end and the Memphis Grizzlies eliminated the Clippers in six games. Jordan shot just .455 from the field, well below his league-leading regular-season average of .643, and he averaged just 3.7 points per game. Jordan could have used these playoffs to establish himself as one of the better centers in the league. Instead, he reminded everyone that he is a very one-dimensional player.