A lot is expected from NBA players in the postseason, especially if they performed well during the regular season. But sometimes, for whatever reason, some players don’t live up to their billing in the playoffs and end up disappointing.
Here are eight players who have disappointed so far in the first and second round of the playoffs.
After averaging 21.4 points a year ago in the postseason with the Miami Heat, Wade averaged just 15.0 points with the Chicago Bulls. In all fairness, though, the 35-year-old had only recently returned from fracturing his elbow on March 15 and played just three regular-season games before the start of the postseason.
Wade was abysmal shooting the ball in six games against the Boston Celtics, averaging 37.2 percent from the floor. In the final game of the series, he went 1-of-10 and finished with just two points.
For a guy who ranked ninth in 3-pointers made during the regular season, Anderson sure is struggling from deep in the postseason. Prior to Sunday’s contest against the San Antonio Spurs, Anderson averaged 25.6 percent from 3-point range across eight games for Houston. He went 3-of-24 in the first round against Oklahoma City, and is 11-of-24 so far in the second round against San Antonio.
Anderson had a better outing on Sunday, knocking down three of his seven 3-point attempts and finished with 13 points in a 125-104 victory in Game 4.
The Spurs haven’t gotten much out of a 39-year-old Ginobili so far in the playoffs. In nine games, the former Sixth Man of the Year has averaged a meager 3.1 points in 15.4 minutes per game. Not to mention he has shot 29.7 percent from the floor and 18.1 percent from behind the arc, leaving much to be desired from a normally clutch player in the postseason.
With Tony Parker out for the remainder of the playoffs after suffering a ruptured quad tendon in Game 3 of the second round, the Spurs will need more production out of Ginobili going forward.
Gasol has underwhelmed in his first postseason with the Spurs. Granted, he’s playing less minutes on a deep team, but this is not the same Gasol we saw in the playoffs a year ago with the Bulls. That Gasol averaged 14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while having a huge impact. This Gasol has averaged 7.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks, and is more of a role player than a star with the Spurs.
With the series tied 2-2 after Sunday’s loss, San Antonio needs to get Gasol more involved to have a chance at extinguishing the Rockets’ momentum.
The Toronto Raptors signed Carroll to a four-year, $60 million contract in 2015 after a breakout season with the Atlanta Hawks in which he averaged 12.6 points and showcased his talents as a defensive stopper. However, in two seasons with the Raptors, Carroll has not lived up to his contract, especially in the postseason.
After totaling just three points and four rebounds in two starts against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Carroll was relegated to a bench role for Games 3 and 4 and he continued to struggle. In nine playoff appearances for the Raptors this season, he averaged just 4.4 points in 16.6 minutes per game.
Paul averaged 27.3 points in the first six games against the Utah Jazz, taking it upon himself to carry the Los Angeles Clippers’ offense in Blake Griffin’s absence, but a lackluster performance in Game 7 from the star point guard ended LA’s postseason run. Paul went 6-of-19 from the floor and 1-of-7 from 3-point range for just 13 points across 40 minutes.
Without a meaningful contribution from Paul, the Clippers folded in Game 7 and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Howard left the Houston Rockets in free agency to sign with his hometown Hawks only to have the worst postseason performance of his career. After averaging 13.2 points and 14.0 rebounds with Houston a year ago in the playoffs, Howard managed just 8.0 points and 10.7 rebounds in six games against the Washington Wizards.
In Game 6, Howard was benched for the entire fourth quarter and wasn’t happy about it. “It was very difficult,” Howard said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I want to play. I want to be out on the floor. I want to make a difference. I want to make an impact, and I can’t do that on the bench.”
Despite signing Howard to a three-year, $70 million contract in the offseason, it will be interesting to see what the big man’s future is in Atlanta now that the Hawks have parted ways with general manager Wes Wilcox.
Lowry averaged a career-high 22.4 points during the regular season, but seriously disappointed in the postseason with just 15.8 points across eight games for the Raptors. He also didn’t play in Games 3 and 4 against the Cavaliers due to an ankle injury, leaving Toronto short-handed against the defending champs.
Had the Raptors had a healthy Lowry for the second round of the playoffs, they might have stood a chance against Cleveland. Lowry’s injuries this season will definitely come up in discussions about the point guard’s future with the team. He has a player option for the 2017-18 season and will likely opt out of his contract.