Blogtable: Who’s Let You Down?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Week 21: Miami at Boston lessons | Who wants Bynum? | Player, coach, team that’s let you down?


Kobe Bryant has been stellar, but the Lakers still have been a letdown. (Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant has been stellar, but the Lakers still have been a letdown. (Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Name a player, coach or team who has disappointed you this year.

Steve Aschburner: Disappointment doesn’t necessarily require blame, so my choice is the Minnesota Timberwolves. For the first time since about 2004, there was a real buzz in the Twin Cities as the Wolves opened training camp, owing to the improvements in 2011-12 under Rick Adelman, positive updates on Ricky Rubio‘s knee-surgery rehab, some smart off-season roster moves and the continued development of Kevin Love as one of the game’s elite, and highly watchable, power forwards. Then Brandon Roy (predictably, frankly), Chase Budinger and worst of all Love went down – went down hard – with injuries. A rash of others, including rejuvenated Andrei Kirilenko and Bond villain Nikola Pekovic lost time as well. Even Adelman had to miss games while attending to his wife’s health issues. Rubio, after an inconsistent couple months back, has regained his don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it form. But from Love’s opt-out in two years to Adelman’s commitment to Pekovic’s market value this summer and more, the clock be ticking in Minny.

Fran Blinebury: Philadelphia due to the guy in that other question. I didn’t think Bynum would miss the entire season and be on the verge of a career washout. The Sixers’ grand plan to step up into contender’s class has blown up in their faces. Now they have no Iguodala, no Nikola Vucevic, no Maurice Harkless … nothing to show for the gamble. It seems the franchise has been set back for years.

Jeff Caplan: This is as equally disappointing as it easy to pick: The Minnesota Timberwolves. Injuries ruined this team since Day 1 with Ricky Rubio still rehabbing and Kevin Love breaking his hand doing knuckle push-ups. No need to get into the rest of the injury list here, it’s just too long, but before the season I picked the Wolves to finish sixth in the West. I’d have said that they’re 23-42 record would have been reversed had health prevailed.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Removing the injury considerations (Timberwolves, Bynum, others), it’s still the Lakers in what has to be an open-ended question until the end of the playoffs. If L.A. finishes as badly as it started, then we have an answer. If your favorite dysfunctional family reaches the postseason and has a nice run, though, a respectable showing gets the Lakers off the hook. That means reaching the conference finals or a good playoffs before losing in a competitive series to the Spurs or Thunder.

John Schuhmann: The Lakers are still just 36-33 and still very much in danger of not making the playoffs, so they’re obviously at the top of the list. It’s great to see Dwight Howard finally looking more mobile and I understand that injuries have been an issue all season, but this team still isn’t playing the defense it needs to play if the Lakers want to win more than a game against one of the top five teams in the West. In fact, they rank just 15th in defensive efficiency since the All-Star break. This team was supposed to be a title contender, and they’ve never looked anything like it.

Sekou Smith: Nothing but sunshine around here as usual, huh? There are plenty of candidates in each category, as we all love to nitpick the performances of specific players, coaches and teams. Even with a few good weeks since the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Lakers remain one of the most disappointing teams in recent memory. And you could go with the Lakers across the board here, Dwight Howard or Steve Nash in the player spot, Mike D’Antoni at coach and the Lakers as the team. Barring a miraculous playoff run, they’re going to occupy the entire page in the Hang Time yearbook for the biggest flop of the season. The best part, though, is they still have a chance to rewrite the ending to this story. They have the potential to provide the most drama in a first round playoff series, just by showing up in either San Antonio or Oklahoma City.

19 Comments

  1. Jeff Caplan is correct! IT WOULD’VE BEEN REVERSED! That’s what I also thought, that they’ll finished 6th if those injuries had not occured. ugh! How I love, Kevin Garnett, Still I love Minnesota even though he’s not yet there anymore. Peck, Love, AK47, Chase, Ricky, J.J. …. and so on. But, despite those major breakdowns i still love watching the timberwolves play. It also came into my mind that Chris Johnson would be the next Jeremy Lin ( 10-day ontract, where Lin was also discovered). haha :D

  2. GottaLoveLebron says:

    Coaches — Mike Brown/D’Antoni, Gentry (I liked him), Jim Buss….
    Players — Rose, Bynum, Love, Cousins, Howard, Nash, Brandon Roy comeback, poor Rondo… I think some were hoping that Jeremy Lin would be much better too (I’ve actually been surprised at how good he’s been)
    Teams — LAKERS (I knew all along they wouldn’t be any good though), definitely T’Wolves, Mavs, and Blazers I had hoped would do better but looking like won’t make the playoffs. Sixers lost the gamble big time too.

  3. Kamote says:

    Philly – lost a versatile forward and 2 young ones with high-potential on Bynum. But what the hey, it’s ANDREW BYNUM… an immature kid who never got to play one full year in recent memory. They should’ve had gambled on Cousins instead, though immature, but still healthy. This is not a disappointment, Philly knows whats coming to them. Good thing Holiday, Young and Evans improved this year.

    Brooklyn – I know they are one of the top teams in the East, but with all the hype they’ve had, they should’ve been a better team.

    Boston – I still believe that they are the #1 contender to the Heat in the East, despite the fact that they don’t need to be at the top of the standings. But losing Rondo, Sullinger, Barbosa to injuries and Terry not being able to at least fill half of Allen’s shoes, what could’ve been a reloaded team is now in danger of losing the first round.

    LAL – They shouldn’t have fired Brown if they planned to get D’Antoni as replacement.

    OKC and Memphis – I know they are still doing well this year, but you just can’t help but imagine how would things be if they retain their core (Harden and Gay) for one more year.

  4. Anthony says:

    Who ever is responsible for what’s showing on nbatv should be fired !

  5. David says:

    Im sorry but I have to say Carmello Anthony. I know he started off fast this year and it’s been basically the Knicks as a team and Stodomire who as disappointed but whenever I see how LeBron James is now dominating and consistently getting his teams (Cleveland as well) deep into the post season, the finals and now an NBA tiltle, I have to ask myself when is Carmello Anthony going to show the true grit to separate himself in a playoff run and be dominant end to end. He REALLY disappointed me when with the Nuggets he was supposed to have stepped up and challenged Kobe and falied miserablly. I hate to bash a player and be negative but he is my biggest disspointment.

    • uoykcuf says:

      “This” year, my friend. It’s okay to be butt hurt that melo left but look at the nuggets now. Way better than Melo era.

  6. patrick bateman says:

    Derrick Rose.No doubt about it.

  7. jim says:

    i have to say the Eroplian Erons have been the biggest let down i am sad

  8. kobemvp says:

    Lakers for me as a fan is a disappointment, but how many games have big four played together this season, I guess about 10, how many games one or two of the big 4 missed a lot… that’s the key to their season, plus none of the guys are in their prime right now, not like in Miami case so a lot off bad stuff happened to LA this season, despite all this they will make the playoffs and will be competitive there that’s a promise

  9. Hmmm says:

    Lakers, Knicks, T-wolves, Nets, Bynum, Demarcus Cousins, Jim Buss, Jim Buss, JIM BUSS!

  10. Ruffa Kate? says:

    Lakers. This team should be an automatic lock at the playoffs but right now they are in a survival mode for the 8th and final spot.

  11. Sonics 4 Life says:

    Warriors. A team that was locked for 3rd, 4th, or 5th seems to be destined for 6th or 7th and an early playoff exit. Disappointing, because they were fun watch during the first half of the season.

    • Dieter says:

      The Warriors have a young team and will reach the Playoffs. Can’t say that’s a disappointment. Harrison Barnes is a rookie starter. Klay Thompson also not very experienced in the league. They’re slipping in the rankings now, but no one would have guessed that they would be a top 3-4 team in the West this year.

      Reaching the playoffs ain’t a disappointment for a team that was rated as high as the T-Wolves at the start of the season.

      The biggest letdowns are the Lakers and Mavericks.

  12. xyz says:

    Minnesota – misfortune, Philly – huge gamble on a seriously injury-prone player like Bynum, while the Lakers are the real disappointment this season. I had them contending for the top 2 spots in the Western Conference and a potential threat for Miami in the Finals and it’s still uncertain at this point, whether they’ll reach the playoffs. Talk about underachieving (D’Antoni gets the honor of being the biggest let down in the coach category as well). As for a player, I’d say the franchise player Bynum for injuring himself bowling and Damarcus Cousins who still isn’t fulfilling his huge potential and whose numbers are down compared to last year.

    • David Todd says:

      Well, Bynum injuring himself bowling. I’ve heard comics and talk show hosts make one liner jokes about bowling “alleys”. It is definitely a physical activity requiring hand eye coordination.

  13. v says:

    you may need to address management skills as opposed to player skills – hello philly! what were you NOT thinking of???

  14. W/E says:

    Lakers, one of their most dissapointing seasons in the history of the NBA, maybe the worst considering the value of their players it is beyond ridicoulous that this team is battling for the 8th seed, Bynum we already knew that hes hopeless the guy has a history,

    • cg11 says:

      Can’t forget about Andrea Bargnani!!!

    • LakersWillWin says:

      Each writer decided to choose teams that have been riddled with injuries throughout the season. Yes, the Lakers are not what we expected, but look at Dwight Howard. There was no Nash, out with a broken leg. Pau, Kobe, Hill. How can you accurately determine a teams outcome when injuries have played a HUGE role on their star players?

      Again, same idea with Minnesota. Love, Pekovic, AK47, Budinger, all of these players have been out with injury. I know you guys stated everything I am saying, but how come you no one chose teams that actually remained healthy but underperformed? 76ers traded away EVERYONE for two players that didn’t play this season.

      I really don’t understand this idea of picking on teams and calling them out on underperforming when their entire season has been the Dr’s battling more than the teams. I would have expected more out of these senior writers.