Thursday , Oct , 18 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Five Eastern Conference Players On The Hot Seat: T.J. Ford, Larry Hughes, Jason Williams, Yi Jianlian, & Josh Smith

However, the perks come with one major catch: expectations. Each season, fans, media, and coaches focus on a few players who have failed to meet expectations. Some of these ballers crumble under the pressure, which leads to an even greater backlash; fans boo, media scribes criticize, and organizations leave pink-slips in lockers …


Most of us envy the NBA-baller lifestyle. We dream of seven figure pay checks and souped-up SUVs with shiny spinners that blind the eye. Of course, some argue that money, cars, and profile help with the opposite sex, too. 

However, the perks come with one major catch: expectations. Each season, fans, media, and coaches focus on a few players who have failed to meet expectations. Some of these ballers crumble under the pressure, which leads to an even greater backlash; fans boo, media scribes criticize, and organizations leave pink-slips in lockers. 

Recently, CNNSI named fifteen Eastern Conference players who are facing enormous expectations for the upcoming season:

1) Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics.
2) Adam Morrison, Charlotte Bobcats.
3) Ben Wallace, Chicago Bulls.
4) Daniel Gibson, Cleveland Cavaliers.
5) Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons.
6) Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat.
7) Mo Williams, Milwaukee Bucks.
8) Nenad Krstic, New Jersey Nets.
9) Stephon Marbury, New York Knicks.
10) Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic.
11) Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers.
12) Jason Kapono, Toronto Raptors.
13) Gil Arenas, Washington Wizards.
14) Jermaine O’Neal, Indiana Pacers.
15) Acie Law V1, Atlanta Hawks.

I like CNNSI’s list. But others player are under pressure, too. So HoopsVibe The Blog decided to come up with our own list of five Eastern Conference ballers who may some feel heat this upcoming season. As always, read the post and hit us up with your thoughts in the comment box below.

1) T.J. Ford, Toronto Raptors.
Why He’s On The Spot:
Ford had a solid 2006-07 season in the T-dot, but there’s a feeling the Raps’ long-term future lies with back-up Jose Calderon. The Spaniard’s rookie deal expires in June, so Toronto will soon make a decision on whether to stick with Ford or Calderon.

2) Larry Hughes, Cleveland Cavaliers.
Why He’s On The Spot: Hughes and the Cavaliers have been an odd match since day one-just like that old man Michael Douglas ending up with the beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones. Hughes, who signed a max deal with Cleveland, has to find a way to gel with LeBron James.

3) Jason Williams, Miami Heat.
Why He’s On the Spot: Smush Parker wants his minutes, Mike Bibby-to-Miami trade rumors keep popping-up on the net, and J-Wills’ contract expires in July. Changes could soon be coming for the point guard formerly known as White Chocolate. But Williams understands the circumstances and had a strong camp for the Heat.

4) Yi Jianlin, Milwaukee Bucks.
Why He’s On The Spot: Some blame Yi for this summer’s standoff with Milwaukee. Others blame fans for being ignorant of the Chinese basketball system. And the media has also been blamed for inflaming the situation. Bottom line: Yi enters the league with expectations the size of Shanghai and an army of NBA fans who want him to fail.

5) Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks.
Why He’s On the Spot: Smith is one of the NBA’s most athletic players and seems to have a nightly clip on ESPN highlights. The hi-flying Hawk and former dunk champ also had a great end-of-season run in Atlanta. Unfortunately, he also lost his cool with the coaches and got suspended. Smith needs a productive season to land a big money extension from the Hawks or another organization.
    
What NBA player is under the most pressure this season? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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