NBA stars who must bounce back in 2010 (#10-6): Calderon, Dunleavy, Ginobili, Marion, and Brand
Like stocks and real estate, their play fell off in 2009. Fortunately, the coming season presents a chance at one thing: redemption. Expectations can be met. Salaries can be justified. Reputations can be saved. And just like investors and homeowners, fans are hoping to once again become bullish on their favourite players …
HoopsVibe The Blog has another basketball related list for fans to weigh-in on. We call it ’Listed’ …
Like stocks and real estate, their play fell off in 2009.
Fortunately, the coming season presents a chance at one thing: redemption. Expectations can be met. Salaries can be justified. Reputations can be saved. And just like investors and homeowners, fans are hoping to once again become bullish on their favourite players.
With training camps set to open shortly, HoopsVibe The Blog has ten players in desperate need of a bounce back campaign in 2010. Today is ten through six. Tomorrow (Thursday) is five through one, so check back for the rest of this piece in a day. As always, read the post, form thoughts, and get at us in the comment box below.
#10) Jose Calderon …
Two years ago, he could do no wrong. The Spaniard chased T.J. Ford out of Canada, won Toronto’s starting point guard spot, signed a $45 million multi-year contract, and looked to be on the verge of stardom.
Then it all went Peter Tong. It started with that God awful picture with the Spanish national team. Once in Toronto, Calderon couldn’t handle starter minutes, got hurt, and, unlike Stella, never got his groove back.
Much has been made of the Raptors’ off-season overhaul. This is fair. However, ‘The Dinos’ don’t qualify for the playoffs in 2010 unless Calderon finds to his old form.
#9) Mike Dunleavy, Jr.
Occasionally, Dunleavy has shown enough to justify being handed the keys to both the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers. Most of the time, due to either injuries or inconsistency, he has been a disappointment.
Next season, everything must fall into sync. The Pacers, who have been losing money hand over fist, need Dunleavy and Danny Granger to develop into a top duo and help the club become relevant again in Indianapolis.
#8) Manu Ginobili …
When their super-sub is healthy and performing, the San Antonio Spurs are a top squad in the ultra competitive Western Conference. When their super-sub is injured or not performing, they’re remarkably vulnerable.
Last season, it was the latter. Still, credit small market San Antonio for spending on salaries when most teams are conserving cash. But Richard Jefferson, and his 20 million dollar per annum contract, will be a waste if the Argentine has another sub par year.
Simply put, Ginobili has to create mismatches against other second units for the Spurs to have any shot at another championship.
#7) Shawn Marion …
Not long ago, The Matrix was considered an MVP candidate. And those that didn’t see him as an upper-echelon player had no choice but to admit his athleticism was a key for ‘Seven Seconds To Shoot‘.
However, somebody started whispering in Marion’s ear that the grass could be greener if he left ‘The Desert‘. So, he foolishly requested a trade and got stuck in two situations that weren‘t a match for his very specific skill-set: Miami and Toronto.
Now, with Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki as his running mates, Marion is trying to re-establish his career in Dallas.
#6) Elton Brand …
After inking a controversial max deal with the Philadelphia 76ers in July of 2008, Brand got hurt and missed most of the season. Injuries weren’t his biggest problem, though. The stocky post excels in a half court game and, when healthy, seemed utterly out of sync with the run-and-gun 76ers.
Brand has played 37 games in the past two years and 2007 was a disappointment. He is now at a crossroad. This season will determine if Brand regains his old MVP calibre form (2006) or continues to slide.