Unexpected early disappointments: New Jersey Nets, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets
For every pleasant surprise, there will be a disappointment somewhere. It is fun to discuss disappointments especially the unexpected ones. We expected to be good, or even better, than season’s past. Boy, could we be any more wrong. About one fourth of the season is completed. Let’s see who the contestants are.
San Antonio Spurs: No one. Absolutely no one thought they would stink like this. Even though he’s declining, Tim Duncan is still great. Gregg Popovich is still the coach. Tony Parker is in his prime. They acquired Richard Jefferson. Manu Ginobli is coming off the bench. What’s going on? The rest of the league and age have caught up to these old rusty cowboy boot attachments. They are a .500 team with a 9-9 record. I’m not used to these Spurs. It’s usually Duncan quietly dominating with a stone face amassing subtle boring wins. Popovich has said that his time is coming to an end. I give the old man credit since he has foresight.
Chicago Bulls: Anyone who has been following my articles about the Chicago Bulls know that I criticize them plenty and rightfully so. They’re terrible. Kirk Hinrich should be returning soon, but how is he going to help anything? “Kurt” is not the ace that will turn the tide. All he does is provide a better option at backup point guard than Lindsey Hunter. Derrick Favors and Omer Asik are not on the roster last time I checked. Firing Vinny Del Negro is not the way to go. Blame the management for hiring him. Derrick Rose, where are you man? Do you need a stand-in to play for you?
New Orleans Hornets: Byron Scott was fired by the general manager. Perhaps Jeff Bower wants to emulate a Gregg Popovich type move where he fired Bob Hill to become successful with Tim Duncan; a savior move. Bower probably wants to mimic this with Chris Paul. For starters, this team does not have a David Robinson. David West is fine, but he’s no hall of famer. Emeka Okafor is a better version of Buck Williams. Let’s see…yep…there’s no David Robinson here. Chris Paul is dandy though. Are they capable of making the playoffs? Yes. Are they a playoff team right now? No. The Hornets is a lousy road team.
New Jersey Nets: Wow. Where do we start? They have major talent everywhere, but they don’t have any grizzled veterans. They also do not have a true leader. Lawrence Frank is fired. The team is too young. What happens when a roster is full of young players? There’s a lack of winning experience. Did anyone expect them to go 0-18? No one saw this especially with Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. The season is done. Are they a lock for the number one spot in the draft? Nope. They are a lock for top 5. They do not need another young player because they’re full of them. They desperately need experience on the bench. 0-18? Wow! That’s worse than any Clipper year.
Honorable mentions: OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose sophomore slump. Washington Wizards’ early struggles. Greg Oden season ending injury.
What has been your biggest unexpected early disappointment?