Community Shootaround: Biggest Early-Season Disappointments

After praising some of the NBA’s most pleasant surprises of the 2019/20 season so far on Thursday, we’re headed to the other end of the spectrum today. For every team that has exceeded its expectations early on in ’19/20, there’s one that has failed to meet expectations — in some cases, in dramatic fashion.

In the Western Conference, for instance, the Trail Blazers and Spurs entered the season viewed as good bets to make the playoffs. That could certainly still happen, but each team has dug itself an early hole over the last several weeks — Portland is 7-12, while San Antonio is just 6-13. The Blazers can at least blame injuries to some extent, as they’re missing two key big men, Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, but neither team can be pleased with its results so far.

Elsewhere in the West, it’s been a disappointing 20 games in Golden State, though that can blamed more on bad luck than poor play. Already missing Klay Thompson, the Warriors have been without Stephen Curry and Kevon Looney for virtually all of the season, with D’Angelo Russell and Draymond Green also missing time due to injuries. The Dubs didn’t look great even when the roster was mostly healthy, but their injury woes have made them the NBA’s worst team, at 4-16.

In the East, the Sixers and Nets have had their ups and downs, but are still 13-6 and 10-9, respectively, so it’s hard to view their seasons as disappointments. The same can’t be said for the 6-13 Bulls and Pistons. Neither team is all that far off the playoff pace in the East, considering the 8-12 Hornets hold the No. 8 seed, but Chicago and Detroit hoped to push for records of .500 or better this season. That seems like a long shot now.

Things have been even uglier for the Knicks, who made win-now moves in the offseason in the hopes of getting into the playoff mix. It hasn’t worked out that way so far, as New York sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with a 4-15 mark and has shown few reasons to believe a postseason push is around the corner.

Outside of this season’s underachievers, there have been plenty of injury-related disappointments. We still haven’t seen much-hyped No. 1 pick Zion Williamson make his NBA regular-season debut, and stars like Curry, Gordon Hayward, and De’Aaron Fox have joined the likes of Thompson and Kevin Durant on the long-term injury list. A shoulder injury also prevented Kyrie Irving from making his return to Boston this week, which was undoubtedly a disappointment for the Celtics fans who bought tickets hoping to… uh, welcome Kyrie back.

We want to hear your thoughts. Which teams, players, or injuries have you been most disappointed by so far this season? Do you expect some of those underachieving clubs to turn things around, or should most of them prepare for more of the same?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in!

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29 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Biggest Early-Season Disappointments

  1. phillyballers

    Sixers to a degree. 3 bad losses on their record already to scrub teams.

    • LordBanana

      Agree with sixers, they came into the season as the favorites for the championship but they haven’t been playing like it

  2. Tazza

    DeAndre Ayton, was suppose to have a good season but has been suspended for 25 games and Suns look good without him. Disappointed in his suspension.

    Terry Rozier in a starting role where he gets to take lots of shot and lead a lead has been hugely disappointing. Big waste of 18mil each year.

    Russ has been pretty bad with the Rockets.
    Embid has been rather average with the Sixers.
    Jokic has been average, Lonzo ball is still not a starter who starts, even in a new team. Conley has been disappointing thought he would be good with Mitchell but his shot is not hitting.

    Portland has been disappointing, big part due to injuries tho

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      I suppose having just 22.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 6.8 APG while shooting 42% overall would be considered “pretty bad” by Russell Westbrook standards.

      • paladin

        While ”Pretty Bad” is a little strong, if you thrown in stats Not Mentioned, 22% From 3P range. 71% FT%, 4.3 TO. He is very Avg for Russ Westbrook. All his stats are under career avg. except Fouls, they went up and rebounds up slightly. Considering he is making 38 + million I would say he is under performing so far on his contract, to say the least. Hardens stats for 38 Mill PPG 37, Assist 7.8, 3p% 34%, FG% 43, 2 steals, 82%FT, 86 3’s after 18 games. That is 38 mill stats to me! Just saying

      • Tazza

        Exactly those numbers are all down on Russ’s usual stats. Hence why I said hes been disappointing….

        • x%sure

          You criticized a Rocket though… Now if you said that last year, even though it was less true, HWM would agree!

  3. Dodgethis

    Can’t really say the warriors are a disappointment. Everyone knew it would be a down year, and the chance to add a top draft pick to the mix has the fanbase buzzing about the next 5 years. Need to trade Russell, but hardly a disappointment, as expectations were much worse.

    • Dodgethis

      Forgot to add, biggest disappointment this year has been andre iguodala attitude. He actually thinks the grizz should pay him and release him so he can play for a contender… what?!?! Dude won’t even show up for work. Lost a ton of respect for him.

      • Jason Lancaster

        Ya, imagine a guy expecting to get paid what he’s owed according to a binding contract? It’s outrageous.

  4. Conley by far!
    Others are Jrue, Dedmon, Kanter, Rozier, Blake, Ingles, Dpowell, all the spurs

    • x%sure

      Mike Conley is my biggest disappointment.
      A trade can throw off a vet. Dedmon’s offense so far is missing a lot of 3s… whose idea was that?– IDK.

      There was talk of Ingles playing the 4 but Bas.Ref. puts him at 2 as much as 3. He looks out of it, throwing picks.

      I took Griffin for granted. His worst year.

  5. Conley by far!
    Others are Jrue, Dedmon, Kanter, Rozier, Blake, Ingles, Dpowell, all the spurs

      • They wanted him in the MVP race…
        He Is not anymore the first option in NOLA, even without Zion…

        • Tazza

          Plus Jrue and Lonzo were suppose to be really good together. Both good defenders both good passers both can score but both have failed to be great

  6. AtlPlayaPlaying

    Have to kick in my Hawks here. Not as big a disappointment as many of the others listed here, but Hawks’ fans were definitely looking forward to an entertaining team that could be at least on the cusp of a playoff berth in the East; instead, the team is tied for last place in the Conference. Collins’ 25 game suspension, slow development by rookies, and underperformance from the highly paid vets are all to blame. Will be interesting to see if the team can pick up the pieces at some point… if it’s even worth it.

    • Jason Lancaster

      The problem is they don’t defend, and honestly that is not surprising. Young teams don’t defend.

  7. hoosierhysteria

    Good list from Tazza. I second. Rozier…big hat no cattle. I am surprised MJ didn’t research this punk and his jerk behavior at Louisville. He was a s–t disturber at Boston too. It wasn’t all kyrie…this punk thought he should start….caused issues. He is gone…Celtics chemistry is solid…..isn’t that interesting!

    • steve

      Idk about all that. I cant really speak towards louisville so i could be out in LF but i didnt really hear his name specifically being tossed around in Boston as a malcontent. Rumblings of the younger dudes griping over PT and Roles sure, but if a name was even dropped or speculated upon it was usually Tatum and possibly Brown. The only thing that stuck out to me was Roziers comments after they got eliminated. And what he said was seemingly true for the most part, not even blaming anyone else specifically, just stating what seemed obvious given the lackluster product/results on the court. Young dudes wanting larger roles and worrying over their next contract, clashing with established stars who need to be catered to even when the teams results suffer. I suppose i could take exception to “nobody sacrificed more then me” but again the sentiment is shared, i guess brown technically saw a bigger drop in mpg, but competing with tatum, hayward, and morris seemingly accounts for it while rozier only has to spell irving. Hes a loud mouth so i get why people can be put off by rozier but as far as i know he did what was asked of him. He just didnt do it very well lols. Which is why him being called a dissapointment this year is a lil puzzling his numbers and averages are up across the board and better than where he was in 17, ylet alone 18. Hes done not much worse than what was expected of him heading into the year, his shooting is up, ill take that over the 19 or 20 ppg people were probably more so expecting, especially given the unexpected competition he getting for minutes at the pg spot. Ya hes doing more than fine for me given production and context.

  8. natsfan3437

    Draymind faking an injury so he doesn’t have to eat humble pie. Also so he doesn’t show people he is useless when Curry and allay aren’t on the floor. He is just chubby Lonzo Ball with Lavars personality.

    • arc89

      faking injury? You don’t watch much basketball. He has been hurt and still played through the injuries. He is not a scorer and never has been a scorer which the warriors lack all season with their 3 best out. Their best scoring is coming from rookies. 2 of the players would be in the G league if it wasn’t for injuries this year. SMH next time watch the games.

      • natsfan3437

        Maybe he is not faking an injury but like I just said he is chubby lonzo with lavars personality. He is a glorified role player.

        • x%sure

          Good insults, but left out the part where he should get thrown out more often.

          But also left out where he goes fullcourt rampant like few PFs ever.

      • steve

        Hey now they don’t make it easy to watch these friggin games lols.
        “So if i buy most expensive package i can watch celtics on cable tv in okc?”
        “No but you can probably stream them, probably.”
        “Okay but russian man with computer aids is offering same thing for free”

  9. Jason Lancaster

    Gotta be Portland. Even with injuries, the front office deserves a lot of criticism. They let two good wing players go, broke up a great team, and now they’re paying the tax with a very tough road to the playoffs. It’s just about as big a disaster as you’ll see for a team that made it to the WCF the year before.

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