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LaMarcus Aldridge: Man, the Spurs are struggling this year sitting at 13-14, the 11 seed in the Western Conference. This has been mainly due to the Spurs’ uncharacteristic poor defensive effort and the decline of LaMarcus Aldridge. They have a basement defense in the NBA which isn’t good enough in the West. Our guy LaMarcus isn’t even top 15 in rebounding this year and is averaging 4.9 points less per game than last year, from 23.1 to 18.2. He is also turning the ball over more this year by .5. LaMarcus needs to clean his game up or the Spurs may miss the playoffs for the fifth time in franchise history. This blockbuster signing in LaMarcus is starting to look like a bust for the Spurs.
Reggie Jackson: The Pistons are sitting at 13-12 in the shaky Eastern Conference, as the Reggie Jackson project is starting to look like a failure. Jackson, mauled his way out of OKC claiming he was more than just a backup, playing behind Russel Westbrook. Since his first year in Detroit, Jackson has failed to bring his points per game within 4 from then. He started off blazing scoring over 18.8 points per game in 2015-16, and in a 4-year span has hovered around 14-15 points per game. I am not saying Jackson is awful, but there seem to be many other players around the league at point guard who could push the Pistons a little closer to the real players in the East. Jackson doesn’t even rank top 30 in assists in the NBA. He has dealt with injury but is averaging his lowest amount of assists in 6 years, playing with two All-Star caliber bigs in Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond.
Jaylen Brown: A Celtics player on this list, what? Yes, the Celtics have won six straight but started off terrible beginning the season, struggling through dreadful offensive woes. It was a drag to watch if we are being honest. They now sit fifth in the East at 16-10. Jaylen Brown has regressed in just about every stat except blocks and offensive rebounds, which have only increased by decimals. Brown is good at the intangibles but is starting to look like the odd man out on this team. Obviously, they have scorers in Kyrie Irving, Jason Tatum, and Marcus Morris, so the other guys need to stand out more on the defensive side of the ball. Brown is known to be a young 3 and D wing player but doesn’t even rank top 50 in steals or blocks. Also, he is shooting a horrid .299% from 3 almost a .10% decline from last year. If the Celtics want to make a championship run, Brown must flip a switch.
Andrew Wiggins: Andrew Wiggins the first overall pick in the NBA draft is averaging a career-low 16 points per game. It is time to talk about it, he isn’t that guy. Although the Timberwolves have started to make strides since trading Jimmy Butler for Dario Saric and Robert Covington, that credit should be given to Karl Anthony-Towns and the new additions. The Timberwolves now sit at 13-14, twelfth in the West behind the Spurs. You would think Wiggins would increase productivity after the departure of Butler, but Wiggins’ average stats since don’t top KAT, Derrick Rose, and Butler who isn’t even there anymore. You are telling me, Derrick Rose, who has had multiple knee surgeries is putting up better numbers off the bench than a 4 year experienced first overall pick? That is comical to me as Wiggins continues to look more like a role player every year.
Wiggins stat line against a sorry Chicago Bulls team: 0-12 FG, 0-4 3PT, 0-0 FT, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, and 0 BLK.
JaVale McGee: This one may come as a surprise to some people. The Lakers are now heating up currently at 17-10. JaVale McGee is having a decent season across the board, but that is due to the LeBron James effect in my opinion. Anyone who plays with LeBron is going to score more and have the opportunity for inflated stats, we see it on every team he is on. Look at Cleveland now! JaVale ranks forty-seventh in rebounds per game which is pretty heinous. That is partly due to shared minutes with veteran Tyson Chandler but it isn’t championship caliber efficiency. His field goal percentage has steadily decreased since his first year with the Warriors (2016-17) as McGee enters his 30s. He is top 5 in blocks per game this year, but will that continue? The defense will be key for the Lakers throughout the season because they have a very limited amount of shooting. JaVale doesn’t take care of the ball either as he is turning the ball over more than he has in 8 years. I just don’t see this team winning any big playoff series with JaVale as their starting center.