8 Players Who Don't Deserve to Be in the Playoffs
As the NBA playoffs draw closer, the anticipation mounts as to which players will shine for the teams that make it. Oppositely, most fans are probably not giving a single thought as to the benchwarmers who could earn a ring simply by just being on the roster, not necessarily playing.
If you ask me, since their contributions are minimal (and I use that term VERY loosely), they shouldn't even receive recognition for being on the team if said squad wins a championship, nor should they even be on the playoff roster.
Take Eddy Curry of the Miami Heat, for example. He has appeared in all of 11 games this season, averaging just over a point per contest. Given how stacked the Heat are top to bottom, chances are that he won't get any playing time in the postseason. Thus, does he really deserve to be there if they are to celebrate winning the NBA Finals?
Let's take a look at Curry and some other players who just don't deserve postseason glory.
8. Juwan Howard, Miami Heat
Juwan Howard is 39 years old and his best years have been behind him for quite some time. He used to be a solid power forward, haven been taken with the fifth pick in the 1994 draft. Yet, he hasn't been a solid contributor since maybe 2004.
At this point, Howard is playing for two reasons: for his love of the game and to win a ring, which he has yet to do in an 18-year career. He may be good for leadership, but his 4.5 minutes per game in just 20 contests this year are dead weight.
On a team like Miami, that's the last thing needed.
7. Jerry Stackhouse, Atlanta Hawks
In his younger days, the 37-year-old Stackhouse was one of the NBA's best scorers. For his career, he has averaged an impressive 17.5 points per game.
As of late, however, he has been a shell of his former self. The two-time All-Star slowly started to lose his shooting touch in 2004, and today he is a rarely-played benchwarmer on the young and talented Atlanta Hawks.
Stackhouse has appeared in just 25 games this season and is averaging 3.7 points per contest. Given that Atlanta has Joe Johnson manning the 2-spot, I highly doubt that there will be much use for this former North Carolina Tar Heel come playoff time.
6. Jordan Hill, Los Angeles Lakers
Considering how he was taken with the eighth overall pick in 2009, Hill has played nothing like it. This isn't entirely his fault, as he has averaged only 14.5 minutes per game for his career, but he is now a member of the revamped Los Angeles Lakers, and a standard has to be met.
Since being traded to L.A. last month, Hill has appeared in a mere two games for the team and has averaged just a minute-and-a-half of playing time.
I only wish I were joking about that statistic.
I'm sorry, but if you're a former lottery pick and on a team with as much history as the Lakers, you had better do something to make yourself stand out from the rest of the bench.
Hill hasn't done that, so no playoff glory for him.
5. Kosta Koufos, Denver Nuggets
Koufos isn't the absolute worst player to include on this list, but he still isn't worthy of representing the Nuggets in the playoffs. He averages about five points and five rebounds per game, and that's just not enough for someone 7'0", 265 pounds.
The way I see it, he's just an insurance policy in case one of the following players gets injured: JaVale McGee, Kenneth Faried or Timofey Mozgov.
Until such circumstances pop up (NBA Gods forbid), there's no reason to even include him on the active roster come playoff time.
4. Yi Jianlian, Dallas Mavericks
When Yi was drafted with the No. 6 pick in 2007, he was already being touted as the next Yao Ming. Sure enough, as has been the case with many international players taken with lottery picks, he never lived up to his potential.
Today, he has been riding the bench for the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. In 26 games, he has averaged just seven minutes and 2.6 points.
If Dirk Nowitzki and friends are to repeat as champs, they definitely won't do it with this guy around.
3. Eddy Curry, Miami Heat
When Eddy Curry was in high school, his powerful approach to the game earned him the moniker "Baby Shaq." Sure enough, the seven-footer was drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2001.
Now, let's fast forward to today.
Curry has struggled with his weight throughout his career and never became the dominant low-post presence scouts promised. Since 2009, he has played in just 21 games and has virtually been a non-factor in Miami this year.
The Heat were fine without him in the playoffs last year, so why even bother bringing him along for the ride this time?
2. Brian Cardinal, Dallas Mavericks
Cardinal's nickname is "The Janitor," and I think I've finally figured out why.
It's because the only time he even steps on the court is when the game is a complete blowout, or in "garbage time."
Not convinced? Take a look at his numbers for the season: 38 games, seven minute per contest and just 1.1 points.
Why is he on a team as good as the Mavericks, let alone in the NBA at all? If you ask me, it's time to take this janitor out with the rest of the dead weight.
1. Brian Scalabrine, Chicago Bulls
From his flabby body to his just plain awful skills on the court, it's a wonder that Scalabrine is still in the league. He's never really been a significant contributor at any point during his 11-season career, but he always manages to find a team.
This season, as his Chicago Bulls are once again top in their conference and looking to get back to the NBA Finals, he has appeared in just 26 games averaging 1.2 points in 4.5 minutes.
At this point, why not just make him the secondary mascot? Better to see him in a goofy costume instead of seeing him look nightmarish in an NBA uniform.