4 NBA Players Who Will Come Crashing to Earth in 2012-13
With the start of the NBA season only days away, it's time to take a closer look at potential busts heading into 2012-13.
Last year was a remarkable NBA season. A number of lesser-known players broke through as perennial All-Star candidates, with a number of these players now wearing new uniforms.
However, for various reasons, NBA fans should temper their expectations for several of these players.
Here are the the four players who are most likely to significantly regress this upcoming basketball season.
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Considering the magnitude of Ryan Anderson's new contract, the New Orleans Hornets are expecting a repeat of his 2011 season.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, that's highly unlikely.
In 2011, Anderson averaged approximately 16 points and eight rebounds, while establishing himself as one of the sharpest three-point shooters in the game.
This breakthrough campaign earned him a seemingly warranted four-year, $34 million contract.
However, Anderson scored about half his points through three-pointers last season. Without Dwight Howard drawing double-teams in the paint and Orlando's shooter-friendly offense, it's going to be extremely difficult for Anderson to find as many open looks.
Anderson will remain a dangerous shooter, but the change of scenery will do him absolutely no good.
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Before the All-Star break, Lowry averaged a whopping 16 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 2.5 steals.
Then, Lowry got hurt and Goran Dragic stepped in. Surprisingly, as the new starter Dragic averaged almost identical numbers to Lowry's with even more efficient shooting.
That's a big red flag. Perhaps Lowry's success was a product of the Rockets' offense and not raw talent alone.
And with a crowded backcourt in Toronto and a completely new offense to get accustomed to, Lowry's numbers are going to hurt this season. Keep expectations low.
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This pick may seem counter-intuitive considering that both Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic were stellar in the Houston Rockets' system last season.
Those who are expecting Linsanity 2.0, however, will be disappointed.
After a legendary and historic February, Lin's insane numbers eventually dropped back into reality. In March, Lin averaged a respectable, but more realistic 14.6 points, 6.3 assists and 1.7 steals.
Yet for the month, Lin shot only 41 percent from the floor and remained among the league leaders in turnovers.
A healthy Lin would likely match these March 2012 numbers, but Lin is apparently battling knee problems heading into this season.
He is apparently having problems with agility and explosiveness, two assets that Lin needs to attack the rim and create space for jump shots.
Therefore, fans should expect Lin's March 2012 numbers to return this season—at best.
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The seemingly ageless Kevin Garnett has to start showing some age eventually. 2012-13 is going to be the year.
Just about nobody was expecting KG's 15.8 points-per-game average during the 2011-12 season. He more than held his own at center, and, more surprisingly, played almost the full shortened season.
A repeat of these accomplishments, however, will be next to impossible.
KG missed 11 games in 2007, 25 games in 2008, 13 games in 2009 and 11 games in 2010.
There's no way he's getting healthier with age, so temper expectations for KG's games and minutes played this season.
This is unquestionably going to result in lower numbers, akin to his 2009-10 season when he averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 boards per game.