7 Most One-Dimensional "Stars" in the NBA Today
There are two kinds of players in the NBA—players who think they are stars and players who actually are stars.
What separates a majority of those players is versatility and an ability to play on both sides of the ball. Guys like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul bring intensity and production on offense and defense, and that's what makes them stand out from the rest.
There are a number of players, however, who are just too one-dimensional to make it to that level of being a true star in the NBA.
Being one-dimensional isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just important to separate the true stars from the one-dimensional stars in the NBA.
Steve Novak: Three-Point Specialist
Career Per-Game Stats: 5.0 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 43.8 3PFG%, 2.9 3PA ,11.6 MPG
Ray Allen may have the record for the most made three pointers in NBA history, but he has serious competition from Steve Novak when it comes to being the best three-point shooter playing today.
Averaging five points per game in just 11.6 minutes per game is rather impressive, especially when you consider that most of his points are coming from beyond the arc.
This season, Novak's minutes will increase and so will his offensive production. In the first game of the Knicks' season, he went off for 17 points—15 of which were from the three-point line.
Aside from that pure stroke from long range, though, Novak doesn't bring much else to the court. Sure, he'll grab a rebound here or there or get an assist in the box score. But let's be honest, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once and awhile.
DeAndre Jordan: Offensively Inept
Career Per-Game Stats: 6.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.5 BLKPG, 64.4 FG%, 43.8 FT%, 21.4 MPG
Don't be fooled by DeAndre Jordan's 64.4 percent career shooting percentage. It's so high because 80 percent of his points come from put-back dunks and transition offense.
When it comes to having any resemblance of polish in the post, Jordan is the last player any NBA fan would think of.
He can't shoot the ball, as evidenced by his whopping 43.8 percent free-throw percentage, and he doesn't offer much of anything else besides grabbing offensive boards and throwing down alley-oops on the offensive side of the ball.
On defense though, it's a different story. Jordan is a very effective defender. He understands how to use his size in the paint and in the pick-and-roll defense. If he could work on his offensive game a bit, Jordan could actually start to be worth the $30-plus million he's getting paid over the next three years.
Serge Ibaka: Athletic Defender
Career Per-Game Stats: 8.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.4 BLKPG, 53.7 FG%, 24.2 MPG
Serge Ibaka gets paid like he's a superstar—signing a four-year extension worth $48 million over the next four years, as reported by ESPN. Unfortunately, he doesn't produce on both sides of the ball enough to warrant that kind of pay check.
On defense, Ibaka is one of the best in the game. He's physical, he rebounds the ball well and he's one of the best shot-blockers in the entire league.
On offense, though, it's a completely different story. While he's had games where he's hit shots like he's Pau Gasol, more often than not ,he's most effective when he's crashing the boards and getting easy put backs.
Considering the money he's getting paid, Ibaka needs to put some serious work into increasing his versatility on offense. The Thunder invested quite a bit of cash in him, and it's time for him to put the work in to prove that wasn't a bad move.
O.J. Mayo: Pass Much?
Career Per-Game State: 15.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, 43.2 FG%, 32.8 MPG
O.J. Mayo is the definition of a one-dimensional "star."
He's a competent and effective offensive player, but he doesn't do much more than that. He has a shoot-first, pass-later mentality, and it shows in the way he plays the game.
While he isn't a liability on the defensive side of the ball, he isn't as physical as he should be—weighing in at 6'4'' and 210 pounds. Mayo should be overpowering smaller shooting guards, but instead, he's playing soft defense.
On offense, Mayo is somewhat inefficient, but that isn't what holds him back. The fact that he doesn't create much offense for his teammates is at the core of his inability to reach the next level in the NBA. The Mavericks need him to be a more complete player, and if Mayo doesn't do that, his career in Dallas could be a short one.
Carmelo Anthony: Optional Defense
Career Per-Game Stats: 24.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.1 STLPG, 45.6 FG%, 36.2 MPG
Finding Carmelo Anthony's name on this list doesn't mean he's not a star player. He most certainly is. It just displays the fact that his play and intensity on the defensive side of the ball hasn't changed since he entered the league back in 2003.
Don't let 'Melo's 1.1 steals-per-game average fool you into thinking that he's a solid defender. That average clearly depicts the fact that 'Melo is nothing more than an opportunistic defender.
While he's one of the most prolific scorers in the entire NBA, 'Melo has never reached the truly elite level of superstardom in the league because he hasn't added a level of defensive prowess or intensity to his game.
Few can score more prolifically than 'Melo. But, there are dozens and dozens of players who can, and do, play defense at a higher intensity than he does. 'Melo needs to become a more disciplined defender if he wants to be remembered as one of the best of all time.
Nick Young: Score First, Play Defense Later
Career Per-Game Stats: 11.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.5 STLPG, 42.9 FG% 22.9 MPG
Nick Young is extremely one-dimensional. Not only does he lack focus on defense he doesn't pass or rebound all that much either.
Young is a scorer at heart, and while he can be explosive at times, he's a bit too inefficient to be a truly next-level player in the NBA.
Take away the fact that Young doesn't play much defense at all, and Young is still somewhat of a liability because of his tendency to put up questionable and low-percentage shots all too often.
Young has a lot of maturing to do if he wants to be a star in the NBA. He's capable of being a much more versatile player than he currently is. He just needs to start playing some defense and using his long-range ability to spread the floor and find open teammates.
Thabo Sefolosha: Defender Extraordinaire
Career Per-Game Stats: 5.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.0 STLPG, 43.7 FG%, 22.2 MPG
Thabo Sefolosha benefited from having James Harden behind him on the depth chart throughout his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. With Harden, Sefolosha didn't need to do much more than provide defensive pressure. Now that Harden is gone, that's a different story.
Can he score? Sure. But he can't do it at a consistent or explosive enough rate to make a real difference on offense.
The Thunder need Sefolosha to be a more effective player on offense, but that's not going to happen. Over the span of his seven-year career, his top points-per-game average came back in 2008-09, when he averaged a whopping 8.5 points.
There's no way around the fact that Sefolosha just isn't the effective shooting guard the Thunder need. If Sefolosha doesn't amp up his offensive production, his days in Oklahoma City could be numbered because they can't survive in the West without offense from the shooting guard position.