That's how it goes when certain teams make an expected rise. This is a league of relative—not mutual—success. After a particularly splashy 2012 offseason, there are bound to be some disappointments. Teams often swing and miss hard in the Summer.
So many teams came with with sky-high expectations for their shiny new free agents. Take a look at the ones who feel let down by the result.
Dwight would be higher on the list if it weren't for Andrew Bynum. Drew has yet to see the floor in Philadelphia, erasing any regret Los Angles might have felt in dealing him for Dwight's services.
Once you forget about Bynum, Howard's arrival has been quite the disappointment. Perhaps it's not Dwight's fault, but he looks half the player he was prior to spinal surgery. He's a step late on rotations, disjointed in his movements. Considering that defense accounts for most of Howard's value, his inability to provide it has to have Laker fans concerned.
On the upside, Dwight has been an efficient scorer down low, and he remains good at rebounding. That's nice, but big men carry a disproportionate impact on defense. If Howard never reclaims his old defensive skills, the ugly results will continue in Los Angeles.
Kyle Lowry got off to the hottest start in the NBA. He's still put up good numbers overall, with his current 20.58 PER.
That figure does not tell the whole unfortunate story, though. Lowry was supposed to improve the defense, but he sprained his ankle early in the season. Since coming back, he can't stay in front of opposing point guards, and Andrea Bargnani is of no help once those PGs get to the paint.
An optimist can cite Lowry's earlier, healthier production as that which is to come. It's just so hard to watch a few Raptors seasons and maintain optimism. Here's to Lowry hopefully improving, as his style of play is among the most enjoyable in the NBA.
Free Steve Nash? That was the cause of many Nash fans during some leaner Phoenix years. Now that he's finally surrounded by some talent, he can't join in the surroundings. A shin injury has kept Steve sidelined as the Lakers flounder.
Nash would be higher on this list if he played, and played terribly. For all we know, he's the missing ingredient. I doubt it, considering the Lakers' poor defense so far. It's looking like one of the game's greatest point guards will go ringless once more. At least his three-year, $25 million contract is reasonable?
I wouldn't rank this so high, except you could see it coming from the jump. Jeff Green has never demonstrated that he's an above-average basketball player. He's also 26 years old. He's also coming off a year away from the league due to heart surgery.
And yet for some strange reason, Boston saw fit to give Green a contract that approaches between $36 million and $40 million over four years (via Sports Illustrated). The results, so far, have been predictably disappointing. Jeff Green hovers at an 11.98 PER and has compromised Boston's defense along the way. It's unclear whether he can play either power forward or small forward.
It's just a puzzling contract by Boston, even if the result isn't.
The Philadelphia 76ers needed to restart the computer, but this has not gone well. Though Andre Iguodala has hardly flourished in Denver (Iggy was close to making this list), Philadelphia can't be happy with this Andrew Bynum predicament.
Due to knee trouble, some of it bowling-induced, Bynum has not played a single possession for the 76ers. It is unclear as to whether he will play a single possession, as reports are often as murky as they are pessimistic.
Now, the stakes have been raised for Philadelphia. It can pay more to Andrew Bynum than any other team. The question is: Does it want to take that ever-increasing risk?