NBA Players Who Need to Get in Better Shape

Oren FriedmanCorrespondent IIMarch 21, 2013

NBA Players Who Need to Get in Better Shape

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    Every year there are players that come to camp overweight only to find their production limited by their physical constraints. 

    In the fast-paced NBA today, conditioning is key. If a player’s body cannot keep up with him, then he will likely find a spot on the bench. 

    Already deep into March, some players are still finding their bodies betraying them, unable to keep up with the grind of an 82-game season. For big men and point guards alike, some guys need to get into shape now.

    Guys like Robert "Tractor" Traylor and Eddy Curry are thought of as some of the archetypes for 21st-century overweight basketball players. 

    Who has taken the torch and is living out the legacy that Traylor and Curry paved in front of them? Who could afford to shed some pounds before the season is over?

Lamar Odom

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    Lamar Odom came into training camp seriously overweight and underperforming for the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Odom’s inability to get his body together really hampered his game at the start of the season. In November, Odom averaged a pathetic 1.6 PPG and 2.8 RPG in only 12.7 minutes of action.

    LO was becoming the overweight reincarnation of Baron Davis that so many citizens of Clipper Nation detested.

    While Odom has picked it up, he is only a shell of the player he was two seasons ago for the Los Angeles Lakers. Although a lot of Odom’s regression could be chalked up to his psychological state, there is no denying the negative impact his conditioning has had on his play.

Zach Randolph

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    Despite his heavy frame, Zach Randolph still finds ways to contribute for the Memphis Grizzlies. 

    Randolph is having a career year and earned his first All-Star appearance since 2010. His slow-footed and mechanical style of play has the Grizzlies knocking on the door of a No. 3 seed in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. 

    Nevertheless, Randolph is still rather out of shape, as fans and coaches can witness him gasping for air on any especially enervating plays. He can barely jump over a phone book, and his defense against quick-footed bigs is suspect at best.

DeMarcus Cousins

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    Plagued by issues of attitude and conditioning, DeMarcus Cousins is yet to realize his tremendous potential for the Sacramento Kings. 

    Cousins has made some bonehead plays, having been benched or suspended multiple times this season for character-related issues. 

    Like Randolph, Cousins also struggles guarding quicker 4s and 5s. In a conference with the likes of Blake Griffin and Serge Ibaka, this could be a severe issue. Lucky for Boogie and Co., the Kings do not look like they will make it out of the lottery anytime soon. 

    Only 22 years old, there is still time for Cousins to mature and come to his own. Trimming down his 270-pound frame could be a good place to start.

Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas

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    Two of the oldest players in the game, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas were viewed to be another veteran voice in the New York Knicks’ retirement home.

    Age might have finally caught up to these two NBA statesmen, however. 

    Thomas has been hindered by foot and back issues that might cause him to miss a significant portion of the rest of the season. 

    Playing in his 15th NBA season, Wallace has been dealing with nagging injuries for most of the year. He has not played in a game since December 13. 

    Wallace was once prophetic with his NBA adage “Ball don’t lie.” Well, at least for these two NBA geezers, it seems that age does not lie either.

Glen Davis

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    A player known for his heart and his hustle, Glen Davis might start to be known for his talent if he ever gets into shape. 

    Since his days at LSU, Davis has been overweight. His height at just 6’9” is doing him no favors either. 

    Typically, players that are undersized make up for it with incredible athleticism (see Nate Robinson). For Davis however, the big man only supplements his short stature with incredible girth. 

    Perhaps the most disturbing scene of Davis’ weight and conditioning issues came during the 2008 Boston Celtics’ championship parade when Big Baby was filmed dancing shirtless. 

    Someone please turn that camera off.

Deron Williams

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    Deron Williams’ conditioning issues really came to the forefront when Team USA executive Jerry Colangelo criticized him for being out of shape during the 2012 London summer Olympics. 

    Williams’ early-season numbers backed Colangelo’s claim. Once rivaling the Clippers' Chris Paul for best point guard in the league, Williams has fallen off the pace.

    Before the All-Star break, Williams was averaging just 16.7 PPG on 41.3 percent shooting from the field. 

    Since being left out of the All-Star Game and getting into better shape, Williams has gone on an absolute tear. Over the last 15 games, Williams is lighting up opponents to the tune of 23.9 PPG on 48 percent shooting. 

    The Brooklyn Nets will only go as far as Deron Williams can take them in the Eastern Conference. His conditioning has to be of chief importance during the home stretch of the season.