Meeting Expectations: Poor NBA Playoff Performers

Joseph EdmondsonCorrespondent IAugust 3, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY - APRIL 24: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates a foul called against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2010 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Lakers and Celtics meeting in the 2010 NBA Finals was somewhat expected by many NBA fans.

Between them, they have 33 championships. Obviously, they know how to win even if they've had their down seasons.

Some teams disappoint in the Playoffs. Utah, Toronto, Phoenix, Orlando, New Orleans, Minnesota, Memphis, the Clippers, Denver, Dallas, Cleveland and Charlotte are current NBA teams with no championship rings to speak of.

If you look at the past five years, it's very clear that Denver, Dallas, Cleveland and Phoenix have all underachieved in the Playoffs.

After "The Decision" was reached, much has been made about LeBron's performance during the Cavs-Celtics series. Is it accurate?

Some have argued that LeBron's game was far superior to Paul Pierce's.

But what about players' performances in the Playoffs compared to their regular seasons?

Taking a look at the sixteen teams that made the Playoffs in 2010, each team had a star that could claim the team as their own.

Though some of the teams suffered injuries and lost their regular season leaders and others, like Phoenix, could have been Team Nash or Team Stoudemire, I have attempted to look at the 2010 Playoffs sixteen teams' leaders and analyze how they stacked up to their own regular season performances.

Who stepped it up? Who disappointed?

In order, from those who stepped up most to the ones who lost the most:

Overachievers (+5 or more):
Deron Williams
Gerald Wallace
Brandon Jennings
Derrick Rose
Steve Nash

Achievers (0 to +4):
LaMarcus Aldridge
Kobe Bryant
Dirk Nowitzki
Paul Pierce
Dwight Howard
Carmelo Anthony
Dwyane Wade

Underachievers (-1 to -6, poorer in categories listed):
*Amar'e Stoudemire
LeBron James
Joe Johnson
Tim Duncan
Kevin Durant

As we know, teams make the difference in the Playoffs and statistics don't tell the story as well as our eyes, but statistically, this was how the leaders performed.

Utah, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Chicago have something special to look forward to next year.

Maybe.