Baron Davis and 10 Others Who Have Already Phoned In This 2010-2011 NBA Season
Just over a week ago I published an article entitled "Baron Davis and 15 Others Who Have Already Phoned In This NBA Season," and after reading a few of the comments I realized that I may have misunderstood the assignment that was distributed to me by my editor and for that I will be more than happy to take the blame.
I believe the confusion stemmed from the fact I confused the term "phoned in," or "phoned it in" with the term "dialed in," probably because you dial a telephone. It turns out that the two terms are rather contradictory, seeing as Urban Dictionary defines the term to "phone it in," as to "Perform an act in a perfunctory, uncommitted fashion, as if it didn't matter." Conversely, they define the term "dialed in," as either "when something is perfect," or "to an athlete performing well."
According to these definitions, I severely misunderstood my previous assignment. Therefore, I have decided to give it another shot and assemble a new list that I believe corresponds to the proper definitions. So, to all of my readers who read my last article and were disappointed I apologize and hope that by the end of this list you will feel more satisfied.
So here it is:
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Earlier in his career Baron Davis used to be a very dependable point guard capable of scoring his club 20 points and dishing out 7 or 8 assists a night. However, at the beginning of the season Clipper's struggled to get much out of Davis at all. He was criticized by Clippers' coaching and management for being out of shape, surrounded by trade talks, and nagged by a cyst in his left knee before missing nearly the entire month of November to regain his athletic form.
Although Davis appeared to have loafed at the beginning of this season, apparently he still has a little gas left in the tank. Over the course of the Clippers' last ten games, in which they are 6-4, Davis is averaging just about 15 points and 8 assists per game. Over the course of that ten game span, Davis has provided some savvy performances to lift his team past both the Miami Heat and the Clippers' hometown rival the Los Angeles Lakers.
Davis phoned in at the beginning of the season because he was apparently more interested in consuming Twinkies than minutes playing for the Clippers. He was probably one of the first to phone in this season but since I believe that he has hung up the line.
Gilbert Arenas is not quite the star that he was for the Washington Wizards franchise during the 2005-2006 season, during which he was relatively healthy and averaging nearly 30 points, 6 assists and 2 steals a game. That was the season in which Arenas carried the Wizards to the playoffs where he averaged 34 points and 5 assists per game.
After missing sitting out a lot of time due to various injuries, surgeries, and a hefty suspension that he served when he violated NBA league policy by bringing a firearm into team locker rooms, Arenas has really never regained his true form. He has dropped his nickname, changed his jersey number, changed his team, and has even tried to reform his game by becoming a pass-first point guard.
Arenas had a few incredibly impressive performances for the Washington Wizards before he was traded to the Orlando Magic on December 18. However, in his new Floridian home, Gilbert has taken a significantly reduced role because he is now playing behind Jameer Nelson. Though Arenas is averaging close to 14 points and 5 assists per game, this season, he is only averaging about 9 points and 4 assists since he was transferred to the Magic.
Gilbert was apparently not wizardly enough for Washington so they sent him to Orlando, perhaps he will show the world that he doesn't just play for the Magic but he may have some magic left in him as well and perhaps he can show the world that he is still a playmaker.
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With LeBron James out of the way in Cleveland, Mo Williams could have really took this as his chance to shine and become the face of a recently faceless franchise. Instead, Mo Williams has offered Cleveland little consistency and few very big performances.
Williams has struggled to find his shot and consequently is shooting at lower percentages, both from the field and three-point-land. He has shown the Cavs that he is capable of putting up big numbers and picking up double-doubles from time to time, however he has not shown that he can do so consistently.
Williams has also struggled with a couple of injury issues throughout the course of this season which when paired with the departure of LeBron James, helps to explain why Williams' numbers are down from even a season ago. However, the departure of James should not be an excuse for Williams and the Cavaliers to perform at a lower rate, but an invitation for new stars to step up, and new legacies and eras to begin which Mo Williams has shown little interest in doing.
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Richard Hamilton is a three time All-Star, a former NBA Champion, and averages over twenty points per game in the playoffs for his career. Of late however, his play has been very inconsistent to say the least. Thus far, this season Rip, as he is affectionately called, has failed to settle into any kind of rhythm and consequently is playing fewer minutes and is scoring, rebounding, and assisting less often.
At 32 years old, Hamilton is now is an experienced veteran who knows the game, but after missing a hefty portion of last season due to injury issues and his inconsistencies this season, he may be exhibiting signs of old age.
After benching Hamilton for the past five games now the Pistons may believe that they are better off without their fallen star. Without Rip, Detroit is 3-2 and even picked up their first three game winning streak the season. It is quite possible that Detroit may be looking for a new home for Rip by the end of the trade deadline, as his name has surfaced in Carmelo Anthony trade talks.
Although, the Pistons organization may be showing substantial disinterest in Hamilton, his popularity among fans and his teammates remains as high as ever. His teammate Tayshaun Prince is still a fan and believes that Hamilton and his veteran leadership are still valuable assets to the organization.
Though Prince and Piston fans alike may still be professing a desire to see more of Rip Hamilton in action while outfitted in a Detroit uniform, he simply doesn't produce like he used to. After not playing Hamilton in five straight contests, signs may indicate that a struggling Hamilton and a struggling Pistons franchise may be bidding each other adieu sometime in the near future.
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For starters, I'm not calling Jason Kidd a quitter because I think that would be outrageous. The man has the third most triple-doubles in NBA regular season history and the second most triple-doubles in NBA post season history as well. Kidd is likely headed to the Hall of Fame when his career is over but his numbers of late reveal that he has certainly not dialed in this season.
The 37 year-old veteran is yet to have a twenty-point to his name this season and only has one triple-double which came against division rivals the San Antonio Spurs at the end of December. Kidd has been struggling to find his shot this season and is shooting at a lower percentages from the field and behind the arch than he did just a season ago and is consequently scoring fewer points because of it.
Over the nine game span that Dirk Nowitzki spent on the sideline due to a knee injury, the Mavs went 2-7 while Jason Kidd and the rest of the Mavericks team struggled to find ways to win. Jason Kidd is by no means a quitter, but he is by no means dialed in either. This is now his seventeenth season in the NBA and signs of aging may be beginning to show, it's obvious that one "Kidd" may not be so youthful anymore.
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Apparently Orlando thought that Rashard Lewis lost his "magic" when they sent him and Vince Carter packing in the middle of December and they are not the only ones. Although, Lewis has slightly improved his numbers since leaving Orlando this season, he's still not the player that he used to be.
Rashard Lewis used to be quite the performer when he played for the Seattle Supersonics and even proved to be a valuable player when he was shipped to Orlando. Aside from holding the record for the most three-pointers made in Supersonic history, Lewis also helped both Seattle and Orlando make it to the playoffs on various occasion, but even as early as last season he has shown signs of tailing off as a playmaker.
Rashard Lewis used to average over twenty points per game, and this season he has only scored twenty or more points on four occasions. This season he's only averaging about 13 points and five rebounds per game. Also, Lewis is averaging fewer three pointers per game than he was even a season ago. With his declining production it's no wonder the Magic traded him to Washington, perhaps he will do more good for them than he did for Orlando this season.
Jermain O'Neal does not nearly pose the same threat he did when he was the centerpiece to the Indiana Pacers franchise in the earlier parts of the 2000s. His numbers in both scoring and rebounding have dipped this season and reasonably so considering he signed a deal with a Boston Celtics, a team who already had a very strong front-court game which meant O'Neal himself would likely take a reduced role in order to attempt to win an NBA Championship.
O'Neal's has accepted his position as a role player and coming in off of the bench for the Celtics rather graciously. He averages about ten fewer minutes per game than he averaged only a season ago with the Miami Heat. O'Neal has also missed 21 of the Celtics games this season due to nagging injury problems.
When healthy, O'Neal's performances have been shaky and inconsistent to say the least. He is only averaging about five points and four rebounds per contest which are his weakest numbers since his days in Portland.
Although Jermaine O'Neal may be struggling on the floor and facing injury problems, the rest the Celtics' team seem not to have noticed and have performed at a high rate regardless. Perhaps, after his knee injury heals we will see some more of the Jermaine O'Neal of old, or perhaps we will continue to see much of the same.
Tracy McGrady is not completely lifeless and has even offered the Detroit Pistons some swell performances this season. Though he has not been competing at the All-Star caliber level that he was once capable of, he can still put up decent numbers on occasions. This season, McGrady has been an instrumental in a pair of Piston victories against the Toronto Raptors and also played a substantial role in Detroit's victory over the Boston Celtics.
Though, he is capable of putting up some good numbers from time to time, he has failed to find any decent rhythm and put up consistent numbers. McGrady has again been confronted with some minor injuries so perhaps if he can just stay healthy Detroit will be happy.
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Joel Anthony has been presented with the opportunity to work with three very talented All-Stars in Miami. Working with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh could have presented Anthony, who is only in his fourth year in the NBA, to really come into form and become a solid centerpiece for the Heat franchise.
Instead, Joel Anthony has done the same which he has in seasons past, which in case you have not followed his short career has been next to nothing. Instead of taking advantage of the talent that surrounds him to better himself as a player Joel Anthony has not seemed to have improved his game in any aspect.
Anthony's scoring and rebounding numbers are yet to see any improvement despite the fact that he already has two games with ten or more boards which doubles his total from last season. Anthony, like this season, is still young meaning there is time for him to learn, improve his game, and become an active part in Miami's success as this season progresses, but thus far, that is yet to be seen.
Anthony was identified as Miami's primary weakness when the 2010-2011 season began and is probably still the biggest hole in their lineup even though Miami's overall performance this season would indicate that the number of holes that they have in their lineup are fewer than most.
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I am sure that the Milwaukee Bucks did not expect to see John Salmons offensive production drop as much as they have. Especially after he averaged nearly twenty points per game for the club after they acquired him last season from the Bulls.
Salmons opted out of his former contract and resigned a five year deal with the Bucks. Currently he is averaging about 14 points per game this season which is nearly six fewer points per game than he averaged a season ago. I'm sure that the Chicago Bulls can sympathize with the Milwaukee Bucks because Salmons' offensive output diminished for them last season after he had offered them substantially better scoring numbers for them during the 2008-2009 after they had acquired him via trade from the Sacramento Kings.
Though Salmons is not offering abhorrent numbers, he is not producing like he did for the Bucks last season, or like he did for Chicago two seasons ago. Although, Salmons' lack of production this season is not reminiscent of the John Salmons who played in a Milwaukee uniform a season ago, he did stack up some pretty good performances both at the end of December and at the beginning of January. However, with Brandon Jennings out with a foot injury, Milwaukee needs as much out of Salmons as they can get.
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Carmelo Anthony has made it pretty clear that he is interested in taking his talents elsewhere in order to attempt to win a championship. Although, he is putting up decent numbers on most nights and is still in the top ten in points per game in the NBA, Anthony's offensive production is the lowest that it has been since his sophomore season in the league.
Although, Anthony may be distracted from ongoing trade talks surrounding his name which may or may not excuse some of his less than spectacular performances, he does not appear to be giving Denver his all this season regardless. I am sure that once either Anthony is traded abroad or is told that he will remain a Nugget for the remainder of the season, he will return to the Carmelo that we are all used to seeing, but for now he appears to be giving Denver a half-hearted effort, even though his half-hearted efforts are still pretty good.