Tim Duncan and the 10 Most Boring Players in the NBA
Before you get all bent out of shape, please take the time to read this.
This is not an article intended to insult anyone of these players or their devoted fans. Being a boring player does not mean you're bad or have a lot of work to be done on improving your game. All it means is that their game doesn't have the appeal of being entertaining.
They rely more on a fundamental and business approach to the game, rather than being the type that swats shots 10 rows into the stadium and dunks over three defenders. They're not going to be on any highlight reels for an amazing play. Instead, they're going to be the player that breaks you down over time and plays a solid consistent game for the entire 48 minutes.
Spectators are always looking for excitement. They don't want to just see a win; they want entertainment in the form of dunks, blocks and no-look passes. They want LeBron James and Dwyane Wade hooking up for full-court alley-oops, Kobe Bryant throwing passes to himself off the backboard and Derrick Rose contorting his body to make a layup.
However, when you take a look back at who's won championships over the past decade, you'll notice that not many exciting teams have won. The San Antonio Spurs have won four since 1999, the Detroit Pistons won in 2004, the Boston Celtics in 2008 and the Dallas Mavericks last year. The Los Angeles Lakers with Shaq and Pau and the Miami Heat with Shaq and Wade were the lone exceptions.
All of the players soon to be mentioned are all quality parts of their team. They may not get your team on ESPN's Top Ten, but they will get you wins or at least try to with their fundamental approach to the game.
Stay boring, gentlemen.
Tim Duncan, and the entire San Antonio Spurs franchise in general over the past decade, is not that exciting of a player to watch.
In fact, he's probably the only top 10 player in NBA history that you wouldn't mind passing up in favor of watching a LeBron James or Kobe Bryant of sorts. The walking double-double has consistently given 20 points and 10 rebounds to the Spurs every night since he was drafted in 1997, yet he's just as interesting to watch as CSPAN or another ESPN special highlighting Tim Tebow's high school accomplishments.
Despite his averaging 20 points and 11 boards per, you and your buddies aren't saying to each other, "Man, I really can't wait for that San Antonio Spurs game tonight." All Duncan and the Spurs do is win, but it's Timmy's fundamental approach that could put any casual viewer to sleep.
He's never really been athletic. It's simply business, with Duncan always looking for the easiest shot possible and relying on his fundamentals to do the work for him. He's got the ability to drive and throw up a hook shot, but it's the bank shot from as far out as 15 feet that has given Duncan the recognition of arguably being one of the top 10 players to ever step onto the hardwood.
Duncan's simply not a dynamic player to watch. He's not here to entertain; he's here to do his job by winning games. I'm pretty sure that Tim would much rather have the four rings, rather than being known as an exciting player.
Possessing some of the best footwork you'll see from a player his size in the game today, the Utah Jazz' Al Jefferson is one of the league's top scoring big men but cannot seem to get any national recognition for it.
Why, you ask? Small markets for one. Being a part of the Boston Celtics when they were a mediocre team, the Minnesota Timberwolves without Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio and then an average Utah Jazz team isn't going to get you much exposure. Jefferson may have averaged 20 and 10 for two consecutive seasons, but it wasn't enough for him to get serious attention.
Secondly, Jefferson simply isn't that exciting to watch. When you watch centers today, you want to see ferocious slams, vicious blocks that are sent into the fifth row and hard fouls. Jefferson doesn't provide any of that. He isn't the type of center to put defenders on a poster, has been known as one of the worst defenders in the NBA and has yet to deliver any type of hard foul that's going to get some national attention.
Until Jefferson begins leading the Jazz deep into the postseason, or into the playoffs at all, he's still going to be recognized as one of the more boring stars to view. Even then, I doubt he'll begin receiving attention as an exciting player.
Ray Allen can be the most exciting player in the NBA...when the time is right.
Outside of the final two minutes, Allen is probably one of the more boring, down-to-earth players in the league. Rarely before have you seen him arguing a foul to the point of receiving a technical nor have you ever heard anything about his personal life outside of the NBA.
Just like Duncan, Allen is the businessman on the court. He fully recognizes that the NBA is a business and that he's getting paid to do a specific job with that job being to hit the open three-pointers he receives courtesy of his teammates' bruising screens.
In the league since 1996, Allen has been much quieter than his All-Star teammates in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. While Pierce boasts that he's the best player in the NBA, Garnett attempts to do his best at frustrating his opponent while making a fool of himself and Rondo throws water bottles through video screens, and Allen is the type to just sit back and stay out of it.
The cool, calm and collected nature of Allen possibly explains why he's so deadly in the clutch as well as why he has shot 40 percent from deep for his career.
One of the classiest players in the NBA, Chauncey Billups isn't the player that's going to stuff stat columns or make highlight plays.
Billups is your average NBA point guard who's just smarter than the majority of the league's point guards. He never goes for the highlight, only for the smart and fundamental approach. He's as solid as solid can get when you talk about a specific player because of how smart he plays when he has the ball in his hands.
Chauncey has averaged over 30 minutes worth of playing time for a career that started out in 1997 and not once has he averaged over three turnovers per game. He's averaging only two for a sure to be Hall of Fame career. For an NBA point guard to play upwards of 35 minutes per night and to average only two turnovers per is a clear showing that they are doing their job the right way.
It's not as if Billups has played with offensive juggernauts that simply know how to score. He won a championship with a Detroit Pistons team that relied heavily on a strict offensive balance between four players. That team was able to beat a strong Los Angeles Lakers team in five games because of how efficient Billups is and how little he turns the ball over.
Chauncey's career highs include a little under 20 points per and a little under nine assists per. He's not a dynamic player, but he's arguably the league's most efficient and reliable point guard.
Similar to Chauncey Billups but with a lesser role and not as quality a point guard, Andre Miller is another floor general who chooses to play with a more fundamental approach as opposed to playing with the intention of creating highlight after highlight.
It's tough to blame point guards that are looking for highlight plays. You're the main distributor and facilitator of the offense, and you always have the ball in your hands. You're usually not shooting as much as a few of your teammates, so you might want to get into the act of making a play that's going to get you noticed.
Instead of simply being the guy that makes the passes, you want to be known as the guy who threw that unbelievable alley-oop or made that no-look pass.
Andre Miller isn't that type of player. Never has and never will be. In a career that started in 1999 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miller has averaged three turnovers or worse only three times, with two of those occasions coming in the first three years of his career. As he's gotten older, Miller's turnovers per have steadily decreased, and he's now averaging nearly two-and-a-half per.
Miller won't make the exciting and entertaining plays, but he will make the smart plays and hit the big shot when called upon.
Yeah, you might be a little bewildered at this placement. After all, how could someone that grabs 15 rebounds in his sleep and posts up 30 points and 20 boards every other week be recognized as boring?
As I stated before when speaking of Al Jefferson, you expect a lot out of the big men. They're supposed to be holding down the paint with an iron fist and the mindset of a 'no layup rule' that the New York Knicks of the 1990's once instituted. You don't see that as often before, but you do see that from a few players that still play in a Charles Oakley state of mind.
Love may be averaging 26 points and 14 boards per, but rarely would you consider him as an exciting player to watch. He's not the type of big man to send shots deep into the cheap seats, and he's not going to be putting anyone on a poster any time soon. All he knows to do is rebound at an unbelievable rate, converting on his put-backs and hitting his three-pointers.
He has improved yearly and is on an MVP pace this season if he can get his Minnesota Timberwolves into the playoffs as a high seed. However, they've still got a long way to go as it's going to take much more than Love and Ricky Rubio to propel this team into the postseason.
Still not too exciting to watch though. Honestly, do you find it exciting to watch a player who scores on nothing more than layups and three-pointers?
Danny Granger has the capabilities and potential to become a slasher.
It only makes sense that he would. With such a deadly jumper to his name and his ability to always have defenders playing close to him on the perimeter, you'd assume that Granger would take advantage by beating his man off the dribble and taking it to the rim.
You'd assume that, but it doesn't happen all too often. Granger is simply too stuck in his ways of primarily being a perimeter threat and not much else. He's averaged as much as 26 points per game, but also happened to be taking seven three-pointers per that year. Granger proceeded to jack up another seven three-pointers per the following year.
While he was hitting at a 40 percent clip in those two seasons, it's still disappointing to see an All-Star of his caliber limiting himself to being a jump shooter. The same act becomes old and tired after awhile, even if that act includes someone shooting lights out from 25 feet away.
After so many years, it could get ho-hum watching someone take a whole bunch of jump shots.
Not everyday when you see someone making $20 million a year be considered boring, but we'll have to make the obvious exception in the case of Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson.
It's sad too, because Johnson could be a lot more exciting than he should be. Sure he hits those wild three-pointers from time to time, but three-pointers aren't putting fans in the seats unless it's All-Star weekend. And even then all the spectators came out to see the Slam Dunk Contest.
Johnson comes from humble beginnings. He was selected 10th in the 2001 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. He'd start 33 games, but would average six points per on 44 percent shooting before getting traded to the Phoenix Suns. He'd play with them until 2005 before taking his career to Atlanta, where he's been holed up since.
Given that Johnson has brought the Hawks to success that they hadn't seen since the days of Dominique Wilkins and Mookie Blaylock, it's just that he's not going to take them much further than the second round.
He's not a well-rounded enough player. He knows how to utilize his height advantage over opposing shooting guards, but rarely ever does he use it to drive and dunk over or even post up on his defensive assignments.
Man, it's been awhile since we brought Antawn Jamison's name up. It's as if he dropped of the face of the earth once he left the Washington Wizards.
That can happen when you get sent to a Cleveland Cavaliers team that wins 19 games. Jamison received some exposure in the short time he played with LeBron James in his final months with the club, but has never truly been regarded as an exciting player to watch. Even in the past, not many people were getting excited to watch Jamison.
When you watched Jamison with the Wizards, you were by far more excited to see what Gilbert Arenas would do. Arenas was the polar opposite of Jamison in terms of their level of excitement. 'Agent Zero' was an entertainer that always wanted to put on a show, while Jamison was usually reserved with the occasional throwdown and no off-court troubles.
Now that he's in Cleveland, you never hear from Jamison. Despite averaging 17 points and six boards in 32 minutes worth of action per night at the age of 35, Jamison isn't receiving any attention on account of his team and the fact that he simply isn't exciting to watch.
In half a season, Kyrie Irving has received more attention than Jamison in nearly two years with Cleveland.
Did you forget about Tayshaun 'Mr. Fantastic' Prince? I know the Detroit Pistons haven't been all that good lately, but at least acknowledge that Prince is still in the NBA as well as a relevant part of it.
A part of two Piston teams that went to the NBA Finals, including the 2004 championship team, Prince has always been looked at as an afterthought. No matter who was in the Pistons starting lineup at the time, Prince always seemed to be there. Whether he was balling with Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton or Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey, Prince has always been an extremely underrated player.
Prince is unbelievably consistent. For seven consecutive seasons, he averaged between 13 and 15 points per game while shooting between 45 and 49 percent from the field overall. Equipped with a stellar mid-range game, Prince's arms allowed him to shoot over defenders while using them to keep his opponents in front of him on defense.
Tayshaun has never received much publicity because he's a boring player to watch. He's been a part of a few Piston teams that went deep into the postseason, but everyone was always talking about Billups, Hamilton and the Wallaces because they were the more dynamic players. Prince was there to play solid defense and hit the mid-range jumper.
In this day and age, 15-foot jumpers and good defense doesn't get the fans out of their seats.