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The NBA playoffs usually provide a platform where superstars shine the brightest or when stars are born. Every game is shown on national television which gives certain players that extra motivation to play hard and contribute anyway they can. Other than heroes, there can be some goats that for some odd reason play below their potential and skill level. I will breakdown these five players which always seem to disappoint in recent years when playoff time comes along.
5). Kyle Lowry
Lowry is a dynamic player who we are custom use to seeing as a court bully whether driving to the rim, or knocking down the long ball. During the playoffs, he just can’t seem to find his shot and rhythm. In his four years in the playoffs, he’s averaged .34 percent from the field. It’s not a lack of effort he’s displaying, it’s just seems for whatever reason that Lowry is either nervous or just loses his shooting touch.
4). Demar Derozan
Derozan is known for being a quiet assassin during the regular season. His ability to score in multiple facets makes him one of the most dangerous players in the game. During the playoffs, he’s just quiet like his backcourt partner Lowry. Is it confidence, fear or just plain nerves seems to be the $1 million question. The two-time All-Star averages a horrific .36 percent from the field in his three years in the playoffs. What hurts the most is he’s the leader and Toronto Raptors’ best player.
3). Jeff Teague
Teague has been one of the point guards in the league that stands out for his ability to get to the hoop anytime he wants. When it comes to the playoffs, he seems to disappear. In 2011, his debut came against Derrick Rose because of an injury. He gave all Rose could handle which seemed like a promising post-season career ahead of him. Every since 2011, he’s always been inconsistent in the playoffs. In this year’s first round, he hasn’t been bad but he plays well every two to three games. What haunts Teague is the fact that he’s not aggressive enough. He tends to be passive which causes head coach Mike Budenholzer to put backup point guard Dennis Schroeder in the game during crunch time.
2). Joe Johnson
I start by saying that Johnson will be getting criticized for the past rather than this year. This year he hadn’t got the playing time to say whether he’s been exposed or not. Now for the past, “Isolation (Iso) Joe” has dribbled his way into some non-showing playoff games. Johnson has been known to be isolated on one side of the court and dribble for 10 or more seconds and then have to either rush a shot or have time expire on him and the team. This had been going on for years when he was the go-to-guy and highest paid player in the league. He may fit perfectly in Miami since he’s not the star player which he seems not to like that role.
1). James Harden
Harden is the most talented on this list and actually has great stats during the playoffs by averaging 26.9 points per game since becoming a Houston Rocket. So why is he on this list you might ask. Harden needs to be more than just a scorer. He’s the only player on this list who is a bonafide superstar so he needs to be the leader of his team. Harden continues to display horrible leadership by being lazy on defense, not hustling and not being vocal when the team needs him to be. The bearded one can score 40 plus points but if he can’t stop his opponent that he’s guarding then the points he scored is no good. His lack of emotion when his team is playing poorly is totally different from the emotion he shows when they’re winning. It’s understandable that emotion will be different depending on winning and losing but he needs to show some when they’re losing which will show his team he does care. The playoffs has exposed more of his weaknesses than his strength.