Not everyone should be a starter. Not all basketball players are good enough to play 30 minutes a night in the best basketball league in the world. Still, there’s not enough talent to spread around 30 teams, and that means there are plenty of players who get to play more than they should. Here are the six least effective started in the NBA this season so far.
Raja Bell, Utah Jazz
Stat Line – 22 Starts, 29.4 minutes, 8.4 points per game, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 43.4% from the field, 36.2% from the outside.
Bell played only six games in 2009-2010, so it’s reasonable he’d be rusty. He’s also out of action the past week, injury again. Still, You want more out of your starting 2-guard, especially when the guy who covers for you (Gordon Hayward) seems afraid of shooting the basketball. And he’s a n0.9 draft pick. Bell’s defense isn’t what it used to be, and that pretty much leaves us with a bit of nastiness and a good hand from the outside. That shouldn’t be enough to ensure you nearly 30 minutes a night, should it?
Travis Outlaw, New Jersey Nets
Stat Line – 22 Starts, 31.1 minutes, 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1 assist, 38.9% from the field, 36.4% from three point land.
Outlaw is a talented player, there’s no doubt. He has a few nights, lets say twice a month at best when he has a hot hand and finished with 20+. Mostly it single-figure scoring (8 out of last 12 games), but the Nets in general are so bad, it doesn’t stand out. He’s getting more minutes than he has ever played during his career, but producing less than a couple of years ago with Portland, when it seemed Outlaw was in the right direction. Worst of all, and that’s a problem with almost everyone on that Nets team? He’s soft, and with soft players, you break very easily.
Marco Belinelli, New Olreans Hornets
Stat Line – 24 Starts, 28.9 minutes, 11.7 points per game, 2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 41.7% from the field, 38.6% from the outside.
The Italian shooting guard has been terrible in December, shooting 35.3% from the field, scoring in single-figures in 5 of the last 7 games. That’s what happens when you let guys who’s outside shot is their only asset play almost 30 minutes a night. New Orleans (finally won last night, agaisnt the league worst Kings) are still letting this guy start for them, despite the fact he can’t guard and adds nothing besides his hot and cold jump shooting. Chris Paul is great to have, but you need more pieces around him. Belinelli isn’t good enough to start in the back-court of a playoff aspiring team, especially in the West.
Anthony Parker, Cleveland Cavaliers
Stat Line – 25 Starts, 28.4 minutes, 8.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 38.3% from the field, 43.5% three point shooting.
At 35, I don’t expect from Anthony Parker too much, and nor should the Cavs. He’s an awesome outside shooter with over 40% from three, but he can’t hit a shot if it’s not a wide open one set up for him. He doesn’t have the legs to create his own shots, his defense, like all the guys on this list, isn’t going to win him any All-Defensive selections, and like the rest of the Cavs are finding out (mostly Mo Williams), life is hard without LeBron (who gave Parker a fat lip last night). It’s nice to have a guy like Parker around, but to come off the bench, for 10-15 minutes a night. Not to start.
Luc Mbah a Moute, Milwaukee Bucks
Stat Line – 17 Starts, 26.3 minuts, 4.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 41.2% from the field.
Well, this past week Mbah a Moute lost his place in the starting lineup of the Bucks, who can’t seem to find there 2010-2011 rhythm. The Cameroonian born player is producing less each season, which makes us realize, that behind the cool name and the impressive physical attributes, he’s a 37th pick in the 2008 draft. He can’t shoot from the outside and finds it very hard to get a decent look at the basket for entire games at times. He’s a good rebounder, but at the position he’s playing and the minutes he’s getting, you need more than a bit of hustle and a few rebounds.
John Salmons, Milwaukee Bucks
Stat Line – 23 Starts, 34.3 minutes, 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 37.2% from the field, 33.8% from the outside.
Funny thing about Salmons, who has seen his stock rise and more than double its worth during the last three seasons, is that the same thing happened to him with the Bulls. He arrived at Chicago from Sacramento in the middle of the 2008-2009 season and averaged 18.3 points for the Bulls in 26 games. Last season, beginning it in Chicago, he struggled with his shot and lost his starting spot, averaging 12.7 points in 51 games. Then came a trade to the Bucks, and Salmons found his shot again, averaging 19.9 points, playing 30 games. So, does Salmons just need another trade? Probably not. He needs to start hitting shots, open shots, he’s been missing quite a lot of this year. A last-year Salmons and with Bogut coming back, the Bucks should be back on the track predicted for them this season.