Before the second round of games being in the first round of the NBA playoffs, we take a look at six guys who were a huge disappointment in game 1 and really need to get their S&^% together in sake of their team’s success.
Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls
With four playoff seasons behind him and averaging 20 points and 12.7 rebounds in his post season career, you’d expect Carlos Boozer to be more of a factor in the Chicago Bulls’ opening game, finishing with only 12 points and 6 rebounds. Yes, he got into early foul trouble – still, Boozer didn’t seem to get into rhythm and defensive focus when he was on the court, finding it hard to handle the energetic Indiana front-court. With Noah and Boozer healthy the Bulls were pretty much unbeatable this season and they need Boozer focused, foul free and fast. There are better teams than Indiana up the road, and the Pacers have shown they won’t go down easy.
Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers
It’s not like the Sixers were favorites to win the series against the Heat. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got swept. Still, they do have a shot of at least making things tougher on the Heat if they get more from Iggy. Iguodala finished with four points, shooting 2-7 from the field. He didn’t do that great defensively as well. I know it’s hard with Wade and LeBron, but Iguodala is the most important player on the Sixers squad.
Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard gave one of the best performances by any player in recent post season history, scoring 46 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. He also had 8 turnovers and the Magic lost the game to a team they swept last season. Howard and Nelson were they only players who showed up for the Magic, who trailed the entire match. Hedo, who was probably the best player on the Magic’s run to the Finals in 2009, finished with six points and five assists. Atlanta want Orlando to let Howard exhaust himself offensively and forget about their perimeter. Turkoglu’s ability to play the point forward and dictate play is vital for the Magic to bounce back from their home loss.
Gerlad Wallace, Portland Trail Blazers
Traded in from the Bobcats, Wallace was suppose to bring more firepower to the Blazers who gave up on some depth for him. When Wallace scored 8 points and Brandon Roy still unable to significantly contribute, the Blazers don’t stand a chance, even in slow, low scoring game like the 89-81 loss in game 1.
Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
We talked all season about no matter how great Kobe Bryant will be (34 points last night), Gasol is the key. Well, Pau didn’t show up against the Hornets, finishing with only 8 points as the Hornets managed to cancel most of the Lakers’ advantages by making this a game played on the perimeter instead of inside.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Instead of constantly going with Amare, the Knicks chose Carmelo at the end, or actually Carmelo chose himself, and the Knicks lost a game they had controlled for nearly the entire 48 minutes. Anthony shot an appalling 5-18, taking a flurry of bad shots. He also missed the potential game winner by staying outside instead of taking it to the hole, were Boston have shown a weakness and fragility all night. Either Carmelo straightens out or the Knicks are going out quickly.