Honorable Mentions: Kevin Martin, fool me once, shame on you, fool me many times, well, then I have the problem; nagging injuries limited Tony Parker to 56 games and his worst stats since 2004; Gilbert Arenas was actually playing pretty well until he decided that the best practical jokes are the ones that involve guns; no statistical model could predict Allen Iverson and his disasterous personal life; Josh Howard was injured, fell off a cliff and got injured again; and did you know that Leandro Barbosa was drafted 74th in the average Yahoo fantasy league?
The Top 5
5. Anthony Randolph – Randolph was the sleeper du jour going into the season, thanks to a strong end to the 2008-09 season, a monstrous summer league performance and the fact that he plays for the Golden Ticket. But instead of breaking out, Randolph got a heavy dose of Don Nelson and the results were disastrous. Randolph played well in short bursts of games, but his immaturity did not play well with Nelson, who jerked Randolph in and out of the lineup, giving him 6 minutes on one night and 35 the next (although the same can be said of just about everyone on the Warriors). After playing in 33 games, Randolph tore a few ligaments in his left foot during a game in January and missed the rest of the season. Given his issues with the team and particularly Nelson, the Warriors are actually considering trading the 20-year old 6-11 power forward despite the fact that he’s shown an ability to play extremely well in this league at a very young age. Let me just say, I’d drink to that trade.
4. Ben Gordon – How bad was Gordon this year? Not only did he get voted the worst fantasy free agent signing of the season, he also had the worst line of the year statistically. Like many of the guys on this list, Gordon was injured for part of the year and saw his minutes decrease by about 9/game from the previous year. The result was a lackluster 13.8 points and 1.2 threes a game on 41.6% shooting for Gordon. Enjoy the next 4 seasons.
3. Andris Biedrins – Maybe I shouldn’t have been expecting so much from Biedrins considering his per minute stats have completely flat lined since he entered the league six years ago. But Biedrins was a disaster this season in every way possible, averaging 5 points and 8 rebounds in a measly 23 minutes a game. He played in only 33 games before tearing an abdominal muscle and missing the rest of the season. Despite all that, he found the energy to set the NBA record in free throw shooting futility by hitting 16% of his free throws this season (beating out Garfield Smith, who set the record at 19.4% in 1971-72)
2. Jose Calderon – The first warning sign was when the Raptors signed Jarrett Jack this offseason to play behind Calderon. Still, a lot of people were high on the efficient point guard, as he went 24th in the average Yahoo draft league draft before the season. When Calderon got injured earlier in December, Jack took over the starting job and didn’t look back. By the time Calderon returned in January, Jack had a solid lock on the starting job, pushing an inconsistent Calderon to the bench. While he ended the season as the starter during the failed Raptors’ playoff “push”, his 10.3 points and 5.9 assists per game (3 below his average last season) left him looking less like the Calderon from past years and more like Jarrett Jack from this year.
1. Chris Paul – Disappointment is all about expectations. The movie I was most excited to see in the past five years was Transformers (oh, the childhood memories) so it was especially demoralizing when Michael Bay ripped open my heart and pissed all over it with a idiotic story about some teenagers and the US Army (I have not, and will not, see the second). In the same way, while Paul had a very good year statistically on a per game basis (he had a very Paul-like 18.7 points and 10.7 assists on finished third on the GMTR per game player rater), the 37 games he missed is a deal breaker because he was the number 1 or 2 pick in nearly every draft this season. Unless you’re some kind of fantasy David Copperfield, any fantasy team drafting Paul in the first round was dead on arrival thanks to all those missed games.
Agree or disagree with my top 5? You willing to give Chris Paul a pass on the missed games? Let us know your top 5 fantasy disappointments for the season in the comments.
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