The Best Players On Bad Teams
Paul Pierce decided to finaly express his frustrations over being stuck with a miserable team in Boston. I can't say that I blame him.
Since Danny Ainge took over as head of basketball operations for the Celtics, the has been rudderless. They've made two playoff appearances and won a division title in 2005 which looks like more of an anomaly each season.
The Celtics are in the mix for the No. 1 pick, but what does that mean for a 29-year-old, five-time all-star like Pierce? Pierce is getting to old to continuously punt away seasons of his career while Ainge surrounds him with players who should be in the Final Four this weekend, not facing the Philadelphia 76ers.
"I'm the classic case of a great player on a bad team, and it stinks," Pierce said.
Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash are being touted as the potential MVPs, but it's easy to elevate the talent around you when you are actually surrounded by talented players. I generally contend that great players make their teams great, but what happens when your team's second-best player is Ricky Davis? As I scan across a watered-down league with perhaps two too many teams and about 30 players who probably shouldn't even have a logo on their chests, I realize that Pierce is probably right.
There are a lot of great players on bad teams in the NBA. Allen Iverson got his escape from Philadelphia, but he used to be the posterchild. I thought it might be cool to make a list of the top five. Here's the criteria: You have to be the sole all-star on a team that is lottery bound.
So, Ray Allen doesn't make the cut because he is teamed up with one-time all-star Rashard Lewis in Seattle. Anytime a guy scores 268 points in five games and his team wins those games by an average of 4.4 points, it doesn't look so good. But the Kobe Bryant's Lakers are in the playoffs, so he is off the list, too. LeBron James is a great one-man show, but he has willed his team into title contention because he plays in the lowly Eastern Conference. So, he doesn't make the list, either.
The five best players on really bad teams:
1. Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
Money couldn't by Paul McCartney love and it can't buy Garnett happiness in 'Sota. He's looking at three straight lotteries after former all-stars Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell skipped town.
2. Paul Pierce, Boston
The Truth is Pierce doesn't get the appreciation he deserves because, like Garnett, the team's general manager can't get it right.
3. Michael Redd, Milwaukee
The Bucks could've been a playoff team had Redd not missed 20 games with a . They went 3-17 without him.
4. Pau Gasol, Memphis
The Grizzlies might also be in better shape if Gasol hadn't missed 22 games to start the season.
5. Joe Johnson, Atlanta
He asked for this. Johnson wanted out of Phoenix and is realizing how hard life can be when you leave a solid quintet to roll solo.
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