As the conference semi-finals are under way, let’s take a look back at some of the players who did not perform well in their first round series.
Dame Dolla came in with high expectations. He endorsed that he was grossly overlooked and deserved more attention as one of the top players in the game. Coming off a stellar regular season, it was almost a given that he would take his game to the next level in the playoffs. That was not the case, as the Pelicans pretty much eliminated him from the series in a sweep. Lillard’s performance was by far the worst of his career. Averaging just 18 points on 35% from the field.
Whiteside did not look like himself for much of the regular season after missing time to nurse injuries. Many thought he would find his groove in the playoffs, especially in a match-up with rival, Joel Embiid. Even with Embiid missing the first two games of the series, Whiteside still was unable to assert himself on either end of the floor which led to his minutes being cut. Whiteside averaged five points and six boards against the Sixers.
When the big three were formed in OKC, a lot of people had high expectations for the team. Reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, one of the leagues best two-way players, and Carmelo Anthony, arguably one of the top scorers to play. Many thought they would pose a real threat to Warriors. Throughout the season, OKC didn’t seem to mesh well, with Melo being the one who had the toughest adjustment. The post-season was where they would really be judged and for Carmelo, this was his worst post-season performance of his career. Carmelo failed to average 20 points in the playoffs for the first time and had career low numbers for field goal percentage, minutes, field goal attempts and makes.
A lot was said about what Bledsoe would bring the Bucks after being traded from Phoenix early in the season. While he solidified Milwaukee at the Point Guard position, he just did not seem comfortable in the playoff series against Boston. His match-up, Terry Rozier outplayed him for much of the series and seemed to really get under his skin as it got chippy between the two at times. The reason the Bucks are at home instead of playing Philadelphia is because they did not get more from Bledsoe. Bledsoe’s numbers in the first round were, 13, 3 and 3, on 44% shooting from the field and 32% from three.