2014 NBA Playoffs: Top 15 Players Who Won’t Be In the Postseason
Top 15 Players Who Won't Be Playing in 2014 NBA Playoffs
The 2013-14 NBA regular season will end in 47 days, meaning the 2014 NBA Playoffs will commence in 50 days. Given the fantastic postseason that we as basketball fans were treated to last season en route to the Miami Heat’s second consecutive title, the expectations for this year’s playoffs are indubitably high.
While the Eastern Conference has seemingly developed into a two-team race between the Heat and the Indiana Pacers, the Western Conference is almost surely going to be filled to the brim with drama when the playoffs roll around. It seems there are at least four or five teams that could conceivably come out of the West and make the finals while every team that makes the postseason has the potential to make some serious noise.
In the playoffs, we’re surely going to see the stars shine. It’s the time for LeBron James to quit coasting and show off in fifth gear and for guys like Kevin Durant, Paul George, Chris Paul and many others to crank it up just a little louder. The playoffs are about a team goal, but it always takes star individual efforts for any team goals to be realized.
The stars will be shining brightly in the postseason, but that doesn’t mean there also won’t be stars and highly talented players left on the outside of the playoffs looking in, guys who won’t be getting the opportunity to shine that the playoffs provide. Not including guys like Kobe Bryant who we know are great but haven’t been on the floor most of the year, these are the 15 best players who would miss the playoffs if the regular season ended today.
15. John Henson - Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the league’s worst, but second-year big man John Henson has still been able to show off his talent and potential when he’s gotten on the floor. Playing 27.6 minutes per game, Henson has averaged 11.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.1 blocks per game over his 45 appearances this year. While you have to salivate at the thought of him in a bigger role moving forward, he’s been every bit of a young star on the rise in his role this year.
14. Nikola Vucevic - Orlando Magic
Nikola Vucevic missed a fair amount of time this year due to a concussion, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting up impressive numbers once again for the Orlando Magic. The big center has put up 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, one block and 1.1 steals in 32 minutes per game on 50.3 percent shooting from the floor. He’s obviously still growing as a player and has been on a bad team, but Vucevic has been better than good this season when healthy.
13. Mike Conley - Memphis Grizzlies
Enough can’t be said about the job Mike Conley has done with the Memphis Grizzlies this season, especially for the length of time they were forced to play without Marc Gasol. On the year Conley has put up 17.7 points, 6.2 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 34.2 minutes per game while hitting on 44.9 percent of his shots and 35.6 percent of his three-point attempts. Conley has been big-time and a leader for this team, even if they come up short of the playoffs when all is said and done.
12. Rudy Gay - Sacramento Kings
Since joining the Sacramento Kings, Rudy Gay has seen quite the resurgence from his days when everyone was ragging on him. In 33 games in Sactown, Gay has put up 20.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 34.5 minutes per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor. While his game hasn’t changed all that much, his production certainly has with new teammates and a new role. It’s not all fixed, but he’s been a valuable commodity with the Kings.
11. Greg Monroe - Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe hasn’t made the leap to superstardom quite yet like some thought he would, but the young Detroit Pistons big man has still been quality. In 32.3 minutes per game, the big man has averaged 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, two assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting a respectable 50.9 percent from the floor. Monroe has been a part of an experiment that has failed in Detroit, but he’s still been able to show off his ability amidst that mess.
10. Isaiah Thomas - Sacramento Kings
He started the season as a super-sixth man for the Kings, but Isaiah Thomas has found himself in the starter role and has continued to impress. Thomas is averaging 20.4 points, 6.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 34.5 minutes per game this season while hitting 44.9 percent of his shots and 37.2 percent of his three-point attempts. Thomas has his shortcomings (no pun intended) due to his size, but he’s an explosive offensive talent that has made his impression felt on the league this year.
9. Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons
At just 20 years old, Andre Drummond already looks to be a monster big man in this league. After playing under a minutes restriction in his rookie season, Detroit has played Drummond 32.3 minutes per game, putting up 13.1 points, 12.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.4 steals per game while hitting 61.2 percent of his shots. He’s explosive in almost every aspect of the game and has tried to be a bright spot for an abysmal Pistons defense this year. The future is near limitless for Drummond, but the now is already impressive.
8. Thaddeus Young - Philadelphia 76ers
You have my permission to feel bad for Thaddeus Young. Young was not dealt by the Philadelphia 76ers at the Trade Deadline and is now left on an island that is intentionally going underwater for the rest of this season. Young has been great for the Sixers once again this season, but one can only hope that he’s either given more help in Philly next season or that he’s dealt this offseason to a team that can fully appreciate his value.
7. Ty Lawson - Denver Nuggets
Ty Lawson has been banged up much of the year as the Denver Nuggets have struggled under new head coach Brian Shaw, but he’s arguably been the lone consistent bright spot. In 45 games, Lawson has put up 18 points, 8.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 35.6 minutes per game. His efficiency has dipped, but largely because he’s been asked to do so much this season. Watching him play, though, it’s clear the point guard is a special talent and has a bright future in the Association.
6. Marc Gasol - Memphis Grizzlies
Despite his injuries, there’s no denying Marc Gasol’s impact on the Grizzlies this year. He’s played in just 33 games, but he’s averaged 13.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.2 blocks and one steal in 32.8 minutes per game. His impact can really be felt in Memphis’ turnaround since he got back in the lineup as they still have a chance of making the playoffs. They’re on the outside looking in right now, though, which puts him on this list.
5. Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans
Injuries have really hampered the New Orleans Pelicans this season, but Anthony Davis has been phenomenal in his second season. In 35.3 minutes per game, the 2012 number one overall pick has put up 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, three blocks and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 52 percent from the floor. Davis has been a force on both ends of the floor and has looked already like a star. If this is him at 20 years old, the future for Davis is unreal to think about.
4. DeMarcus Cousins - Sacramento Kings
Despite his continued behavior issues, though they have simmered slightly, DeMarcus Cousins has had the best year of his career this season. In 32.3 minutes per game, Cousins has put up 22.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor. Though he needs to mature more in terms of his behavior, he’s matured as a player obviously this season and his production has shown the result of that.
3. Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks
The New York Knicks have been abysmal, but that’s not due to the efforts of Carmelo Anthony. You could make a case for Melo as number one on this list given all he’s done this year. Anthony has averaged 28.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, three assists and 1.1 steals in 39.1 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and a surprisingly great 42.5 percent from three. Melo has been an unbelievable offensive threat leading up to his free agency this summer, even if it hasn’t meant Knicks success.
2. Kyrie Irving - Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving has really turned it on as of late after starting the season slowly. His line of 21.4 points, 6.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds and 35.5 minutes per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three is low compared to expectations coming into the year, but he’s still put on a show on a number of occasions and his talent-level and potential are still incredibly high. We’ll see if Irving can come closer to realizing his potential in the last month and a half of the season.
1. Kevin Love - Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been derailed a bit by injuries once again, but Kevin Love has stayed healthy and has been producing at unreal levels all season. In 36.3 minutes per game, the power forward has put up 26.6 points, 13.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. Though his defense is still problematic and there are a number of questions regarding his future, Love’s ability to change games offensively and on the glass should not go unheralded.
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