Each NBA team's biggest disappointment
It's 2018, and that means we've all set New Year's resolutions that we're sure to break. So as you prepare for your own disappointments, there's no better time to take a look at your NBA team's biggest disappointments.
While some teams have performed better than others, there's one common denominator: Every team is disappointed about something.
Whether it's a player underperforming, an unfortunate injury or a front office debacle, all 30 NBA teams have something they hope to overcome in the new year.
Let's hope they're better at keeping their resolutions than you are.Credit: CBS Sports graphic
Biggest disappointment: Dennis Schroder
How could a guy leading the team in scoring and assists be their biggest disappointment? Here's how. Schroder is averaging around 20 points per game, but the Hawks are actually worse when he's on the court. That's mostly due to his horrific defense -- the team gives up about 10 more points per 100 possessions when he's playing -- and his inefficient offense.
With the Hawks in rebuild mode, this was supposed to be the year Schroder proved that he's the franchise point guard of the future. So far, despite the pretty numbers, it hasn't gone well at all.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Gordon Hayward's injury
The Celtics have performed so well in the early part of the season that it's easy to forget that they lost arguably their best all-around player on opening night. Boston could end up reclaiming the No. 1 seed and giving the Cavs a run for their money in the East, but they'll always wonder what could have been if Hayward hadn't suffered a catastrophic season-ending injury.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Injuries to both D'Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin
The Nets have won 20 and 21 games in the previous two seasons, respectively, but this year was going to be different. They traded for D'Angelo Russell, the potential franchise player they've desperately craved, and he was supposed to pair with Jeremy Lin to create one of the most fun, if not defensively challenged, backcourts in the NBA. Fast forward two months and Lin is lost for the season after suffering a ruptured patella tendon on opening night. Meanwhile, Russell played only 12 games before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee that will keep him out for extended time, possibly the entire season.
The Nets were never going to be great, or even good, this season, but they would have been much better and more entertaining with a healthy Russell and Lin.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Frank Kaminsky
The Hornets' bench has been a disaster this season so far -- well, the Hornets' entire season has been a disaster so far. But Charlotte fans were hoping that Frank the Tank could take a step forward this year and provide some consistent scoring on the second unit. So far he's been wildly inefficient, shooting just over 40 percent from the field and in the low 30s on 3-pointers. The Hornets have been awful defensively with Kaminsky on the court, and his offense hasn't come anywhere close to making up for it.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Cristiano Felicio
Look, it's hard to say anyone is a disappointment on a team with such incredibly low expectations coming into the season, but the Bulls made a significant 4-year, $32 million investment in Felicio this offseason. So far he's failed to show any signs of improvement, and appears to have fallen out of the rotation in a loaded frontcourt since Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic returned to action. Nobody was expecting Felicio to be an All-Star, but his performance so far has to be disappointing given the size of his contract.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Derrick Rose
When Rose signed for the minimum this offseason, the Cavs were supposed to be getting a fill-in starter for Isaiah Thomas, who would eventually turn into a sparkplug backup point guard. He's been none of those things as, sadly and predictably, he's been injured for most of the season. Even worse, the Cavs have been so much better without Rose that he might find himself stuck behind Jose Calderon on the depth chart when he does return. Cleveland didn't make a significant financial investment in Rose, but he's been terrible even when he has been able to play.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Nerlens Noel
Ah, if we could all just go back to the beginning of the summer. Noel reportedly turned down a $70 million deal with the Mavs, and, after a lack of interest from other teams, ended up signing the $4.1 million qualifying offer to return to Dallas. After starting the season with a 16-point, 11-rebound game on opening night, he quickly began losing minutes until he fell out of the rotation entirely, and he's now sidelined indefinitely with a broken thumb. Noel seems like the perfect mobile, shot-blocking, rim-running big for the modern NBA, but apparently Rick Carlisle doesn't see it that way. Even when he returns from injury, it's unlikely Noel will make any significant impact for the Mavericks.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Emmanuel Mudiay
Not sure how many hugs Mudiay's gotten from Mike Malone since the season started. The third-year point guard lost his starting job to Jamal Murray, but supposedly came into the season with an improved jumper and renewed focus. He is shooting better on 3-pointers, but his overall field-goal percentage has been atrocious, and he has by far the worst on/off net rating of any player on the team who gets significant minutes.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Stanley Johnson
Stan Van Gundy moved Johnson into the starting lineup to start the season, hoping that he could be the 3-and-D small forward the team desperately needed. So far that hasn't been the case, as he has shot below 30 percent on 3-pointers, causing him to lose his staring job to Reggie Bullock. Johnson appears to have all the tools to become a serviceable NBA starting wing, but Pistons fans have to be disappointed that he hasn't been able to put it all together just yet.Credit: USATSI
Golden State Warriors
Biggest disappointment: Stephen Curry's ankle injury
This Warriors team can win 60 games in its sleep, so the topmost priority for the regular season is making sure everyone, especially the stars, are healthy for the playoffs. So it was an absolute crushing blow to see Steph Curry go down with a severely sprained right ankle -- particularly given Curry's history with ankle problems. The Warriors took their time with Curry and let him heal fully, but it has to be concerning for them and their fans to see Steph sidelined for a significant amount of games for the first time in five seasons.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: James Harden's hammy
The Rockets appeared to be on easy street, with Chris Paul and James Harden meshing like they'd played together their entire careers, but a losing streak was followed by some gasp-inducing news: A James Harden hamstring injury.
Harden's timetable is indefinite, and hamstring injuries have been known to linger. The Rockets were gunning for the No. 1 seed in the West, which might slip from their grasp with MVP candidate Harden on the shelf for a prolonged period of time.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Al Jefferson
The Pacers have gotten off to a hotter start than most anticipated, so there haven't been many disappointments. While Jefferson's veteran presence and leadership are definitely felt in the locker room, the Pacers probably would like to be getting a bit more from him on the court. A drop in playing time was expected given the Pacers' increased pace this season, but Jefferson has played in only a handful of games off the bench. Not exactly the impact you're expecting from a guy making nearly $10 million this season.Credit: USATSI
Los Angeles Clippers
Biggest disappointment: Pick an injury, any injury!
After starting the season 4-0, it appeared that the new Chris Paul-less brand of Clippers basketball was off and running. And then they started dropping like flies. Patrick Beverley is done for the season, Blake Griffin missed over a month and Danilo Gallinari has missed significant time already with various ailments. If there really is a Clipper Curse, we may be seeing it in action.Credit: USATSI
Los Angeles Lakers
Biggest disappointment: Lonzo Ball
Should a 19-year-old rookie point guard with Lonzo's numbers be considered a disappointment? Absolutely not. But because of the incredibly high expectations placed upon him before the season, thanks to the Big Baller hype train led by LaVar, there's no way to view Lonzo's first two and a half months other than as a disappointment. His shooting struggles have been historic and his production sporadic, but the biggest concern is that fans, and likely the front office, have to be wondering whether Lonzo is the franchise-changing, transcendent player they'd hoped they drafted. He's been better lately, but that doesn't mean he's still not the Lakers' biggest disappointment so far this season.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: That Marc Gasol and David Fizdale couldn't coexist
Nobody was expecting the Grizzlies to compete for a championship this season, but they had a decent framework in place with two reliable stars with great chemistry and an up-and-coming head coach. That all came crashing down when Mike Conley got hurt and David Fizdale was fired, reportedly because he and Marc Gasol had been butting heads for quite some time.
Now the Grizzlies front office has to at least consider dealing Gasol and/or Conley and starting a full rebuild. Times are dark in Memphis.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Dion Waiters
Waiters clearly thinks he's the best player on the Heat -- and maybe the best player in the entire NBA -- but he hasn't played like it so far. After a promising 46 games in Miami last season, the Heat broke the bank by giving Waiters $52 million over four years to be the team's main scorer. Waiters' shooting percentages have been atrocious, and he hasn't become the go-to-guy the Heat hoped they were re-signing.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Jason Kidd
Giannis is an MVP candidate, Khris Middleton is playing like an All-Star and the Bucks finally have their dynamic point guard in Eric Bledsoe. So why are they still hovering around .500? The Bucks are toward the bottom of the league in defensive rating, and there's no reason they should be there given the length and athleticism of their roster. At this point that falls on Kidd, who needs to do something to turn them into an upper-echelon team in the East.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Defense
Last season the Wolves brought in arguably the best defensive coach in the NBA, Tom Thibodeau, to get the team in gear defensively. It didn't work.
So this season the Wolves added Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson, defensive stalwarts that were supposed to right the ship and force Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns to pick things up. That didn't work either.
Minnesota is still around the bottom five in defensive rating after finishing fourth-worst in the league last season, which has to be the biggest disappointment for a team hoping to make the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.Credit: USATSI
New Orleans Pelicans
Biggest disappointment: DeMarcus Cousins
Yeah, yeah, his stats are great. Well guess what? His stats were great in Sacramento, too, and the Kings never made the playoffs. Forget points, rebounds and assists -- this one stat is all you need to know about Cousins' affect on the Pels thus far: With Anthony Davis on the court, the team has been plus-12.7. With Cousins on the court, they've been minus-0.8. Cousins is near the top of the NBA in turnovers, and despite the gaudy statistics, the Pelicans just don't seem to play well with him on the court.Credit: USATSI
New York Knicks
Biggest disappointment: Kristaps Porzingis' injuries
The Knicks have been surprisingly decent this season, but wins and losses are secondary to the season's sole mission: The health and development of Kristaps Porzingis.
So it's been scary for Knicks fans to see Porzingis severely roll an ankle and exit a game with knee soreness already this season. He's bounced back from both, luckily, but the last thing the Knicks want to see is their 7-foot-3, 22-year-old superstar starting to develop a propensity for nagging injuries.Credit: USATSI
Oklahoma City Thunder
Biggest disappointment: The Big Three's clutch time disaster
One problem the Thunder weren't supposed to have was winning games in the clutch. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have all been the main closer on their respective teams in the past, so odds are that at least one of them would take over during crunch time.
That hasn't been the case so far, as the Thunder have one of the worst net ratings during clutch time (game within five points with five minutes left) in the entire NBA. They're already getting better, but the late-game disasters have cost the Thunder several games this season.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Bismack Biyombo
Biyombo has been decent defensively and atrocious offensively, but it wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't collecting a $17 million paycheck this season ... and next season ... and the season after that. For that kind of investment the Magic were expecting more than the minimal contribution he's provided as a backup center.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: The Markelle Fultz saga
This was the year The Process was supposed to come to fruition, and to some extent it has. But there's a gaping hole in the Sixers' lineup due to the shoulder injury to Markelle Fultz. First your No. 1 overall pick comes in looking like he's never shot a basketball before, then he immediately goes on the shelf for two months? Doesn't get much more disappointing than that.
You can deal with injuries, but the "he said, he said" drama (whether Fultz injured his shoulder by changing his shot or if he changed his shot because he injured his shoulder) is the last thing that Sixers fans wanted to see to start the career of their promising young point guard.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: The Eric Bledsoe trade
Critics had been clamoring for the Suns to trade Bledsoe for the better part of two seasons, but Phoenix refused to pull the trigger. Instead, the Suns fired head coach Earl Watson, which led to Bledsoe tweeting that he didn't want to be with the team anymore and the team sending him home -- which didn't do wonders for his trade value. Phoenix ended up getting pennies on the dollar for a very effective starting point guard, picking up an expiring Greg Monroe deal and two heavily protected draft picks from Milwaukee. You'd have to think that if the Suns hadn't waited for the situation to explode the way it did, they could have gotten more for Bledsoe.Credit: USATSI
Portland Trail Blazers
Biggest disappointment: Jusuf Nurkic
Nurkic was a revelation for 20 games after coming over from the Nuggets last season, so the expectations were sky high that the Bosnian big man could help usher the Blazers into the middle tier of Western Conference powers. So far, that hasn't been the case. Nurkic's field-goal percentage and rebounding are significantly down, while the Blazers have been hovering around .500 for most of the season. He's been good defensively, but the Blazers were likely hoping that he would provide more on the offensive end after what they saw last season.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: George Hill
Hill was a huge part of why analysts were praising the Kings' summer for finally getting the team headed in the right direction. What the heck happened? After averaging a career-high 16.9 points and 4.2 assists last season with the Jazz, Hill has come nowhere near those numbers and has disappeared at times this season for the Kings, taking fewer than eight shots and dishing out fewer than three assists per game. Maybe he's doing wonders for the young Kings roster in the locker room, but Hill's certainly not living up to his three-year, $57 million contract on the court.Credit: USATSI
San Antonio Spurs
Biggest disappointment: Kawhi Leonard's injury
The Spurs continue to prove just how otherworldly they are as a franchise, managing to put together a sparkling record with their best player and MVP candidate sidelined for the team's first 27 games of the season. But still, you have to wonder whether they'd be challenging the Warriors and Rockets for that No. 1 seed had Kawhi been able to play. Being healthy for the postseason is all that matters, but come playoff time, having home court advantage could be vital in a loaded Western Conference.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Norman Powell
There hasn't been a lot to complain about for the Raptors this season, but they inked Powell to a $42 million extension this offseason with the hopes that he'd emerge as a crucial part of the starting lineup. Instead he's lost his starting spot to rookie OG Anunoby, and has struggled to find a rhythm off the bench with the worst on/off net rating on the roster. He'll likely turn things around, but as of now he's the most disappointing thing about a rolling Toronto squad.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: The Salt Lake City injury bug
Here's a list of the Jazz players who have yet to miss a game this season. You ready?
Yup, that's it. Dante Exum, Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson have all missed significant time due to injury, but those losses pale in comparison to the disappointing injuries to Rudy Gobert, who was supposed to take over as the franchise centerpiece after the departure of Gordon Hayward. Give the Jazz credit for staying afloat, but you'd have to think they'd be a legitimate playoff contender had basically the entire roster not been banged up.Credit: USATSI
Biggest disappointment: Markieff Morris
Morris became a huge part of the Wizards' identity when he was traded to the team in 2016, and his versatility at the four has been a key to their success. After missing the first seven games of the season, Morris still doesn't look like himself on the court. He hasn't been able to play his normal allotment of minutes and has struggled offensively, but the Wizards are hoping that's just a product of rust and that he'll be at full strength for the playoffs.Credit: USATSI