View Full Version : The All-Expectations Team

09-20-2010, 03:51 PM

Training camp for most teams starts in a week, and that means after one of the most raucous summers of all time we finally will get a chance to see all that money and movement put to work.

The thing about spent money and traded players is that fans expect immediate dividends, even if that isn't always reasonable. Still, the following players are the ones with the largest expectations heaped upon them as we head into the new season.

As criteria for this list we looked at players who, for some reason or another, will feel a new, bigger pressure from fans this season that they haven't previously had to experience. Also, the guys on this list are players who have an outside chance at falling short of those expectations. So by the first criteria, we aren't putting someone like Kobe Bryant on the list, and by the second criteria we aren't including someone like John Wall.

I've also excluded anyone currently on the Miami HEAT because I think we can all agree that they are themselves the "All-Expectations Team." Moving beyond, however, this is what we're looking at:

Darren Collison, Indiana Pacers – The day Indiana shipped out Troy Murphy and returned James Posey and Darren Collison, Pacers fans were practically screaming the word "playoffs" from their rooftops. While that may be a little bit unreasonable an expectation to have for a young team without a legit starting power forward, it's an expectation all the same, and it's one that has almost everything to do with the acquisition of Collison. Why are people so excited? Because when Chris Paul was out in New Orleans last year Collison put up some ridiculous numbers, both in the scoring and assist columns, leading almost everyone to believe he deserved to be running a team somewhere. The Pacers, in dire need of a franchise point guard, made that happen but now Collison has to show that his flashes of brilliance last season weren't flashes in the pan. A lot of really hungry Indiana basketball fans are waiting for him to be their team's savior and saving the Pacers is just about as big a job as you could give so young a player.

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls – Not only does the city of Chicago expect the Bulls to be a very good team this year, but the rest of the country and the world would tend to agree that there are quite a few games to be won in 2010-2011. If all those new players and that new coach can't come together quickly enough for Chicago to see immediate success, however, it's going to fall on somebody's shoulders to get it together and find a way to start winning those games. The expectation for Derrick Rose is that he become that guy. He showed at times last year that he was capable of this, but his Team USA struggles have some wondering if he'll make the third-year jump so many superstars make in their careers. It's right about now that All-Stars turn into mega-stars if they're going to do it. According to most, Rose is ready to make that jump. The question is whether or not he's got it in him to do so.

Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks – The Knicks haven't made the playoffs in almost a decade, and Stoudemire is the man they're paying $100 million to single-handedly change that. Nowhere in the country is there more media scrutiny than in New York, and since Stoudemire is the new poster boy of the franchise you can guess who is going to take the brunt of the blame if things don't go well out that way this season. Knicks fans are hungry for a return to success, and they're going to expect that whether or not the team ends up with Carmelo Anthony and/or Chris Paul in the coming seasons. Those expectations fall squarely on the shoulders of Amar'e Stoudemire, who gets to lead a team for the first time in his career.

Brendan Haywood, Dallas Mavericks – When the Mavericks made the mid-season trade last season to bring in Caron Butler from the Washington Wizards they couldn't have known what an asset Brendan Haywood would be, but his stellar play down the stretch for the red-hot Mavs was enough for him to receive a huge extension from Mark Cuban that will pay him $55 million over six years. Not only that, but even after acquiring gold medal-winning center Tyson Chandler over the summer, the Mavs seem committed to starting Haywood—a huge nod to the expectations they have for him as a center in the prime of his career. If anyone is going to knock off the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference this summer Dallas would be the team to do it, and they believe Haywood is going to have a huge hand in what they accomplish this year. After getting all those wheelbarrows full of cash, he'd better.

Trevor Ariza, New Orleans Hornets – When Trevor Ariza broke out as an L.A. Laker in early 2009, he was able to turn potential into a lucrative deal with the Houston Rockets. The problem in Houston, however, was that they already had a really good small forward in Shane Battier, causing Ariza to take a step back in his first season with the Rockets. Now, however, he's going to be given carte blanche in the Big Easy with perhaps the best point guard in the game of basketball. Any expectation there has ever been on Ariza to be a primetime player will come to fruition in New Orleans or not at all. Also, that was a move meant to placate Chris Paul, meaning the organization hopes a big year from Ariza can help convince CP3 that he's got enough talent around him to make it worth staying where he is instead of bolting for a new team. That's quite a bit of pressure on Ariza, is it not?

DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors – The Raptors have great, passionate fans that have talked themselves into a relatively positive life after Chris Bosh. Somebody on that team is going to have to emerge as a star, and while the closest thing to that at present might be Andrea Bargnani, the general public is more interested in second-year swingman DeMar DeRozan. One of the more athletic players in the league, this young shooting guard prospect has a long way to go before he starts hearing his name whispered in the same breath as "All-Star," but that doesn't mean the expectations aren't there for him to do exactly that. The city of Toronto would love to see their basketball team succeed without the assistance of Chris Bosh, and to do that they need a star. DeRozan is the best candidate for that, so hopefully he's up to the task of getting himself there.

Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks – There's real talk that the Milwaukee Bucks could win the Central Division this season, and the crazy thing is that the talk isn't crazy. Did that make sense? To simplify, the league has learned to "Fear the Deer" and Rookie of the Year runner-up point guard Brandon Jennings is the main reason why. However, while Jennings started off the season with a bang (remember that 55-point outburst in his first month of play?), he sort of leveled off down the stretch. People remember the killer Jennings, though, and that's the one they're expecting to see all season this year - only a year older, wiser, and better.

duke dynamite
09-20-2010, 03:55 PM
I like me some Darren Collison.

09-20-2010, 04:08 PM
Collison is giving the Pacers more positive "media" attention than anyone on the entire team has in the last 4-5 years.

That's saying a lot seeing that Granger was an all-star.

I'm really hoping he's the PG we've all been waiting for!

09-20-2010, 05:59 PM
I like Darren, but I hope people are reasonable with their expectations.

The kid is going from a system that was completely revolved around the PG, to Jimmy's system. Which involves decision making, although really an inability to directly create for teammates well. (Obviously drive and dish is always there, but nothing really..creative) Jimmy's system is loose and free which makes things more difficult for the PG.

He's also going from having a mentor in Chris Paul to a peer in AJ - who could, at the most, help him out with the plays that don't really exist. And TJ. Yea..I can see it now. ("But aren't you supposed to have an idea of what you're going to do before you drive deep into the paint?") He doesn't really have anyone to take him under his wings here. AJ at least had Watson and to an extent Diener, to help him out.

So essentially, be reasonable. He may not be good in this offense (which I have that feeling, personally) It may take him a while to understand it. And when he does, he may not rack up the stats we're hoping because this offense isn't built for that.

And if any of that happens, it doesn't mean Collison was a bad pickup, or isn't the future starter..it just means that he needs time to adjust or he needs to be in a new system (which I'm guessing, Jim won't be here too long anyway)

09-20-2010, 09:54 PM
The kid is going from a system that was completely revolved around the PG, to Jimmy's system.Well, we've never seen whatever 'system' it is operated with a decent PG. Maybe JOB will adapt a little to his skills.

And maybe the cow did indeed jump over the moon, but I digress ...................

09-20-2010, 11:11 PM
I don't need him to be a star.
or a savior.
just another piece of the puzzle.

Lance George
09-21-2010, 12:23 AM
A big piece of the puzzle.

09-21-2010, 12:32 PM
Seems bigger to US because it's a piece we've needed for so long.
But in terms of TEAM, we've got 4 other good players around him.
A star would fantastic, but just another Danny or Roy type impact would be just fine.
We don't "need" 20 pts and 10 assists out of him to have a good team.
(be ok though)

09-21-2010, 02:36 PM
I would be ecstatic with 15 and 8.

09-21-2010, 05:19 PM
I would be ecstatic with 15 and 8.

14, 7, and 4 would be fine with me. That's how bad the PGs have been for the Pacers. Anything above that is good gravy.