There are NBA players who are the model of consistency. The likes of Tim Duncan, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis come to mind. Night in and night out, they’re going to get their stats.
Then there are these guys. The wildcards. The players who have all the talent in the world but just can’t put it together on a nightly basis, whether it’s from age, attitude, or just straight basketball IQ. There seems to be one on every team, but what if they all joined together onto one team? They could be the most entertaining team in the league or one that’s making fans pull their hair out. 160 points or 60 points, buying a ticket would be like buying a lottery ticket. So, who would make up the current Team Hot or Cold?
10. Kris Dunn
10 Best Games Averages – 30.3 minutes, 20.4 points, 58.9 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 25.5 minutes, 5.6 points, 20.6 FG%
Kris Dunn is young. He made great strides towards being a legit starter in the league for the Chicago Bulls. If he becomes more consistent on offense, his high-level defense should be able to lead him to at least one all-star appearance in the future.
9. Lonzo Ball
10 Best Games Averages – 36.9 minutes, 15.5 points, 50.4 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 28.2 minutes, 4.8 points, 18.7 FG%
Lonzo had a rough first year in the league. I feel almost bad putting him on this list – what with his dad painting a giant bullseye on his back and playing in the biggest market in the NBA – but the numbers don’t lie! Hopefully, LABron can help him find his footing in his sophomore season.
8. Terrence Ross
10 Best Games Averages – 28.5 minutes, 11.8 points, 51.3 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 22.7 minutes, 0.8 points, 26.9 FG%
Ross is the owner of one of the most unexpected 50-point games in the history of the NBA. Well, that was a few years ago, and Terrence Ross hasn’t exactly filled those massive shoes he made for himself while putting on that performance.
There’s still time as he is young, but Ross looks like he will have himself a JR Smith type career – stellar one night and forgotten the next.
7. Serge Ibaka
10 Best Games Averages – 29.0 minutes, 20.8 points, 65.6 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 21.9 minutes, 4.5 points, 25.0 FG%
Remember a few years ago when there were rumors going around that Serge Ibaka was older than he said and already past his prime? Maybe there was a bit more merit than that than we thought. He seems to fade in and out of his Prime OKC self, something that shouldn’t be happening to a (MASSIVE AIR QUOTES) “28-year-old”. It’s time to start that conspiracy back up!
6. Jeff Green
10 Best Games Averages – 31.8 minutes, 21.1 points, 61.4 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 20.8 minutes, 4.0 points, 24.2 FG%
There are only a few players in the NBA that this can be said about, but Jeff Green sometimes - for a split second – looks like LeBron James.
When he is on his game; hitting midrange fadeaways, posting up smaller players, and air walking his way to the rim to crown a poor victim, for a split second if you were watching out of the corner of your eye you would think “huh, LeBron is a beast”. Then other times he shrinks back into the normal Jeff Green.
But still, I guess Sometimes-out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye-if-you’re-not-really-paying-attention-LeBron James is better than none next season for the Cavs, right?
Oh wait, no, he left too.
5. Jamal Crawford
10 Best Games Averages – 25.8 minutes, 20.3 points, 57.5 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 18.4 minutes, 3.3 points, 21.5 FG%
Mr. Heat-check himself, Jamal did this his whole career and last season was no different. He would come into a game, fire up five shots in 4 minutes, then - depending on how many of those went in - he would either play thirty minutes in the game or ride the pine. He made an amazing career off of it, so I guess being a ‘Feast or Famine’ player isn’t all bad.
4. Carmelo Anthony
10 Best Games Averages – 32.6 minutes, 24.1 points, 55.7 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 28.2 minutes, 8.1 points, 26.4 FG%
Carmelo definitely falls into the “age” category of the reasons why a player could be inconsistent. Oh, and the “attitude” category. Also, it would be pretty easy to argue that he’s in the “Basketball IQ” category as well.
Carmelo has been one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA his whole career. Until last season. His play fell off a cliff last year, but hopefully he climbs up to a small ledge about halfway up said cliff this upcoming season and rests there. He could be a key player for the Rockets, but only if he accepts he wasn’t the player he once was.
3. Hassan Whiteside
10 Best Games Averages – 30.0 minutes, 22.8 points, 67.8 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 16.6 minutes, 5.2 points, 32.7 FG%
Remember when Hassan Whiteside was the talk of the NBA? He seemed to come out of nowhere, powering home dunks and snatching shots out of the air on his way to block-oriented triple-doubles. He was a force to be reckoned with, then he just… faded away. The 2018 playoffs showcased that to a new degree. He only scored a total of 26 points over five games in the Heats first-round series against the Sixers. Maybe the Monstars took his abilities?
2. Nick Young
10 Best Games Averages – 25.0 minutes, 17.4 points, 57.9 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 10.3 minutes, 0.5 points, 7.4 FG%
So far, this team has the potential to hit an absurd number of threes, or none. Swaggy P has always had what some would call “irrational confidence”, and what others would call “Unwarranted Cockiness”. He’s always seen himself as a better player than he actually is, and that confidence has made him not reach his potential. Also, it’s no coincidence that “Swaggy P” rhymes with “Plays no D”, just saying.
1. JR Smith
10 Best Games Averages – 33.0 minutes, 18.2 points, 62.9 FG%
10 Worst Games Averages – 23.7 minutes, 0.8 points, 5.2 FG%
JR was always a guy who had the talent of an all-star and the basketball IQ of a 6-year-old. Bad shot selection and boneheaded mistakes (Did he get a ring from Golden State this year?) have hounded him throughout his career, and this past season seemed to be a new-found high in inconsistency.