The postseason is very different than the regular season in any sport. That is definitely true when it comes to the NBA, when the intensity and physicality ramps up big time on the court. Some players have risen to the challenge and perform at a high level. Other players have struggled for one reason or another. Here is a look at the notable NBA players that have disappeared in the playoffs so far.
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are coming off one of their worst losses in franchise history and while there are a lot of fingers being pointed, Kyle Lowry has to take some of the blame. He had a decent game in Game 2 where he essentially hit the game-sealing shot. However, he was missing in action in Game 1 when Lowry scored just four points. In Game 3, he had just 13 on four-of-10 shooting. The Raptors had just 30 points in the first half, which is embarrassing.
Lowry is trying to convince people that he’s an All-Star but he sure hasn’t looked like it in the playoffs. He’s being guarded by a rookie and can’t find a way to dominate. The Raptors need him to play well or they might not get out of the first round.
Pau Gasol, San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio won its first two games against the Memphis Grizzlies so it’s difficult to be too hard on Gasol. However, his numbers are down across the board from the regular season despite that he has averaged just over two minutes more per game in the playoffs. Gasol has averaged 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in the postseason. He averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists during the regular season. Gasol’s field goal percentage is down from 50.2% to 46.2% and Memphis has done a pretty decent job containing him down low. There is no reason to be too worried about Gasol’s numbers as long as San Antonio is winning. However, the Spurs will have a much more difficult second round matchup and they will need Gasol at his best.
Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers
After he averaged 12.3 points per game in the regular season, the expectation was that the Clippers would lean even more on Crawford in the postseason. J.J. Redick’s injury reinforced that notion but so far Crawford hasn’t delivered. Crawford’s field goal percentage is down from 41.3% in the regular season to 29.2% in the playoffs. He has averaged just 9.0 points per game in the playoffs and his terrible three-point shooting is the biggest reason for the drop off. Crawford didn’t hit a single three-ball through the first two games of LA’s series, going 0-for-9 from beyond the arc. The Clippers need Crawford to perform at a high level in order to have any shot at making a postseason run. He’s off to a rough start so it will be interesting to see if he can turn it around.
Rodney Hood, Utah Jazz
Hood averaged 12.7 points in 27.0 minutes per game during the regular season. However, he has averaged five minutes less per game in the playoffs and his numbers have taken a small hit as he has averaged 9.0 points per game. Hood’s scoring numbers can also be partly attributed to his shooting percentage, which is down from 40.8% in the regular season to 35.7% through the first two games of round one. Utah needs more out of Hood in its first round series with the Clippers. It will be interesting to see if he performs better at home when given the opportunity for games three and four.
Allen Crabbe, Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers are in an early hole against the best team in the NBA. While it isn’t Crabbe’s fault, his numbers indicate he has clearly struggled so far this postseason. Crabbe has averaged 4.5 points in 22.5 minutes per game in the playoffs. There’s a big burden on C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard but they need help.
He averaged 10.7 points in 28.5 minutes per game during the regular season and 12.5 points in 27.8 minutes per game in the month of April alone. Portland is doing everything they can to hang around with the Warriors. However, this could be a case of the Trail Blazers doing too much in order to try to hang around against a superior opponent.
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