Jimmer, Rubio look good
Every NBA season presents surprises, but the fact Jimmer Fredette is more than just a shooter has to rank up there for this crazy campaign. Fredette still makes rookie mistakes, but his decision-making process is better than projected and he isn't the statue on defense some had predicted.
Another rookie, Ricky Rubio, also has surprised by being better than his considerable hype. Granted, he's a non-traditional rookie, but his ability to keep a live dribble and patiently wait for plays to develop belies his lack of NBA experience. As for disappointments, Joakim Noah has to rank high. In the first season of his five-year, $60 million deal, Noah is consistently fumbling rebounds and not playing with his typical energy and intensity. He's even getting benched consistently for fourth quarters.
Odom, Wall struggling
Los Angeles Times
Ricky Rubio — LeBron James tweeted it best: "Rubio can pass that rock!" But the 21-year-old can shoot too: 46 percent from 3-point range and overall.
Greg Stiemsma — Kevin Garnett said the 26-year-old rookie can block shots "like no one I've ever seen," but Celtics great Tom Heinsohn thought of someone: Bill Russell.
Lamar Odom — The Lakers traded him for almost nothing to the Mavericks, who haven't gotten much out of the deal either. He's averaging a career-low 6.8 points in a career-low 20 minutes.
John Wall — He was surrounded by an offseason of hype; apparently it was premature. His numbers are down across the board and his team is 1-11.
Heat's Cole provides spark
The season is young, so are the Wizards and so is John Wall, but he has shown no progress from his more than respectable rookie season. Wall's numbers are down across the board — points, field-goal percentage, assists. Correction: His turnovers are up.
The Wizards are the worst team in the NBA and a dozen games in, the locker room is poisoned. But Wall was a No. 1 pick. He's the Wizards point guard. And he's extraordinarily talented. It's time for him to lead — on and off the court.
Speaking of point guards, Miami rookie Norris Cole has been a pleasant surprise, averaging almost 10 points for the Heat and seemingly lighting a fire under fellow point guard Mario Chalmers. Cole has been uneven this season, but he's shown promise.
Just look to the Wizards
Wouldn't the Wizards dominate both?
Disappointing because they all stink, and surprising because (save John Wall) the Wizards haven't traded any of them.
OK, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is the most disappointing because he got his coach fired. He should have stayed in school ... nursery school.
Others on the most disappointing list: Kevin Garnett, Lamar Odom, Joakim Noah, Danny Granger, Jamal Crawford, Tayshaun Prince, Metta World Peace.
My most surprising player is the reborn 76ers' Louis Williams, who's the team's top scorer — as a sixth man.
Other most surprising candidates: Kyle Lowry, Ty Lawson, Andrew Bynum, Al Harrington, Byron Mullens, Iman Shumpert, Jarrett Jack.