Basketball, unlike other team sports, can be impacted heavily by the success or struggles of one man.
There are a few key players not towing their share of the load to start the season, and that has come back to bite their team – and its backers – in the butt. If you’ve been losing money on these squads listed below, these are the guys who you should blame:
Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers
When Danny Granger was ruled out of action for the next few months, the Pacers center should have taken it upon himself to fill that void. Instead, Hibbert is averaging under 10 points per game after scoring nearly 13 a night last year.
To make matters worse, Hibbert is blaming his issues on the departure of good buddy Darren Collison, who was dealt to Dallas. He did, however, post a triple-double in an overtime win over New Orleans Wednesday (10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 blocks) but that doesn’t make up for Indiana’s 6-7 SU and ATS record.
Jeff Green, Boston Celtics
Green is the ultimate glue guy, doing the little things that win ball games. But, with Kendrick Perkins long gone and Kevin Garnett trying his hand at center, Boston needs Green to pick up the scoring around the basket. The versatile forward signed a four-year, $36 million deal this summer but has scored just under eight points a night and has watched his minutes dwindle coming off the bench.
Green has the capacity to be a great boost for the Celtics, averaging over 12 points per outing while a member of the Thunder, but hasn’t been the same since undergoing heart surgery. So far, his best effort was a huge dunk over Al Jefferson last week. Boston has the second-lowest bench production in the NBA (21.4 ppg) and isn’t getting any favors from oddsmakers, going 3-7-2 ATS with a 6-6 SU mark.
Jeremy Lin, Houston Rockets
Want to know how bad Lin has been in his first season in Houston? The Knicks, the team that watched Lin leave after a magical 2011-12 season, isn’t game-planning for the guard heading into Friday's road date with the Rockets. Jason Kidd told the media the Knicks aren’t “looking to embarrass” Lin. He’s doing a good job of that on his own.
It’s hardly been “Linsanity” in Houston, with Lin averaging 10 points an outing and finishing in single digits in six of his last nine games. The popular guard is shooting a dismal 33.3 percent from the field and just 22.9 percent from beyond the arc. His slow start has put more pressure on fellow newbie James Harden to carry the team. The Rockets snapped a three-game skid with a win over Chicago Wednesday but are still just 5-7 SU and 5-6-1 ATS.
Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls
As mentioned above, the Bulls fell to the Rockets Wednesday, taking their third straight defeat and their fourth loss in the past five games. Boozer mustered only 13 points in that loss and managed just four points in a loss to Portland the game before. On the season, Boozer is averaging 13.3 points a night, down almost two points from last year’s scoring output.
Chicago has struggled without Derrick Rose but knew it would be without their MVP point guard well in advance. Other players are taking on the challenge, like Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, who are both scoring above their efforts of a year ago. Boozer is doing his part on the boards and is dishing out more than two assists per game, but Chicago needs more scoring after a starting 5-6 SU and 2-9 ATS.