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  • Justin Vigil-Zuniga

Opening Week Duds

SLC Dunk

Hey hey hey! The NBA season is finally back and with the surprising studs of opening week, there come the duds. There have been no shortage of duds in less than a week of play but there are definitely some notable names worth a mention who aren’t looking anything like themselves.

Mike Conley

The Jazz acquired the veteran point guard in a huge trade sending Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, and a pair of first round picks all for Conley in hopes he’d solidify the backcourt with Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz have been searching for a franchise point guard since 2011 in Deron Williams’ final year with the team.

With Conley’s defensive and passing talents, the match seemed perfect at first. However, Conley’s shooting has been absurdly bad. Conley finished with five points off one of 16 shooting in the team’s opener against the Thunder. The team managed to come back and win despite Conley’s woes and he’s still shot poorly in three outings.

This one comes as a shock mostly because the veteran is coming off a career 21.1 PPG year with Memphis with his usual average hanging around 45% from the floor. Conley is currently shooting 20% and aside from Utah’s slaughtering of the Kings, he is a -16 so far, this season. Although he is now coming off his first field goal-less night, there is plenty of season left and Utah still doing well at 3-1. Should he get to back to form, Utah can be seen as a terror again in the West.

Eric Gordon

With Houston adding a second MVP to the starting lineup, Eric Gordon’s scoring is as critical as ever. The bench initially looked depleted giving Gordon a huge load to carry should both superstars be on the bench.

Like Conley, Gordon’s struggles are mainly shooting. Splash Gordon is currently shooting 30% from the floor mostly embodying his six of 30 line from behind the arc. Gordon is in fact declining from the line hitting one less than three in his first three games.

Houston is going through an onslaught of changes with player roles and Gordon is one of the biggest parts of what Mike D’Antoni is aiming for. The vision of the team still looks the same with letting James Harden drive and get to the line or kick out to a shooter. Gordon will more than likely turn this dry spell around and start feasting on the wide open kick-outs from either Harden or Russell Westbrook.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

We will give KCP a little credit for his solid outing Sunday in the team’s comeback win against Charlotte, finishing with 10 points off 50% shooting but his first two games are too much to ignore. The seventh-year guard managed one point on zero of nine shooting over two games. He managed some boards and assists along the way but KCP really managed to play as bad as a lot of fans think he is.

Most would probably say he definitely did not cost the Lakers their opener against the Clippers but he certainly managed to cost the team plenty of points. KCP is one of the most ‘flip of the coin’ players in the league. He has looked like an elite two-way guard during stretches but he has also looked like that guy at the park with all the gear who goes 0-9 every pickup game. The Lakers’ role player will likely give them some gems this year but the ratio of good to bad still looks…well bad.

#Jazz #Lakers #Rockets #JustinVigilZuniga

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