Being Average Sucks

Late last night I started looking over my posts from last season, reminiscing about simpler times. During a gap between good, solid cries, I came across a post I wrote in February, imploring the Sixers to make a trade at the deadline in order to, you know get people actually excited about the team. They stood pat, finished 41-41 and no one cared.

I started thinking about last year’s Sixers squad and how obvious it was that they were going to finish .500. That got me thinking some more…let’s figure out the most mediocre team since 2000!

Here are the 16 teams that finished 41-41 since 2000.

Ugh.

00-01 Pacers
01-02 Bucks
02-03 none
03-04 Bucks, Hornets, Blazers
04-05 none
05-06 Pacers, Bulls, Jazz
06-07 Nets, Wizards
07-08 Raptors, Blazers
08-09 Sixers, Bulls
09-10 Bulls
10-11 Sixers

In order to find the MOST mediocre team since 2000, I had to make some cuts. I decided to eliminate a team if…

  • the team had any all-stars (makes your team somewhat relevant)
  • the team had any future Hall of Famers (Hall of Famer makes your team relevant)
  • the team ranked in the top10 in attendance (not as mediocre if people still like seeing you play)
  • the team did not make playoffs (weirdly, only 14 out of 30 teams miss the playoffs in the NBA, we’re looking for number 15 here people)
  • the team won a playoff series (too good to be mediocre)

Eliminated

2000-01 Pacers (Reggie Miller was an all-star/future hall of famer)
2001-02 Bucks (Ray Allen/Glenn Robinson were an all-stars/didn’t make playoffs)
2003-04 Hornets (Baron Davis was an all star)
2005-06 Pacers (Jermaine O’Neal was an all star), Bulls (2nd in attendance), Jazz (9th attendance/did not make playoffs)
2006-07 Nets (Kidd future hall of famer/won playoff series), Wizards (Gilbert Arenas was an all star)
2007-08 Raptors (Bosh was an all star), Blazers (7th in attendance)
2008-09 Bulls (2nd in attendance)

2009-2010 Bulls (Derrick Rose all star/1st in attendance)

This leaves us with the 2003-04 Bucks, 2003-04 Blazers and the 2010-2011 Sixers.

The criteria for Most Mediocre since 2000:
The addition of Willie Green into your starting lineup would be a major upgrade
Poor attendance
Win less than three games in the playoffs
At least two white guys in the regular rotation
Wow that’s mediocre factor

2003-04 Bucks

Headcases require multiple headbands.

The Milwaukee Bucks were a mediocre juggernaut for the first half of the 2000s. From 2000 to the end of the 2005-2006 season, the Milwaukee Bucks were 246 and…you guessed it 246. Right in the heart of this lame era of basketball in the land of beer sits the 2003-2004 season.

The Bucks jettisoned Sam Cassell and Ray Allen the year before, ending the Big 3 era. The 03-04 Bucks lined up a starting five of Michael Redd, T.J. Ford, Tim Thomas, Joe Smith, Brian Skinner along with sixth man Toni Kukoc coming off the bench for the bulk of the season.

For the year, six guys averaged double figures with Michael Redd pacing the Bucks with 21.5 points a contest. The Deer were 14th in attendance and managed to make the playoffs in Terry Porter’s first year as head coach, losing 4-1 to the Detroit Pistons in the opening round.

Let’s put the 2003-04 Milwaukee Bucks to the test…

Inserting Willie Green into your starting lineup would be a major upgrade
T.J. Ford was a rookie with upside and Michael Redd was the heir apparent to Ray Allen, so no help there. But when you account for the remaining 3/5 of the lineup and you find Brian Skinner, Tim Thomas and Joe Smith…you got yourself mediocrity. That being said, Michael Redd holds it down at the SG spot. WG would not be an upgrade here.

White. Average.
Poor attendance

14th. That’s pretty good considering the sheer lack of excitement in that starting five. But I bet Desmond Mason made a few Sportscenter Top 10 plays.

Win less than three games in the playoffs

went out in 5.

At least two white guys in the regular rotation
Toni Kukoc was their sixth man and the oft-injured Keith Van Horn was a starter when he was healthy.

Wow! that’s mediocre! factor
246-246 in six years is the definition of mediocre. Not sure anyone can beat that.

Tomorrow: 2003-04 Portland Trail Blazers

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