NBA: Disappointments and Surprises

Former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan answers questions from the media after announcing his...

Former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan answers questions from the media after announcing his resignation from the Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 10, 2011. (REUTERS/Michael Brandy)

STEVE LOUNG, Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:02 PM ET

TORONTO -- The 2010-11 NBA regular season wraps up on Wednesday and, like past seasons, this one had its fair share of disappointments and surprises all around. Below are some teams, players, and moments that fall under these categories.

Most Disappointing Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee entered the 2010-11 season with high hopes after a strong 2009-10 campaign that saw the team not only make the playoffs for the first time in three years, but also take the third-seeded Atlanta Hawks to seven games in the first round.

With a point guard who appeared to have star potential in Brandon Jennings, one of the best centers in the league in Andrew Bogut, an imposing defense, the off-season acquisition of Cory Maggette and re-signing of John Salmons to bolster their offense, it seemed like a lock that the Bucks would be back in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the injury bug reared its ugly head, affecting both Jennings and Bogut for long stretches of the season, and the offense that was supposed to see a lift from Maggette and a full season from Salmons, actually regressed as both players underperformed, culminating in Milwaukee being the worst offensive team in the league and falling just short of a second consecutive post-season appearance.

Most Disappointing Player: Aaron Brooks

Brooks enjoyed a fantastic season in 2009-10, averaging 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game on his way to becoming the league's most improved player, and many viewed him as a guy, along with Kevin Martin, who would be a cornerstone piece for the Houston Rockets as they slowly moved on in a direction without Yao Ming.

The third-year guard out of Oregon started the season strong enough, highlighted by an opening night 24-point, nine-assist performance, but an injury occurred after playing just five games and kept him out for 21 contests. When he did return to the lineup, his play was spotty and he was eventually traded to the Phoenix Suns, where his inconsistency continued playing behind Steve Nash.

Between the two clubs he's played for this season, Brooks has only averaged 11 points and four assists per game, and those disappointing numbers look even worse as his backup in Houston, Kyle Lowry, has flourished in the starting spotlight.

Most Disappointing Moment: The John Kuester benching of his veterans

The Detroit Pistons' John Kuester has had quite the rookie season as a head coach for all the wrong reasons. Taking over a situation where there's little room for improvement because of bad contracts and a team that's comprised of veterans whose best years are behind them will make any kind of success hard to come by. And when those veterans fail to respect the coach even the tiniest bit, the chance for any kind of accomplishment is immediately nixed.

Such is what happened with Kuester and the older players on his roster.

The disrespect got so bad at one point that four players reportedly skipped a practice as a form of protest against the coach, which left him no choice but to bench them in the next game they played after their demonstration. In that game, Kuester got ejected and Tracy McGrady was seen laughing.

Overall, everything about the situation with Kuester and his players has been a mess and isn't something that should be occurring on any team.

Most Surprising Team: Denver Nuggets

Unlike some other teams that could have fit under this category, the Denver Nuggets weren't a bad team this season.

However, the reason why Denver has been so shocking is because of the improvement it's seen after losing its two best players. The big trade saw both Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups depart for a collection of draft picks and players who are good but aren't in the same tier as the pair that left.

The Nuggets have played remarkably well since the trade, something no one saw coming, and the fact they're doing it utilizing an "all-for-one" approach is refreshing, particularly because of the approach the team had when Anthony was on the roster.

Most Surprising Player: Kris Humphries

Unless you're a New Jersey Nets fan or were a fantasy player this season, the name Kris Humphries probably doesn't mean a lot to you - except if you're the type that likes to keep up with the Kardashians.

Regardless of how well known he was before, Humphries is a player that you should know now. The seven-year veteran seemed to have finally figured out what his talents are best suited for - rebounding.

Currently ranked fifth in the league with his 10.4 rebounds per game, Humphries has changed his game from being a guy who tried to look for his own offense into someone who'll crash the glass and look to get his that way - a formula that's worked as he's also enjoying career highs in points and field goal percentage.

Most Surprising Moment: Jerry Sloan's resignation

It happened completely out of the blue and rocked the basketball world.

When Jerry Sloan suddenly resigned as head coach of the Utah Jazz, it almost seemed unreal. After all, Sloan wasn't just a coach, he was an institution of the NBA. For over 20 years, he was seen patrolling the sidelines in Salt Lake City and for it to come to such an abrupt end, it didn't seem like the right way for him to go out.

Only, the more you look at the situation, it was the right way for him to exit. When management opted to side with Deron Williams instead of him, he made his own choice to leave. Never one to compromise, Sloan always did things his way and, as such, he decided to depart on his own terms.


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