ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player — and counting them down on Twitter (@NBAonESPN), from number 500 to number 1. As the rankings are announced, you can also find them on ESPN.com. ESPN asked 104 experts to rate each player on a 0-10 scale.
Just last season Kevin Martin was ranked as the 42nd best player in ESPN’s 2012 NBA Player Rankings. It looked as if it was only up from there. Now he’s going in the wrong direction, falling 34 spots to number 76.
Kevin Martin was unable to adjust to the NBA’s new rules last season, which in his part was foolish. The referees cracked down on calling touch fouls, and Martin continued to flop and try to get to the line. It never worked and his offensive game suffered from it. He never found any confidence and struggled throughout the season as he never adjusted his game. Averaging 17 points a game is great for most players, but when you have averaged more than 20 points in a season five times, you’re taking a step back.
Martin has went from potential superstar to does he have a place on the Houston Rockets roster. He’s been in multiple trade talks in the past year, even being traded once, but Commissioner David Stern overruled it and sent the disgruntled Martin back to his original team.
Adjusting to the new rule shouldn’t be this difficult. He seems to be acting stubborn about it. I expect him to come into next season with a similar offensive game with a few tweaks to adjust to the new rule. If not, he’s in major trouble.
Martin’s offensive game has All-Star written all over it. But his defense is below average at best. Other than figuring out the new rule, Martin needs to spend some serious time working on the defensive aspect of his game.
Jeremy Lamb is coming for your spot, Martin. I suggest you start maturing and bring back that fire you once had on the offensive end. If you don’t, have fun being traded to another bad team.