The first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs is coming to an end. All the matchups in the Eastern Conference have been played to a close. Meanwhile, six out of eight teams are still battling it out in the Western Conference for a chance to advance to the conference semifinals.
As the competition has progressed, there are a few players that disappointed in the first round. Russell Westbrook did not play at the level expected of him in the first two games. But he picked up the slack and registered a couple of triple-doubles before the Washington Wizards were sent home in Game 5.
Although the competition is stiff in the NBA playoffs, certain star players surprisingly cracked under the pressure. As a result, their teams met early elimination in the first round.
Here are the five stars who disappointed the most in round 1 of the 2021 NBA playoffs.
#5 Julius Randle
Julius Randle was the nucleus of the New York Knicks' resurgence after the All-Star weekend. However, he was unable to replicate such dominant performances in his debut NBA playoffs appearance.
It was a shocking display from Randle as it seemed like he forgot how to shoot the ball. The 26-year-old averaged 18 points with a field goal percentage of .298. The New York Knicks were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden in Game 5.
#4 Kristaps Porzingis
The Dallas Mavericks are still on course to advance to the second round, all thanks to Luka Doncic. Meanwhile, his teammate Kristaps Porzingis is second rate.Injuries kept the forward on the sidelines for a while during the regular season. He has still not shaken off the rustiness despite playing every match in the 2021 NBA playoffs first round.
Porzingis is having an abysmal postseason compared to his last run in the NBA playoffs. Despite the first-round elimination in 2020, he averaged 23.7 points. The forward is currently averaging 13.8 points and shooting 47.2% from the field.
#3 Bam Adebayo
Bam Adebayo entered the 2021 NBA playoffs as one of the best defensive-minded players. However, only a glimpse of his defensive acumen was on display. He was also not as effective as anticipated in the offense.
The Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks first-round tie was supposed to be one of the most exciting first-round matchups this year, mainly because of both teams' history. Alas, it was a disappointing matchup, being the only first-round tie that ended in a sweep. Adebayo finished with 15.5 points per game and shot 45.6% from the field.
#2 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been a shadow of himself so far in the 201 NBA playoffs. Although he has missed almost two games, the shooting guard has woefully failed to do the one job expected of him, shoot.
KCP was one of the red-hot shooters from beyond the arc in the 2020 NBA playoffs. His ability to knock down those open jumpers gave the LA Lakers an edge in the Orlando bubble.
Unfortunately, he is averaging just three points this postseason and has converted only four out of 18 field goal attempts. Although the LA Lakers have a chance to tie the series in Game 6, his poor shooting spell is hurting the team.
#1 Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler was a key component in the Miami Heat's NBA Finals appearance in 2020. His gritty persona was non-existent this year as the forward was perhaps the most unproductive player for the Miami Heat.
Butler exited the 2021 NBA playoffs with an average of 14.5 points while shooting 29.7% from the field, the worst in his nine-year postseason appearance. He converted only 19 shots from the field, out of a whopping 64 attempts.