Top 10 NBA Players Likely To Have A Break Out Season In 2012-2013
10 Players Poised To Have A Break Out Season In 2012-2013
In an 18 day period in 2011 Jerermy Lin had found himself waived by the Golden State Warriors, released by the Houston Rockets and finally signed on the New York Knicks. Yet, that still didn’t mean playing time for him.
Only twice in the first 10 games he appeared in did he get over 10 minutes of playing time. It was when he went off on the New Jersey Nets that Mike D’Antoni decided to insert him into the starting lineup.
He flourished in that role until his season got cut short by a knee injury. During his 25 starts he averaged 18.2 points per game, 7.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 2 steals, on 44.5 percent shooting, 34.3 percent from beyond the arc and 79.6 percent from the three-point line.
Due to his 25 games stretch he was able to sign a restricted free agent contract with the Rockets for three-years $25.1 million that was not matched by the Knicks.
While Lin got the most attention here are some of the other players who broke out in 2011-2012 Goran Dragic, Ryan Anderson and James Harden. Even more interesting is that each player has a new team for 2012-2013.
Dragic signed with the Phoenix Suns to replace the departed Steve Nash, Anderson left the Orlando Magic in the four-team trade that involved Dwight Howard going to the Los Angeles Lakers and Harden was recently traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
So, here’s a look at the top 10 players like to break out during the 2012-2013 season.
10. Greivis Vasquez PG New Orleans Hornets
Greivis Vasquez is entering his third season in the league and last season he had a strong year coming off the bench with the Memphis Grizzlies. For 2012-2013 he finds himself as the starting point guard for the New Orleans Hornets.
He’s a gritty defensive player and on offense he has two main weapons in Ryan Anderson and first overall pick Anthony Davis.
Expect a breakout season of 12-14 points, 8-10 assists, 3-4 rebounds and 1-2 steals. The one knock on him is that he doesn’t possess great range as his three-point field goal percentage is at 30.4 for his career.
9. Jonas Valanciunas C Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas is a rookie this season and yet was taken with the fifth selection in the 2011 NBA draft. Instead of signing a contract right away he decided to play in Europe where he would gain valuable experience and get play more than he would if he played for the Raptors.
With the attention being given to the recently drafted Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard, Valanciunas has chance to make a name for himself and at the end of the year be in the running for the Rookie of the Year award.
He provides a presence in the post, is very good on the glass and makes an impact at the defensive end.
8. Enes Kanter C Utah Jazz
Enes Kanter the Utah Jazz center struggled mightily as a rookie in 2011-2012 and this season is different as he lost weight and really worked on his foot work. He looked excellent in the preseason and that confidence will carry into the season.
The one concern is how many minutes he will received as Al Jefferson gets most of the minutes at center. Tyrone Corbin now can play Jefferson at power forward, which extends the playing time for Kanter and gives the Jazz one of the bigger front courts in the NBA.
7. Darren Collison PG Dallas Mavericks
When Darren Collison was a rookie he was the back up to Chris Paul and he made a name for himself after Paul missed significant time with an injury. In 37 starts he averaged 18.8 points, 9.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, on 48.5 percent shooting, 42.9 percent from beyond the arc and 85.2 percent from the free throw line.
Even after that success of that season he got traded to the Indiana Pacers where he did not find as much success the past two seasons. He gets an opportunity to prove himself again after being acquired by the Dallas Mavericks for the 2012-2013 season. With numerous weapons on the floor and once Dirk Nowitzki is back healthy he will have a breakout season.
6. Nikola Pekovic C Minnesota Timberwolves
Nikola Pekovic came on strong in 2011-2012 and averaged a career high of 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds and those numbers are skewed due to coming off the bench for 12 games. In his 35 starts he averaged 15.4 points and 8.5 rebounds.
With Kevin Love out for a few more weeks he will continue to improve his game and have a breakout season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Expect a season of 16-18 points and 9-11 rebounds.
5. Glen Davis PF Orlando Magic
Glen Davis had a disappointing 2011-2012 season and now that Dwight Howard is gone he will take on a bigger role for the Orlando Magic. During the preseason he showed that he was ready for the challenge. He will surpass the career high of 11.7 points in 2010-2011 and rebounds of 5.4 which he averaged the past two seasons.Expect a season of 18-20 points and 8-10 rebounds and with Hedo Turkoglu injured he becomes the only true scoring threat in the lineup for the Magic. Even though it won't translate into many wins Davis is set to have a break out season.
4. J.J. Hickson PF Portland Trail Blazers
J.J. Hickson has bounced around the last couple of seasons and in 2011-2012 after being waived by the Sacramento Kings he wound up with the Portland Trail Blazers. In 19 games including 10 starts he averaged 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Now he's the starting center for the Trail Blazers and with teams concentrating on rookie sensation Damian Lillard and all-star LaMarcus Aldridge, Hickson will get plenty of open looks. Expect a season from him of 16-18 points and 9-11 rebounds.
3. Kyle Lowry PG Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry has flown under the radar the past couple of seasons with the Houston Rockets and he has now found a home with the Toronto Raptors. He has a young center in Jonas Valanciunas and Andrea Bargnani is a threat from beyond arc.He also has DeMar DeRozan who just recently signed a contract extension. For Lowry expect an All-Star appearance because there aren't as many talented point guards in the Eastern Conference. Also, he will set a new career high in points per game and assists per game.
2. Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs
With Manu Ginobili often injured the San Antonio Spurs will call upon Kawhi Leonard even more this year and is up to that challenge. He provides solid defense and is one key component when it comes to perimter shooting.
As teams concentrate on stopping the penetration of Tony Parker or Tim Duncan in the post, Leonard will have open looks from beyond the arc or he can use his athleticism getting to the rim. Expect a season of 16-18 points, 5-7 rebounds and 2-3 assists.
1. Klay Thompson SG Golden State Warriors
When the Golden State Warriors traded Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks the starting shooting guard position belong to Klay Thompson who has one of the prettiest jump shots in the NBA. In 2012-2013 with a healthy Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut he will have plenty of open looks.
Since he gets off screens very well and utilize his pump fake he is most likely to lead the team in scoring. Expect an average of 20-22 points. The one area he will need to work on is becoming a better distributor and so far he has made an impact on the glass.