Every season we see the usual All-Star players come out and entertain us every night with their amazing skill. Often, though, there are players who seem to ‘come out of nowhere’ and surprise us with their good play.
It’ll be interesting to see can these guys keep up the good work and continue to put up great numbers throughout the rest of the NBA season.
So here you have it – my top 5 surprise talents for this season along with a few honorable mentions.
Harrison Barnes 20.6 ppg, 1.4 apg, 5.5 rpg – Dallas Mavericks
Nikola Jokic 13.1 ppg, 3.8 apg, 7.8 rpg – Denver Nuggets
Ryan Anderson 14.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.9 apg – Houston Rockets
5. Lou Williams
The 30-year-old shooting guard has been impressive for the young L.A Lakers this season and he’s helped guide them to a 14W-26L record. Not the best record the Lakers have ever had but it does show signs of improvement for the young team who are still in the rebuilding process.
Lou has averaged 18.1 ppg, 3.1 apg and 2.3 rpg this far in the season.
The Lakers most likely won’t make the playoffs this year but if all things go well we could see the franchise make a return to the big time next year.
Lou has provided valuable playing time for the Lakers and they will hope to hold onto him in the future as the team continues to grow.
4. Isaiah Thomas
Thomas has been excellent for the Boston Celtics this season and is writing himself into the history books with the C’s every time he steps on the court. Thomas has led Boston to a 23W-14L record which sees them sitting in the 3rd spot in the East.
Thomas has averaged 28 ppg and 6.1 apg through 33 games for the Celtics this season. We’ve seen Thomas put up lots of impressive performances this season such as a 52 point performance against the Miami Heat.
Thomas is one of the top candidates for the Most Improved Player award this year and at 27 years old we could see him become a Mvp candidate in the next few years.
It’s still hard to believe that this guy was the last pick of the 2011 NBA Draft!
3. Eric Gordon
So far this season Gordon has been one of the centerpieces to the Houston Rockets recent success. Gordon has paired up very well with James Harden and together, the duo has led Houston to a 29W-9L record, leaving them 3rd in the Western Conference.
Eric has had a hot hand from behind the arc and currently leads the League in three-pointers made. He holds a 42% three-point percentage and he shoots a 43% field-goal percentage. Gordon is recording 17.8 ppg, 2.9 apg and 2.7 rpg.
Gordon has shocked us all this season with his great play and hopefully he can keep it up. He could be in with a shout at the Most Improved Player award this season for sure.
2. Jabari Parker
Jabari has been outstanding for the Bucks this season and we’ve seen him play out of his skin recently.
Jabari has improved his scoring with an average of 20.4 ppg with a 50% field-goal percentage. He is also grabbing 5.7 rpg and he dishes out 2.5 apg.
Parker has been a key part to the Bucks success as currently, we see them with an 18W-17L record, leaving them 7th in the Eastern Conference – which at the moment sets them up for a run in the playoffs.
Parker has stepped up his game this season just when the Bucks needed him most and he’s impressed fans around the world with his play. Jabari Parker is most definitely a candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award this year and is currently a favorite to take the award home.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis has been in the form of his life this season and we’re seeing him play amazing basketball.
The ‘Greek Freak’ is only 22 years old and is already in Mvp talks this year!
Antetokounmpo is averaging 24 ppg, 5.7 apg and 9 rpg and he has been another major factor to the Bucks success this season.
We are also going to probably see Antetokounmpo making his All-Star debut this year as fans all around the world seem to love this guy. Let’s hope he can keep up this good form and help Milwaukee continue to push for the playoffs.
The Most Improved Player award is a hard one to pick this year also and it’ll be exciting to see who receives the award when it comes to the end of the NBA’s regular season.