With the NBA season restart right around the corner, there are a number of players fans around the world are looking forward to seeing again. Whether it be because they were on fire before the break, or have used the break to recover from injury and are now returning.
These are the players who will take the game-winning money shot or buzzer blocks, potentially secure your wager.
Starting with a player we might not actually see anytime soon, Zion Williamson left the NBS Disney bubble to attend a family emergency in mid-July, and it is unknown when he will be returning to the Pelicans.
The Pelicans are still hopeful he will return, at least for the play-offs, and fans can’t wait. He has been incredible at both ends of the court, and he is severely underappreciated for the strength and speed he possesses. The Pelicans will hope he can return as soon as possible, although they have said they will give him all the time he needs.
An integral part of the 76ers game this season is Ben Simmons. He has shown almost an unwillingness to shoot, but fans are looking to the fact that this break may have given him the time to build his confidence, and become that stalwart all 76er fans know he can be.
Even though he doesn’t take shots when he really should, Simmons is absolutely electric across the court. There isn’t anything he can’t do, and fans will look forward to him taking to the court again and proving why he should be considered as one of the best all-round players in the league.
Even though the Portland Trail Blazers aren’t at their best right now, Damian Lillard is still one of the best offensive players in the league, easily Top 5. Even when players like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are putting in performance after performance, it’s still hard to ignore how dominant Lillard is.
What sets Lillard apart is his range. The moment he crosses into his opponents' court, he is a threat. At shots from 30-34 feet, Lillard is shooting 41.2%, shots from 35-39 feet, he is shooting 66.7%. Steph Curry hasn’t thrown more than 5 shots from that range in a whole season and was only shooting for 40%. Lillard is just better at range, and fans want to see him dropping those bombs when the restart happens.
The 21-year-old Slovenian has proven to be one of the brightest young prospects in the league this season. He averaged 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 8.7 assists in 33 minutes per game, as well as making the All-Star team, and being right in the thick of the MVP talk.
The four-month lay-off has given him time to recover and get fully fit, and Mavericks fans are hoping he will be on form again when the season restarts. He is definitely a diamond in the rough, and a player that Dallas wants to shine at tip-off in Disney.
Joel Embiid has proven to be a force both on offensive and defensive. He has the size and strength to scare any time, and combining that with his very unique playstyle, he can be a thorn in the side of any team and any opposing player.
Embiid and Simmons have also proven to be a great duo for the 76ers, with many believing the partnership could be one of the best in the league, and definitely one to fear when the season restarts. Fans are chomping at the bit to see both these men tear apart defenses in Florida.
What can be said about LeBron that hasn’t been said before? The NBA veteran is still playing at an absolutely elite level and is still one of the most dangerous players on the court. If he isn’t scoring, he’s assisting, if he’s not attacking, he’s slapping away any and every shot that goes near him.
Obviously, fans are looking forward to seeing him again cause he’s Lebron, what more is there to it? Of course, you want to see quite possibly the best player ever on the court, and at this rate, he’s going to be helping the Lakers to another title as well.
As one of the most versatile players currently in the league, it is no surprise that Kawhi Leonard is not only a fan favorite but also a player that most fans, from across the world, want to see in action. His dominance at both ends of the court is almost unmatched, and he is absolutely an integral cog in the Clippers engine.
He has spent the four-month hiatus getting stronger and recovering, and even though he says he is fit and ready to play, the Clippers are apparently going to play smart, and not overuse him. The worst outcome being Leonard injured and barely being able to contribute to the Clippers playoff run.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, a name that will send shivers down even the best players spine. The Bucks forward is currently the most formidable player in the league and has been integral to Milwaukee’s incredible form and success of late.
Averaging 30 points per game, 2 more points than last year's MVP campaign, with only Lebron and Anthony Davis even close to competing with him, the restart in Disney can easily be another high point for the Greek, not only for himself but the possibility of leading the Bucks to a championship victory.
As the restart looms, these are only a few of the players we want to see on the court again, even though the games will be at a neutral venue, with no fans screaming from the sidelines, the rest of the season is shaping up to be as electric as ever.