Biggest Surprises So Far
As we finish the first full month of the season and roll into December, some things around the NBA remain the same. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics (aside from Sunday’s loss to Toronto) are still really good. A lot of the usual suspects are at the top of the scoring derby. LeBron James’ ego remains huge, but there are also some great surprises as we head toward the quarter way point of 10-11.
*Note to fanboys and bandwagon jumpers: LeBron James’ season so far is NOT surprising. Effiency and scoring drops were predicted.
Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies): Always an electrifying talent and solid producer, Gay has upped his overall game enough this year to put him in contention for an All-Star birth. He has shot efficiently this year, and has great peripherals, such as a steal and a half a game. Gay has finally cemented himself as legitimate star in the Association.
Dorrell Wright (Golden State Warriors): Averaging about 7 PPG coming into the campaign, Wright has busted out in the Bay Area, averaging 14.9 a game while shooting almost 40% from beyond the arc. Wright has also averaged over 5 boards a game and better than 2 assists a game. He looks to be well on his way to becoming a solid starter in the NBA.
Marco Belinelli (New Orleans Hornets): The Italian who was exiled from Raptorland has found himself a home in the Big Easy, starting all of his team’s games up to this point. Despite offering almost nothing in the way of supporting stats, Bellinelli has drained over 40% of his threes and his field goal and free throw percentages scream efficiency. Playing with Chris Paul might help, but Belinelli is a legitimate player in the league.
Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers): Roy has established himself as a bigtime NBA center, averaging 15 points and over 9 boards a game. He has chipped in with 3 assists and over a block and steal a game. Hibbert has put himself in Danny Granger’s area code for Pacers MVP.
Aaron Afflalo (Denver Nuggets): The hyper-efficient Afflalo has picked up some of the scoring left around by Chauncey Billups’ rapid decline to average. Afflalo has averaged over 50% on field goals, and with more looks, will raise his average.
Sonny Weems (Toronto Raptors): The ultra-athletic Weems showed off his hops with a dynamite jam vs Philadelphia last night. Weems has been one of Brian Colangelo’s better finds with the Dinos, averaging over 50% from the floor. With more opportunity and a cut back on threes attempted, Weems could establish himself as a long term piece of Toronto’s rebuild.
Obivously there are others, but these guys have stuck out to me. Let me know of any guys who you think should be here and why.