The NBA season has just started and there has already been a tonne of surprises. Some teams came out of nowhere like the Phoenix Suns and playoff locks have struggled like the Golden State Warriors. Not only have teams been surprising, some players as well seem to be breaking out early on and a lot of them were completely unexpected.
In this article, we’ll be looking at five of those players who have surprised everyone by dominating from the get-go and arguing whether they can sustain that level of dominance throughout the season or whether it was just a lucky start.
So, let’s get right into it…
In the 2016/2017 season, Hayward was a star, leading the Utah Jazz to a playoff seed averaging 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. After that he left the Jazz in free agency to join the Boston Celtics where unfortunately everything went downhill for him. He broke his leg and was out for the entire 2018 season and returned last season – he was extremely shaky averaging only 11 points per game in 26 mins of action.
However, this season he seems like he’s coming back to his form. Through Boston’s first few games, Hayward averages 16.3 points and 6 rebounds on efficient caliber with 46% from the field and 67% from three-point range. In one of these games he dropped 25 points as a proof that he’s returning to his best form.
Although a lot of people gave up on him after last season, his start has given fans hope to see him back on the All-Star level he once was.
With him pretty likely to maintain his numbers given the amount of minutes he gets every game, it would be no surprise for him to have a breakout season, and if you see him play you’ll know for sure that he’s going for it.
Although he had a pretty big season last year, De’Aaron Fox is appearing to be only scratching the surface of what he could become.
His blazing speed already proved to be a problem for the opposing defence, and he seems to be getting more and more comfortable as the starting point guard for the Sacramento Kings.
Despite competing in the heavy-weight Western Conference, he still managed to average 17 points and 7 assists per game last season which paved the way for him to be featured in Bleacher Report Top 100.
By November 5th, Bleacher Report have put him up at 23 in their Top 100 annual ranking and praising his talent by saying:
“Players don’t marry Fox’s blend of speed, control and IQ by chance. His brand of basketball is both the calm and the storm…he has a real shot at staking his claim as a top 25 player”
For his turbo speed and athleticism along with a natural sense for his position, it won’t be a surprise to see him break into 20/10 stat line.
The Wizards big man is poised for a breakout season with the Washington ball club.
Quietly, he established himself as a real force in his team averaging 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season. But the thing that catches the eye about him was that he had the best shooting percentage for his position in the entire league.
Playing with big time aggression and intensity in the paint, he’s always on the lookout to throw it down on offense and swat it out on defense, his average jumped to 13.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
With a team without big expectations and bigger room to operate he has the chance to produce a season to remember.
Considering how well he’s performing since the start of the season, we might be looking at a comeback for the All-Star Derrick Rose.
It seems like he found a good place to get his groove back, catching the attention of the entire NBA by averaging 25 points and 5 assists with 50% from 3, 90% from the free throw line and an insane 64% from the field (yes, you read it right!!).
His performances have inspired the Pistons to play very well, charging up to every team they face and forcing the media outlets to keep a close eye on the Pistons and even putting an early prediction for a playoff spot if they were to maintain their form thanks to Rose balling out at the highest level.
“Derrick Rose is looking like an All-Star.”
Question is, will he be able to maintain his excellent form?
I say most probably, maybe his points per game will drop off a little bit to 23 or 22 per game but in the end I think he can keep these great stats up and potentially even make a push for a comeback to the All-Star lineup in the Eastern Conference.
By far, he’s the most shocking player this season. Trae Young is absolutely killing it.
In his first 3 games, which he led the Atlanta Hawks to a 2-1 record and could’ve been 3-0, Young averaged 34 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds on insane shooting splits of 70% from the field and 52% from 3.
With such brilliant numbers, he could very possibly lead the Hawks to a playoff spot.
In his first game he dropped 38 points as the Hawks topped the Pistons and then hit a cold-blooded dagger to finish off the Orlando Magic.
But the showcase was his 3rd game where the Hawks faced Eastern Conference favorites the Philadelphia 76ers, with him dropping 25 points and 9 assists in that game to put the whole league on notice.
It’s true that he was expected to improve, but nobody expected him to drop almost 40 points in his first two games.