The NBA has been back for a couple weeks now. Every team has played at least five games. There have been plenty of suprises and disappointments so far. Today I’ll be listing five players that have been impressive so far. It is early, so these players might come back down to earth, but for now, each of these guys have been very good. (These players are in no particular order.) There are plenty of guys who have been impressive, but I just picked five. Let’s get in to the list.
Despite the Celtics starting off only 3-3, Jaylen Brown has been excellent. He’s averaging 27 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Those are definent All-Star numbers. I knew Jaylen Brown was going to be good this year, but not this good. Of course, Kemba Walker hasn’t returned yet, and when he does Jaylen’s numbers could take a hit. But maybe not. Kemba is an unselfish player, and since Jaylen’s playing this well, Kemba might slide into a third option role. With Jaylen playing like this, the Celtics will have a much better shot at making (and maybe even winning) the Finals. Even if they don’t do it this year, they’ll be set for a long time with JB and Jayson Tatum.
Christain Wood is playing like an All-Star so far. He’s put up 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game in the Rockets first four games. I haven’t watched the Rockets yet this year, but Wood’s performance in the first few weeks are making me excited to tune in. Wood is a great shooter, and the rim protection he’s shown this year just makes him look ten times better. He’s primed for a great career where he could even make a few All-Star games if he keeps this up. Wood is a perfect fit next to Harden, as a big who can shoot, catch lobs, and play defense. Maybe Harden will consider staying in Houston because of how good Christian Wood has been so far.
Julius Randle is potentially the worst 20 point-per-game scorer ever. His shot selection is sometimes questionable, he is kind of a ball stopper, and he isn’t a great defender for his size (0.5 career BPG). But this year, the Knicks are 3-3 (pulling off big wins against the Bucks and the Pacers), and Julius Randle has been their guy. He’s averaging 21 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists (far and away a career high), and shooting 50% from three. Those are crazy good numbers, especially for a guy like Randle. I don’t really expect him to keep up those numbers throughout the whole season (mostly just the assists and 3-point percentage), but if he averages 21/10/5 on a Knicks team that can somehow stay in the playoff hunt, then Julius could make and All-Star game. I’m probably overreacting a little with the All-Star part, but his play has been that good. Julius Randle is looking like he could surpass his title as the worst 20 PPG scorer ever.
Jerami Grant got a large contract this offseason, a contract that usually goes to a top option on a team. Grant had been a off-ball scorer for the first six years of his career, with a lot of his value coming on defense. But this year, he’s come out showing that’s he’s worth the big deal. He’s averaging 23 points and 5 rebounds. He’s showcased improved shot creation, which is a big factor in his increased production. Usually players in Grant’s situation would be inefficient, but Grant has shot decently well (44% from the field, 33% from three). This Pistons have started off 1-4, which isn’t a suprise, but Grant has still been great. He’s entering the prime of his career this season (he’ll turn 27 in March), but he could still improve even more and become a top 3-and-D power forward.
Donte simply doesn’t miss. He’s shot a sizzling 63% from three so far this year. Those are video game numbers. Obviously, efficiency like that isn’t sustainable, but if Donte can shoot 45% this year, that would be huge. He’s becoming a big part of the Bucks offense. His shot creation could still use a little work, but luckily there’s no rush for Donte because he has Giannis, Middleton, and Jrue to handle that for him. He’s only 24, and still has a lot of room to grow. But if he continues to be a knock down shooter like he has been, he’ll be a big player alongside Giannis for the forseeable future.
So those are five players I’ve found impressive! Do you agree with my picks, or do you disagree? Who else have you found impressive? I hope you enjoyed reading!
(Look for five disappointing players in the near future)