Tag:Sacramento Kings
Posted on: October 22, 2010 1:12 pm
 

Top NBA Players Stepping Into Stardom This Season

The top NBA players stepping into stardom this season are players that have never made it to the All-Star game. These players performed exceptionally well last season and have the tools to lift their game to the next level this year.

With the NBA season quickly approaching, NBAPrimetime’s Brandon Ribak presents the top NBA players stepping into stardom this season.

Tyreke Evans (G, SAC)

If winning the Rookie of the Year Award isn’t enough to convince you that Tryeke Evans is destined to become an All-Star this season then maybe this little fun fact will.

Evans was one of only four players to ever average at least 20 PPG, 5 APG, and 5 RPG during his rookie season.

The other three?

Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. Pretty good company, huh?

Being just 21 years of age, the Memphis alum has all the weapons in his arsenal to improve on last seasons statistics, making him a legitimate candidate for the All-Star selection.

Andrea Bargnani (C, TOR)

Andrea Bargnani was viewed as somewhat of a bust after being selected with the first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.

With averages of just 12.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 0.8 BPG on 42.1 FG% during his first three years, it was reasonable for Raptors fans to get a bit concerned about their former first overall draft pick.

But after last seasons performance (17.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 1.4 BPG on 47.0 FG%) and the departure of Chris Bosh this offseason, Bargnani has instantly become the face of the Toronto Raptors’ franchise.

Without Bosh taking up 20+ PPG and 10+ RPG, Bargnani’s stats will inevitably increase, giving him potential to average close to a double-double per night (with well above 20 points per contest).

Aaron Brooks (PG, HOU)

Aaron Brooks took home the Most Improved Player Award last season and rightfully so. The point-guard out of Oregon dropped 19.6 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 2.6 RPG in 82 games played.

He managed to lead the league in three-pointers made per game and drained the most three-pointers (209) in the entire NBA.

Brooks has officially become an upper echelon point-guard in the league and has the potential to continue to improve at the age of 25.

Brooke Lopez (C, NJN)

If you don’t know much about Brooke Lopez now, you certainly will after this upcoming season.

Lopez boasts career averages of 15.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 1.7 BPG on 51.2 percent shooting from the field.

At the age of 22, the seven-footer is destined to improve on virtually every statistical category this season.

Last season Lopez posted just under 19 points and 9 rebounds per game, giving us a sign that a double-double per contest is well in reach.

The former Stanford Cardinal has proved very durable during his first two seasons in the league (failing to miss a game) and will be amongst the top centers in the Eastern Conference selected for the All-Star game this year.

Stephen Curry (PG, GS)

Many analysts doubted Stephen Curry and his potential due to his tiny 6’3″ and 183 lb. frame, boy were they wrong.

Curry finished his rookie campaign as one of the top candidates for the ROY award, averaging 17.5 PPG, 5.9 APG (led all rookies), 4.5 RPG, and 1.9 SPG (led all rookies) on 46.2 percent from the field, 43.7 percent from three-point territory, and 88.5 percent from the charity stripe.

Being just 22 years old, the sky is truly the limit for this young and upcoming point-guard.

Curry has potential to become a top five point-guard in the NBA this season with the chance to lead the league in steals per game, three-point shooting percentage, and/or free-throw percentage.

Joakim Noah (C, CHI)

Joakim Noah made a major leap last season when he grabbed down 11.0 rebounds per game (T-6th most in the NBA) along with 10.7 PPG and 1.6 BPG.

With the offseason signing of Carlos Boozer (out until December) Noah’s rebounds could take a hit, but his scoring and blocks per night should continue to rise.

The 25-year old has one of the top point-guards in the NBA in Derrick Rose and if he can manage to stay healthy for the duration of the season, the 6’11″ big man has the upside to emerge as one of the best centers in the league.

Kevin Love (PF, MIN)

Kevin Love ranked 14th in the NBA last season in double-doubles (36) and 10th amongst all big men.

The 6’10″ power-forward will have the opportunity to improve upon last seasons performance when he pulled down 11 rebounds per contest (T-6th best in the NBA) with starting center Al Jefferson shipped to the Utah Jazz.

Love has averaged just 26.7 minutes per game throughout his short two-year career and should see a major increase in playing time this season.

With more PT Love should be able to emerge as a top three rebounder in the NBA.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: October 5, 2010 12:24 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 12:27 pm
 

NBA 2010 Western Conference Preseason Rankings

The Western Conference has been the most dominate conference in the NBA for years, but after an off-season filled with transactions, that power has now shifted to the East.

Will the West, and by West I mean the Los Angeles Lakers, be able to make a three-peat this season?

Let’s cut to the chase to find out.

NBA Primetime’s Western Conference Preseason Rankings

1. Los Angeles Lakers- Last season record (57-25)

The back-to-back defending champs just so happened to improve on its only weakness this off-season, the bench. Steve Blake and Matt Barnes should provide the Lakers with plenty of spark off of the bench, keeping LA on top of the West until proven otherwise.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder- Last season record (50-32)

Kevin Durant has officially entered super-stardom in the NBA, but the rest of Oklahoma City’s roster must step up if they want any chance at rising to the one seed in the West. Regardless, the Thunder have a young core with massive upside (which is why they rank where they currently do).

3. Dallas Mavericks- Last season record (55-27)

Dallas is stacked with seven-footers, high-profiled players, and a franchise player who signed a contract extension this offseason. The Mavericks always enter every season as one of the elite teams in the West, but a strong playoff run is never definite.

4. San Antonio Spurs- Last season record (50-32)

The championship core is still intact, although a serious decline is approaching for Tim Duncan. The Spurs have assembled a solid group of youngsters (Hill, Blair, Splitter) over the years and it seems like their opportunity to step up is looming.

5. Denver Nuggets- Last season record (53-29)

With Carmelo Anthony still apart of the Nuggets roster (at least until the trade deadline), Denver will remain as a top competitor in the West. George Karl is back, Al Harrington will fill in for Kenyon Martin, and if everything goes well, the Nuggets should clinch another 50-win season.

6. Portland Trail Blazers- Last season record (50-32)

Both Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are tippy-toeing into their prime and if 22-year-oldGreg Oden can manage to stay healthy for an entire season (unlikely), the Blazers have the weapons (Wesley Matthews, Marcus Camby, Andre Miller) to make a run for the title.

7. Utah Jazz- Last season record (53-29)

Al Jefferson was a great addition to the team, especially after Carlos Boozer decided to sign with the Bulls. The Jazz have talent, but it seems like its never enough to pass the second-round hump with Los Angeles in the way.

8. Phoenix Suns- Last season record (54-28)

Phoenix will in no way shape or form repeat last seasons performance; but as long as Steve Nash is on the court dishing out the rock the Suns should be in contention for a playoff spot.

9. Houston Rockets- Last season record (42-40)

Yao will return to the court this season but plenty of questions surround the 7’6″ center. With Aaron Brooks leading the way for Houston and Kevin Martin easing into his role the Rockets will fight for a playoff seed, just like Phoenix.

10. New Orleans Hornets- Last season record (37-45)

Trevor Ariza is now apart of the team, Marcus Thornton should continue to improve, and Emeka Okafor could be in for a breakout season. Is a playoff seed a possibility for Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets?

11. Memphis Grizzlies- Last season record (40-42)

Memphis lacks depth since the majority of the team is built up of inexperienced young guns (only five players on the team are above the age of 28). Their starting five is solid with potential to get better, but a playoff appearance is against the odds.

12. Los Angeles Clippers- Last season record (29-53)

Good news is Blake Griffin will be on the court this season. Bad news is head-coach Vinny Del Negro criticized Baron Davis for reporting to training camp out of shape (and already has a few nagging injuries). The Clippers will need B-Diddy at his all-time best if they want to see even a small chance at reaching the postseason.

13. Golden State Warriors- Last season record (26-56)

New ownership + New head coach = better record this season? David Lee will quickly make his presence as one of the best big men in the Western Conference and the Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis duo should uplift Golden State to 30+ wins this season.

14. Sacramento Kings- Last season record (25-57)

Sacramento is another very young squad that has a chance to improve upon last seasons performance. They drafted a few solid big men and acquired seven-footer Samuel Dalembert this offseason. In addition, franchise player Tyreke Evans should be able to elevate his overall game to the next level.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves- Last season record (15-67)

Michael Beasley stated the the Timberwolves are the team to beat this season. After losing Al Jefferson (the teams best player) and failing to win more than 30 games in a season since the 06′-07′ season, it’s very tough for many to believe Beasley. Maybe next year (but probably not).

For more of Brandon’s content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com