NBA Week – NBA Season Preview: 2011-2012 Breakout Players

December 26, 2011

News, Sports

Initial Outlook: I previewed what will be the top storylines for the season. The next thing I wanted to talk about are the young players who could potentially break out as stars during the 2011-2012 season.

Breakout Players

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan – 6’11, 265

2010-2011 Stats: 7.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.8 blks

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Position: Center

Player Breakdown: Jordan is a player that I’ve always been high on; I even rated him as one of the top players in the 2008 NBA Draft. He finally started to live up to his potential during the 2010-2011 season. The exciting young center was rewarded with a 4-year contract worth 43 million dollars by the Golden State Warriors, but the Clippers matched the contract.  They were given that right, because Jordan was a restricted free agent.

The Clippers traded for Chris Paul, which fits perfectly with Jordan’s high-flying style. Jordan will flourish with Paul running the point. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him average a double-double and continue to become one the top young centers in the league.

Jeff Teague

Jeff Teague

Jeff Teague – 6’2, 181

2010-2011 Stats: 5.2 ppg, 2.0 apg

Team: Atlanta Hawks

Position: Point Guard

Player Breakdown: Teague has been a back up point guard most of his career. He stepped to the forefront during last year’s postseason, after an injury to the Hawks’ former starting point guard Kirk Hinrich. He averaged over 14 points a game. Teague should continue his ascent this season, and I think he will become one of the surprise players of the shortened 2011-2012 season.

Paul George

Paul George

Paul George – 6’10, 224

2010-2011 Stats: 7.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.0 stls

Team: Indiana Pacers

Position: Small Forward

Player Breakdown: George is player that I was high on during the 2010 NBA Draft. I felt the Pacers got a steal when they took him — even if they had Danny Granger, who has a similar skill set. George had a solid rookie season, but he was just a role player for the Pacers. The versatile swingman should become one of the Pacers’ key players during the 2011-2012 season. If he averages 20 points a game, I wouldn’t be shocked. The two inches he grew over the off-season shouldn’t hurt, either.

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee – 7’1, 260

2010-2011 Stats: 10.1 ppg. 8.0 rpg. 2.4 blks.

Team: Washington Wizards

Position: Center

Player Breakdown: I’ve always thought McGee had a world of potential. He was inconsistent the first two years of his career with the Wizards. Washington then took John Wall — one of the best fast break point guards to come along in a while. The freakishly talented center finally started to put it together. He became one of the top shot blockers in the NBA, and he also placed second to Blake Griffin in the 2011 dunk contest.

McGee dedicated himself during the off-season, gaining close to 15 pounds, and also worked on his post game, which was on display in the preseason. Dwight Howard is the only legitimate all-star center in the Eastern Conference — McGee might join him as the second center in the 2012 NBA All-Star game.

Evan Turner

Evan Turner

Evan Turner – 6’7, 210

2010-2011 Stats: 7.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.0 apg

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Position: Shooting Guard

Player Breakdown: Turner had a pathetic rookie season for a player that was taken with the 2nd pick. He just could never get in a groove on the court, and 76ers Head Coach Maurice Cheeks decided not to start him, which is uncommon for such a high draft choice.

Turner didn’t take it lying down, and the highly skilled swingman came into training camp a new man. He had a solid preseason, but Cheeks still has said Jodie Meeks will start ahead of him. I don’t expect this to last long — Turner will break out this season, and should become one of top young guards in the league.

Other Names To Watch: Anthony Randolph (Minnesota), Wesley Johnson (Minnesota), Larry Sanders (Milwaukee), Jordan Hill (Houston Rockets), Devin Ebanks (L.A. Lakers)

Final Outlook: There are some other players I wanted to mention, but I felt it best to only mention the players that are most likely to emerge. It’s unrealistic to believe all of them will become stars this year, but they all should make some noise during the season.

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