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Every Team's Most Surprising Player So Sar In The Season

I will be naming 1 surprising player per team and naming some honorable mentions, if applicable, but as we know, there are some teams that probably have no surprising players, so if your team has none, I am sorry.

(Via Noah Graham, Getty Images)

Atlanta Hawks: DeAndre Hunter

I think DeAndre Hunter is the breakout player for the Hawks because coming into the season, this Hawks team is much better than it was last season, with the addition of Dejounte Murray and I thought that Hunter would either be putting up the same stats as last year or worse, but he is putting up slightly better stats than he did last year.

Last Year: 13.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 44% FG, 38% 3P, 77% FT

This Year: 15.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 0.9 APG, 46% FG, 37% 3P, 79% FT

Honorable Mention: Dejounte Murray

Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum

Can we have a player that was All-NBA last season be a breakout player? In the case of Jayson Tatum, that is totally possible, because he exceeded all our expectations so far this season and is a top 3 MVP candidate. The Celtics are also on a tear this season and currently hold the 2nd best record in the whole league and that is all because of the play of Tatum.

Brooklyn Nets: No One

I was tempted to put KD as a surprising player, but we all expected KD to go off and no one else on the team is doing anything, besides Kyrie, but he was suspended and looks like he is only returning on Sunday.

Charlotte Hornets: Dennis Smith Jr.

Dennis Smith Jr. was nearly out of the league last year and I did not expect him to get a roster spot this season, but he did and not only did he get a roster spot, but he started a couple of games, cause Lamelo was injured and he played really well, averaging 10 PPG and 6 APG and now with Lamelo injured again, he might start a couple more games.

Honorable Mention: Kelly Oubre

Chicago Bulls: Ayo Dosunmu

With Lonzo being injured, Ayo was slotted into the starting lineup and he has played his role very well, especially on defense. His offense is also really good, averaging 11 PPG, 4 RPG, 3 APG on the season. This was not really surprising to me, but he is the only light of hope for the Bulls, besides their big 3 of Lavin, DeMar, and Vuc.

Honorable Mentions: Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond

Cleveland Cavaliers: Donovan Mitchell

Coming into the season, I expected Mitch to play at an all-star level again as he has for the past couple of seasons, but I did not expect him to play at an MVP level like he has been doing so far this season. He is currently averaging 31 PPG, 5 RPG, and 6 APG on nearly 50/40/90 splits, which is just absolutely crazy.

Dallas Mavericks: No One

We expected Luka to play like this and I was tempted to put Wood, but he put up numbers like this last season, so did we really expect him to put up worse stats? We can see that this team was built around Luka, but the Mavs have not done a great job, of building this team. It is just Luka that is carrying them to an above .500 record.

Denver Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr.

Coming Back from injury, I did not expect MPJ to play that amazing, but so far this season, he has been tremendous and his efficiency is so good as well. He is averaging 17 PPG, 6 RPG, 1 APG on 48/46/86 shooting splits. Yes, you heard that correctly, he is shooting 46% from 3 and he is attempting 7 3s per game.

Detroit Pistons: Bojan Bogdanovic

As one of the only vets on a team full of young guys, I did not expect Bojan to get many minutes, cause I thought the Pistons would use this season to develop some of their young guys. But Bojan has been starting and has not disappointed. He is currently averaging 20 PPG, 4 RPG, and 2 APG on 50/42/88 splits.

Golden State Warriors: Anthony Lamb

Coming into this season, I don't think many of you knew who Anthony Lamb was and he was in the g league for the past 2 seasons. Even this season, he is on a 2-way contract, but Kerr still trusts him to play over Moody and Kuminga. His stats don't jump out of the water, but going into the season, most people would not have expected him to get minutes over Moody and Kuminga. He is currently averaging 9 PPG, 4 RPG, and 2 APG.

Houston Rockets: Alperen Sengun

Coming into this season, I expected Sengun to have a decent season and maybe improve his stats from last season, but did not expect this much improvement. The Rockets are still tied for last place in the league and are in the Wemby sweepstakes, but with the way Sengun is playing, I don't know if they need Wemby and if they get the first pick, they might look to trade down. Sengun is currently averaging 16 PPG, 9 RPG, and 2 APG on 57% from the field.

Indiana Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin

Mathurin definitely surprised me so far because I did not expect him to be a top 2 rookie and so far, he has been just that. Coming into the season, I expected Paolo, Jabari, Keegan, and Ivery to all be better and Mathurin has proved that being a top 5 pick does not mean that you will actually be better and the system also matters. Mathurin is currently averaging 20 PPG, 4 RPG, and 2 APG

Honorable Mentions: Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner, and Buddy Hield

LA Clippers: No One

I have absolutely nothing to say cause of how mid this team has been so far this season.

LA Lakers: Lonnie Walker IV

Lonnie Walker has been 1 of the few bright spots for the Lakers this season. Aside from the big 2 of AD and Bron, plus Russ, Lonnie is the only other guy contributing. He is currently averaging 17 PPG, 3 RPG, and 2 APG on 47/36/81 shooting splits.

Honorable Mention: Russell Westbrook

Memphis Grizzlies: Desmond Bane

Coming into the season, I did not expect Desmond Bane to be playing at a near all-star level. Based on the guards in the west, it is likely that Bane will not make the all-star team, but he is still playing at an all-star level. He is the best player to have besides Ja with his shooting ability. He is currently averaging 25 PPG, 5 RPG and 5 APG 47/45/91 shooting splits. He could be a contender for MIP, if he keeps up these stats till the end of the season, but only time will tell.

Miami Heat: Max Strus

Through the first 15 games, Strus has been absolutely amazing in his role, which is basically to score the ball. Doesn't matter if he is starting or coming off the bench, he just plays his role perfectly. He is currently averaging 15 PPG, 4 RPG and 2 APG.

Milwaukee Bucks: Jevon Carter

This might be a bit of recency bias, but Jevon Carter has looked amazing in the games that Jrue Holiday has missed and shows just how amazing the depth of the Bucks is. Carter is currently averaging 10 PPG, 3 RPG and 4 APG.

Honorable Mention: Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday and basically the whole team

Minnesota Timberwolves: No One

This team has arguably been one of the most disappointing teams in the whole league, so no one is surprising on this team.

New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Murphy

So far this season, Trey has been one of the most efficient shooters in the whole league and the stats show it. He is averaging 12 PPG, 5 RPG and 1 APG on 49/43/96 shooting splits. He is nearly shooting 50/40/90 on the season and I don't expect his efficiency to fall that much as the season progresses.

New York Knicks: Jalen Brunson

I expected Brunson to improve his stats as the primary playmaker on a team with other scorers, so it is not that surprising that he is playing really well, but it is enough to make this list. He is currently averaging 20 PPG, 4 RPG and 7 APG on 50/31/89 shooting splits.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai is currently playing at a near MVP level and can single-handedly carry this Thunder team to the playoffs if he continues to play the way he has been playing. I would have expected him to maybe play at a borderline all-star level, but I did not expect MVP-level play from him. He is currently averaging 32 PPG, 5 RPG, and 6 APG on 55/40/91 shooting splits. If he keeps this up, he could become just the second player to average 30 PPG on 50/40/90 splits, following Steph Curry.

Orlando Magic: Bol Bol

Bol Bol has finally found his stride in the NBA and is showing his true talents for the Magic so far this season. His defense, combined with his 3-point shooting ability has been tremendous. He is currently averaging 12 PPG, 8 RPG and 2 BPG.

Honorable Mention: Paolo Banchero

Philadelphia 76ers: Tyrese Maxey

As a 3rd option, I did not expect Maxey to have this kind of start to the season, but we probably should have expected it, cause the rest of the sixers roster is set up to space the floor perfectly and that can let Maxey cook, but unfortunately some of the other players on the team can't make their shots, so Maxey can't really improve his playmaking, but that is fine, cause his scoring ability has improved a lot. He is currently averaging 23 PPG, 3 RPG and 4 APG.

Phoenix Suns: Mikal Bridges

He is playing the same tremendous defense as he did last season, but his offense has improved a lot and I could see him getting votes for the all-star game this season if he keeps it up. He is currently averaging 16 PPG, 5 RPG, and 4 APG.

Portland Trailblazers: Anfernee Simons

The Blazers are currently the number 1 team in the west and Anfernee Simons is a huge part of the reason why. Even with Dame out for a couple of games, the Blazers still found a way to win, cause Simons has scored when he needed to and has been able to create for others as well. He is currently averaging 22 PPG, 3 RPG, and 4 APG on 42/38/86 shooting splits.

Honorable Mention: Jerami Grant

Sacramento Kings: Kevin Huerter

Coming into this season, I was not sure who was getting the starting spot, but Huerter got it and I was excited to see what he can do, and boy did he amaze me. The SG spot was seen as the weak spot for the Kings going into the season and now it is one of the best positions for them and the main reason why they are the best team in CA rn. Both Huerter and Monk have been surprising so far, but I had to choose one, so I chose Huerter, cause he is starting and putting up better stats. He is currently averaging 17 PPG, 3 RPG, and 3 APG51/53/67 shooting splits. If he just improves his FT shooting, he could be much better and hopefully the Kings can finally end their playoff drought this season.

Honorable Mention: Malik Monk

San Antonio Spurs: Keldon Johnson

Even though they have been one of the worst teams in the league so far, they have had some bright spots and Keldon Johnson has been one of them. He is shooting the lights out from 3 and his scoring is the only reason the Spurs are not the worst team in the league. He is currently averaging 23 PPG, 5 RPG, and 4 APG on 45/42/78 shooting splits.

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby

OG is currently the front-runner for DPOY in my opinion, but his offense is also really good this season, and I definitely did not expect his offense to be good or his defense to be good enough to win DPOY, but I was wrong about both. He is currently averaging 18 PPG, 6 RPG, and 3 SPG.

Utah Jazz: Lauri Markkanen

In my opinion, Markkanen is currently the front-runner for MIP and is the main reason why the Jazz are near the top of the West. Every time I watch the Jazz, I am even more impressed with the way Markkanen is playing and he is finally finding his footing in the league, after being drafted 7th back in 2017. He is currently averaging 21 PPG, 8 RPG, and 2 APG on 52/35/83 shooting splits.

Honorable Mention: Jordan Clarkson

Washington Wizards: Kyle Kuzma

I really wanted to put no one here, cause the Wizards being good is more of a team effort and I am not really surprised with anyone, but because they are good, I had to put someone and landed on Kuz because he is playing slightly better than he did last year. He is currently averaging 18 PPG, 8 RPG, and 3 APG on 46/32/74 shooting splits

Hope you guys enjoyed reading


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