Who’s Been Good Early: Part II

Earlier this week I picked one player from each Eastern Conference team that has played well early on this year. Today I have my Western Conference picks (again, I tried to avoid superstar players). These guys probably won’t sustain their current level of production but they have set themselves up for nice seasons.

Find Part I Here

*note: stats do not include Thursday games

Dallas Mavericks: Dejuan Blair has proven to be a reliable NBA player and he’s had no let up after moving to Dallas. In just 20 minutes per game he’s pulling down 8 boards.

Denver Nuggets: Timofey Mozgov has gotten an expanded role this season and is making the most of it. He’s shooting close to 60% and averaging 10ppg .

Golden State Warriors: Klay Thompson is shooting 47% from deep this season and 52% overall. Having him next to Curry is just unfair.

Houston Rockets: Jeremy Lin is ballin in Houston this year, shooting 51% from beyond the arc. This is probably a fluke (he’s never shot above 35% over a full season) but so far he’s on fire.

Los Angeles Clippers: Outside of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, no one on this team is playing particularly well. However, Jamal Crawford is shooting close to 50% so that’s good for him. (I really got nothing here, sorry).

Los Angeles Lakers: There are 10 players averaging at least 18 minutes per game on this team, showing that D’Antoni is back to his old ways. Jordan Hill has been an anchor starting the fast break, with a defensive rebound percentage of 25%.

Memphis Grizzles: Michael Conley stepped up after the departure of Rudy Gay last season and that has carried over to this year. He’s had to do a lot for an offensively challenged squad and is giving the griz 20ppg.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Until Kevin Martin cools off, he should just shoot every time he touches the ball. He’s shooting 55% on threes and has formed an on court connection with fellow star Kevin Love.

New Orleans Pelicans: At the moment, Anthony Davis looks like a lock for most improved player. He’s averaging 22ppg and 11rpg to go with 3 bpg. He’s also showing off a midrange jumper that has defenses wondering what to do against him.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Not only has Steven Adams found time on the floor with OKC, he’s played pretty well. Many thought Adams would be too raw to play much this year but he’s doing a little bit of everything in 20mpg.

Phoenix Suns: Miles Plumlee has been a revelation in Pheonix, showing a rather impressive offensive game. He’s tossing in running hooks and hitting 15 foot bank shots (I’m shocked by all of this). If he continues to play this way he’ll make a lot of money in this league.

Portland Trailblazers: Wesley Matthews is playing as good as he ever has, shooting 50% from deep and 54% overall. This is only his fourth NBA season so this could be more than just a fluke (obviously I’m not expecting 50% shooting but he should have a nice season).

Sacramento Kings: How can you not like Isaiah Thomas? The 5’9’’ guard is shooting great while averaging 18ppg and close to 5apg. He may be the type of leader that is badly needed in Sacramento.

San Antonio Spurs: Boris Diaw may look out of place on a basketball court, but he continues to produce for the Spurs. He’s giving them 10ppg in 23 minutes and his ability to pass and hit perimeter shots makes him a great fit on this team.

Utah Jazz: It turns out Gordon Hayward is pretty good at basketball. The percentages aren’t great but he’s averaging 20ppg and should be a great building block going forward for the Jazz.

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