The first week of the NBA regular season gave us a glimpse of what we will see throughout the year. Despite being early in the season, a couple of players are making some rumble.
We had some individual performances the last couple of weeks with Luka Doncic making history, Karl-Anthony Towns playing like the best two way center of the league and Trey Young being the leader of the young Hawks, until a minor injury put a stop to his impressive streak. There were great expectations from these players and they seem to have been fulfilling them until now. But, Pacers and Heat weren’t in our radar until Malcolm Brogdon and Kendrick Nunn started to make some “noise”.
Brogdon signed an 85$ million deal last summer and until now is leading the 3-3 Pacers with some incredibly good performances. The “President” is averaging 22.3 points, about 10 assist and 5.7 rebounds per contest in the first six games of his team. The Pacers found an unexpected star, until Victor Oladipo comes back to the court, that helped them achieve victory in the last three games against Brooklyn, Cleveland and Chicago. Last season, Brodgon’s role was vital for the Milwaukee Bucks with his ability to attack the paint,especially in the defensive close outs, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe “enjoyed” the full attention of the opposing defense, when they were leaping to the basket.
Although, Brogdon’s point guard duties got increased playing in a Pacers team without Oladipo, he still has a respectful turnover to assist ratio (3.41) that ranks him as the 26th best player in the league. The “President’s” ability to make that leap in his game this season will play a vital role in Indiana’s Playoff aspirations, if Brogdon starts to shoot a little better (46.9% in FG% and 34% from the arc), while getting used to his new role as a Pacer and Victor Oladipo returns in full health, then Indiana could become a powerful candidate for a “deep” run in the season.
Kendrick Nunn is also living his best days of his life in basketball, while playing for Miami Heat this season. After spending a year in the G League, Nunn has looked perhaps as good as any rookie through the first two weeks of the season. The 24 years old guard is scoring 19.8 points on a 48.4% in FG% and a 44% clip from the three point line. His shooting ability standouts in his game, but his fearless approach is the most impressive part of his on-court “character”.
His strong upper body can take the “punishment” in the paint averaging a 57% in FG% percentage in the restricted area, while he is shooting an incredible 46% from deep three point position(20 feet and beyond). As a result, the rookie guard of the Miami Heat has set the NBA record for most points by an undrafted player through his first five games, holding the record for the most points by a Miami Heat rookie in their first five games.
Moreover, he’s the first rookie to reach 100 points in his first five games since Kevin Durant did it in the 2007-08 season. The Miami Heat found gold in this instance and got a new offensive weapon for the season ahead, who needs a couple of his skills to be polished in order to become integrated part of the NBA. Nunn has to start creating for others(averaging only 3.0 assists per game), if he wants to become a legit Rookie of the Year candidate and an all-star caliber player in the future. There will be plenty of time for that in the Miami Heat , who signed him on a three years unguaranteed deal last summer.
*The stats appertain to the first six games of the season
*Stats from NBA.com