With the 2008-09 NBA season set to begin this week, COED is doing its best to prepare fans with what to watch for during the new season (besides the NBA cheerleaders). Our first look into the league will identify the top five youngsters who are primed to bust out this season and put up bigger numbers than expected. Without further adieu, the top 5 players you can expect a breakout season from.
1. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
Rondo’s maturation was just beginning as he led the Celtics to the title last season. But with a championship to boost his confidence and a full year to learn from Sam Cassell, one would only expect the young athletic point guard to continue to improve towards becoming elite.
2. Wilson Chandler, New York Knicks
The second year small forward from DePaul will be an ideal fit for new Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. The athletic wingman has the tools to become the same type of ultra productive combo forward that Shawn Marion was for Coach D while playing in Phoenix.
3. Amir Johnson, Detroit Pistons
New Coach Michael Curry will break up the ancient front line combo of Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess and insert the spry big man into the starting power forward slot. Johnson will thrive in the post and put up huge numbers on the glass and in the lane as a shot-blocking menace.
4. Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks
Horford was a steady and solid player in the paint as a rookie last season for the Atlanta Hawks, but will be called upon for more production this season. Horford began picking up steam in the playoffs and showed the fans of Atlanta that he plays the game with intensity as evidence by his screaming at Paul PIerce amidst the near-upset in the first round.
5. Jose Calderon, Toronto Raptors
For the first time in his career, Calderon will be the starting point guard for the Raptors. Now that T.J. Ford has been dealt to Indiana, Calderon will have full reigns of this team and only figures to add to his career highs of 11.2 points and 8.3 assists per game he posted last season coming off the bench.
Of These 5 Players Who Will Have The Biggest Breakout Season?