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5 NBA Players To Watch This 2013-2014 Season

Updated: October 31, 2013

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Photo from turnontheknicks.com

The mainstream media outlets have told us all to watch out for the Derrick Rose return, and to keep an eye on Lebron James, as well as monitoring Kobe Bryant’s return from his Achilles injury.  Thanks for stating the obvious, but let’s take a real look at some players to watch out for this upcoming NBA season that won’t be talked about to nausea on a nightly basis.

Danny Granger, F, Indiana Pacers

Danny Granger is one year removed from being the leading scorer on the Indiana Pacers.  He missed almost all of last season with an injury and Indiana didn’t seem to miss him at all, losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.  With Paul George’s emergence as a superstar in this league, how will Granger fit into this established team?  Granger is in a contract year and motivated to come back healthy and perform.  My guess is the Pacers look to deal him for an upgrade at the point guard spot before the deadline.  George Hill, their current point guard, plays better off the ball.

Victor Oladipo, G, Orlando Magic

Victor Oladipo was the most complete player coming into this past NBA draft.  The Magic decided to take him second overall and they won’t regret it.  Oladipo has a high motor, great on ball defensive skills, and a solid offensive game.  Look for him to prosper under Jameer Nelson’s veteran presence while building a solid future relationship with Tobias Harris and Mo Harkless.  I see the Magic shocking some people this year and being better than advertised.

Iman Shumpert, G, New York Knicks

We all remember his put back slam in last year’s playoffs against the Pacers and who didn’t love the “Fresh Prince” flat top.  This year, let’s focus on his game as he develops into Carmelo Anthony’s wingman.  The Knicks have been searching for a number two scorer ever since the realization that Amar’e Stoudemire cannot be counted on.  Iman must step it up to an All-Star level in order for the Knicks to compete in the Eastern Conference this year.  He is now healthy and possesses all of the ability.  Shump is an elite defender and athlete.  His jump shot has improved this off season and if he can become consistent from beyond the arc, he will be hard to handle.

Jrue Holiday, G, New Orleans Pelicans

Jrue Holiday was part of the big trade this offseason that  essentially sent Jrue to the Pelicans as the 76ers acquired Nerlens Noel with their acquired pick.  This trade sent shockwaves through the NBA, because a 23 year old, rising star in the NBA was dealt.  Look for Jrue to explode as an All Star in New Orleans.  He is now paired with young talent such as sharp shooter Eric Gordon, big man Anthony Davis, and a sparkplug off the bench in Tyreke Evans.  Keep an eye on Jrue as he emerges as one of the league’s elite point guards.

Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons

A 6’10” freak of an athlete who was drafted 9th overall in last season’s draft is primed to take the next step in his career.  Drummond averaged about 8 points and 8 rebounds in his rookie campaign, playing only 20 minutes a game.  His minutes will increase this season and I see him pushing Greg Monroe into the power forward spot, which will cause massive mismatches for the opposition.  Andre is built in the mold of a Deandre Jordan and may have more ability to score.  I like the Pistons this year, with their acquisitions of Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith, to finish as a six or seven seed in the East.

This post was written by

James Cherrick – who has written posts on Big Dog Sports Blog.


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