Top 5 NBA Players With Something To Prove
Every season there are new players that may feel the need to prove themselves in one way or another. Whether it be proving that they can be the player that people expect them to be, or fitting into the role that they were brought in for.
So who needs to prove themselves this season?
5. Lonzo Ball/New Orleans Pelicans
Lonzo doesn’t receive the amount of hate that some other players do, but he may receive the most unjustified hate. A lot of it came from the hype that his dad was placing on him and his brothers. When healthy, Lonzo is an excellent playmaking point guard. This will be his season to show that he is a leader, on a young, but very talented New Orleans roster.
4. Andrew Wiggins/Minnesota Timberwolves
Wiggins has always been a hot topic since he entered the league. From being drafted by the Cavs, to getting traded to the Timberwolves right away, to being the potential face of their future. Wiggins showed promise that earned him a huge contract extension from the Timberwolves. Then the Timberwolves got Karl-Anthony Towns to add to Wiggins, Zach Lavine, and Ricky Rubio. Many people, especially me, thought that team was going to become a championship squad. Not only did they not reach those goals, but they ended up disbanding. During that time, Wiggins sort of just fell apart. His scoring went down, his defense disappeared, and at times he looked like he didn’t even want to play. Part of Wiggins reasoning was not meshing with Coach Tom Thibodeau. He will now get a full season with Ryan Saunders who is more of a players coach. This is his season to prove that he can be the player he has the potential to be. Otherwise, he may find himself on the trading block.
3. Jayson Tatum/Boston Celtics
The Celtics have moved on from Kyrie Irving. Al Horford is in Philadelphia. Gordon Hayward has yet to prove he can return to being the top guy he was in Utah. This leaves Tatum and Kemba Walker as the leaders of this franchise. Tatum had an odd sophomore season. He finished with better numbers in terms of points, rebounds, assists, and steals. This would generally be a good thing that fans would be excited about. However, Tatum was less efficient in terms of overall shooting. He also didn’t make “the jump” that many thought he would make. Tatum knows he didn’t do what people thought he would, but he is ready to take the next step.
2. Steph Curry/Golden State Warriors
Curry is an intriguing player on this list. It is hard to believe that a player with the list of accomplishments that Curry has would have to prove himself. He has two MVP awards, three NBA titles, and five straight NBA Finals appearances, yet here he is. Curry’s accomplishments have been “tarnished” because his first title was against an injury riddled Cavalier team. His other titles came with Kevin Durant and the infamous “Super Team”. Curry is now without Durant and his fellow sharpshooter, Klay Thompson. This should give him plenty of opportunities to prove why this is his team and why he is a top-five player in the league.
1. LeBron James/Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron is another player that it is hard to believe he could have anything to prove. He is literally one of the most decorated and successful players to ever take the court. Yet every year, LeBron has to prove his worth to the league, the fans, and the media. You would struggle to find another player that faces such an extreme amount of both love and hate. No matter what the overall talent level has been on his team, anything short of a championship is unacceptable. For most players, these would be minor blemishes on an otherwise stellar record. For LeBron, they are chalked up as failure on his part. Now that he has Anthony Davis on his team, those championship expectations are as high as they have ever been. Media outlets have made them a favorite. Their own team sent out a “warning” after their first preseason win. All of this makes the target on the Lakers big, but the biggest target is on LeBron.