Hidden NBA Gems Guaranteed to Break out Next Season

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Hidden NBA Gems Guaranteed to Break out Next Season
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The mid-range game is nearly dead in the NBA, but but a few under-the-radar shooters are primed to exploit the league's forgotten shot on the way to surprising seasons in 2013-14.

Before we name names, a little context is necessary.

In today's NBA, when an offensive player attempts a mid-range jumper—even one that's uncontested—the defense generally views the possession as a win. As analytics have grown in popularity, the best defenses are working to limit opponents' opportunities at the rim and from beyond the arc.

It's not complicated; the most efficient scoring opportunities should be the ones that defenses spend the most energy trying to limit.

But as teams sell out in their efforts to shut down high-percentage scoring chances, there might be some room for a select few players to take advantage of the lack of attention paid to the mid-range area.

Now, "break out" is a loaded term, one typically reserved for up-and-coming studs on the way to stardom.

In this instance, we'll take a look at some of the players whose excellent mid-range games give them a real chance to make a huge impact. Even when these guys are open from 17 feet, defenses will cover up three-point shooters and sag into the middle, inviting a long two-pointer.

Unlikely as it may seem, these players are in a position to break out by attacking the weak spots in today's defensive trends.

*Note: Great mid-range shooters like LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Stephen Curry aren't included here. If you think they qualify as "hidden," I'm not sure what to tell you.

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