NBA Primetime: The 2009-'10 Sophomore Surprises
We all saw athletes like Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez, D.J. Augustin, Jason Thompson, Mario Chalmers, and even Courtney Lee step up and produce efficient numbers throughout their rookie campaign last season.
While those guys enjoyed tremendous success last year, other rookies unfortunately did not receive the opportunity to shine in the spotlight and ultimately show off their skills.
With the 2009-'10 season underway, NBA Primetime presents to you the second year players that are finally getting their chance to become publicized in the NBA world.
The 2009-'10 NBA Sophomore Surprises
1. Danilo Gallinari (SF, NYK)
Four games into the NBA season and the sixth pick of the 2008 NBA draft is already turning heads, averaging 19.3 PPG while shooting 19-for-42 from beyond the three-point arc.
After playing in only 28 games last season due to injury, Gallinari is getting the liberty to step into the starting lineup and show what he is really about.
The Italian is off to a scorching start to the NBA season and will undoubtedly be in the race for the biggest sophomore surprise this year.
2. Anthony Randolph (PF, GS)
Randolph showed glimpses of his potential near the end of last season when he began to play consistent minutes. This year Randolph has been given the starting nod from head coach Don Nelson and will definitely use it to his advantage.
Standing 6'10", Randolph has the extreme athleticism and arsenal to break into the spotlight.
With a few more years of experience under his belt, Randolph can emerge into one of the most dynamic and successful forwards in the NBA today.
3. Marreese Speights (PF, PHI)
With Elton Brand succumbing to injury last season, forward Marreese Speights obtained additional minutes, showing signs of serious upside during his 16 MPG.
In three games this season Speights has averaged 16.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 1.0 BPG in only 23.0 MPG.
Coming off of the bench for Philly, Speights should continue to raise his playing time if he can keep up the stellar production.
If he can remain reliable and consistent, Brand might be forced to come off the bench, which would inevitably lower his minutes and give Speights more opportunity to breakout.
4. Roy Hibbert (C, IND)
7'2" center Roy Hibbert led the preseason in BPG with 3.6 a game. Since Hibbert does not receive much recognition being on a beat down Pacers squad, not many people know about this guy.
At the young age of 22, Hibbert has an ample amount of time to improve on his overall game before he enters his prime.
If the big fella can keep his season average of 7.5 RPG around that area and continue to produce on the defensive end, he can quickly become a solid center in fantasy play.
5. Ryan Anderson (PF, ORL)
After being traded to the Magic during the offseason, forward Ryan Anderson has done nothing but impress Orlando fans.
The second-year man is shooting 55 percent from the three-point line (11-for-20 3PM) and is averaging 17.3 PPG in just 25.7 minutes of action.
With All-Star Rashard Lewis out of the lineup, Anderson has become the starting power-forward for Orlando and since he has played so spectacularly, the Magic might be forced to start Lewis at the small-forward position once he returns to the court.
If you have not had the opportunity to watch Anderson this season, I highly suggest that you watch a few game recaps on this phenomenal shooter.
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