15 Breakout Players: Eastern Conference

Josh BAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2008

Celtics: Rajon Rondo. Right now, he's a poor man's Tony Parker, but in his second full year of starting, expect him to reinforce how he contributed to the Celtics championship.

Nets: Josh Boone. Boone will receive a lot of playing time as a cornerstone of the rebuilding process. With more playing time, averaging a double-double could be in sight for the young center.

Knicks: Chris Duhon. He's no Steve Nash, but in the run-and-gun system, he will play Nash's role. The underrated passer will rack up the assists and drain the three pointers under D'Antoni's rule.

76er's: Lou Williams. Most would say Thaddeus Young, but he's still young and will probably need another year. However, Williams is the only good three-point shooter on the team and will probably see lots of time on the court. The 6er's clearly see something in him, enough to give him a five year deal.

Raptors: Andrea Bargnani. This year, it's breakout or bust for this No.1 overall pick. He should be a great spark off the bench.

Bulls: Joakim Noah. The guy's a douche, but it's undeniable that he did a lot in limited playing time last season. He's a proven winner and could do more then most think in possibly carrying the Bulls to the playoffs. Should get more opportunities to score and is adjusting to the strong centers of the NBA. Averaged a double-double per 36 minutes.

Cavaliers: Delonte West. We'll see how he does backing up Mo Williams, but he fits in perfectly with the team. In his first full year with the Cavs, West will be one of LeBron's first options when he can't find a shot after driving to the hoop.

Pistons: Jason Maxiell. Rasheed Wallace may finally fall off the map this year. The window of opportunity is closing for the Pistons and Maxiell should see more time off the bench. He will establish himself as a great defender and show some of him impressive post moves.

Pacers: Danny Granger. This was really hard for me to think of. There just isn't much young talent on this team. But this is the first year that Granger will have to carry the full load. He'll get more shots and rebounding opportunities. Not a very risky pick, but really, who else should I pick?

Bucks: Ramon Sessions. He showed during garbage time last year that he could be the steal of the 2007 draft. Ridnour is a terrible passer and doesn't fit into the Bucks system, so you'll see a lot of Sessions. He'll be the No.1 point guard of this struggling team.

Hawks: Al Horford. He may be one of the most dominant centers in the game this year. He's one of the most athletic players at his position and he's one of the most intelligent defenders. Nothing is stopping him from becoming a star.

Bobcats: Raymond Felton. Possible All-Star sleeper. He's one of the quickest guards in the league and he's a great defender. If his shooting reverts back to college form, he could develop into a complete player.

Heat: James Jones. You may have been expecting Daequan Cook, but he'll be seeing less playing time this year. Jones has progressed every year since coming to the league and will play a pivotal role off the Heat bench. The nation will see his amazing shooting.

Magic: Mickael Pietrus. I hate the French, but I'm glad to see this guy starting. He was underused off the Warriors bench and he'll show everyone how great he is at defending, scoring, and changing the tempo.

Wizards: Nick Young. Young was brilliant off the bench in his rookie year. Averaging seven ppg in only 15 minutes per game. As the teams primary 6th man this year, he'll become one of the league's best scorers off the bench.