NBA All-Hype Team for 2011-12 Season
Forget looking at the already proven players, there's no fun in analyzing and examining a player that we already know is good or bad.
Who we want to see analyzed are the players that are being hyped and projected at having a quality 2011-'12 campaign. Whether they're rookies or sophomore phenoms looking to break out, these players are spread out across the league and are looking to make a significant push towards a significant role on their respective team.
These hyped players are either entering their rookie season, or are coming off a solid rookie season and are now being looked at as being in competition for Most Improved Player. Instead of looking at the award, however, these specific sophomores will be looking towards improving from the previous season and thus garnering the respect of their organization.
We composed an entire lineup out of these players, so take a look at the all-hype team of 2011-'12.
Point Guard: Jimmer Fredette
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There's a lot of hype surrounding the kid from BYU. The Sacramento Kings are pulling some strings and moving pieces around in order to start him, and you better believe that they're expecting only greatness out of their point guard Jimmer Fredette.
Taken 10th by the Milwaukee Bucks and then traded to the Kings, Fredette was the talk of the NCAA world all of last year. He averaged 29 points per game while with the Cougars, but it was his three-point shooting that's led Fredette to being one of the most hyped perimeter players in recent history.
Hitting over three three-pointers per game at a 40 percent clip last season, Fredette was shooting beyond where the NBA line would have been, which was deemed as "Jimmer range." He has range as far out as Antoine Walker, but the only difference is that he can make the majority of those shots and not have them looked as ill-advised.
Despite being taken 10th, Fredette will be one of the most watched rookies this season as we see just how prolific of a shooter he can truly be.
Shooting Guard: Jordan Crawford
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Entering his second season in the NBA, I have a feeling that Jordan Crawford is going to be known as more than the guy who dunked on LeBron James.
After he was given up the Atlanta Hawks after 16 games, he would head to the Washington Wizards where open tryouts for young players with potential were commonplace. Crawford started in 18 of 26 games with Washington and showcased a great deal of talent, especially on the offensive end where he averaged 16 points per.
The points per game was nice, but that 39 percent field-goal percentage wasn't and neither was the 24 percent he shot from long range. He did average four assists and three boards per, but his shot selection was a little off at times and he should have become more of a passer than a shooter in certain situations.
In his first NBA season where he played in only 42 games, Crawford averaged 12 points, three assists, and three boards per. He's currently projected to get the start at the two for the Wizards as the team will look to add him into an already youthful and athletic lineup.
Small Forward: Gordon Hayward
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Set to replace Andrei Kirilenko at small forward, Butler's finest, Gordon Hayward will be entering his first season with a legitimate starting job in the NBA after an impressive rookie season where he avoided the bust label.
Hayward was under an immense amount of pressure after being selected ninth by the Jazz, but he responded well to the hype and had a solid season. Don't judge him on his final stats either as the five points and two boards per don't even begin to express just how quality of a player Hayward was in the second half of the season.
In the final game of the season, Hayward scored a career high 34 points in a win against Denver where he converted on five of his six three-point attempts. Prior to that, he had a 22 point game against the Lakers, a 19 point game against Sacramento, and an 18 point game against Minnesota where he nailed all five of his three-point attempts.
Hayward doesn't restrict himself to being a shooter either. He's not afraid to drive it and does have the athleticism to throw down over members of an opposing front court.
Power Forward: Derrick Favors
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The New Jersey Nets traded him to obtain Deron Williams, yet they might end up looking like the loser of that particular deal with the Utah Jazz.
How so? We'll just have to see the progression and development of former Net Derrick Favors. The Nets took the 19 year old with the third pick in the 2010 NBA draft and only gave him 56 games before trading him to the Jazz in order to bring in the All-Star point guard.
Favors got 23 starts with the Nets, but didn't get too many looks on account of his foul trouble. He was only averaging 20 minutes per and three personal fouls he was receiving per game wasn't helping his chances of making it into the full-time rotation. He averaged six points, five boards, and a block per in the short time he played with New Jersey.
Now with Utah, Favors will play the role of backup to current power forward Paul Millsap. However, that is subject to change if Derricks is ready to take his game to the next level. We have seen the potential and capability that he has as an athlete and it results in him being a top-tier shot blocker as well as an excellent defender and rebounds, especially on the offensive glass.
Center: DeAndre Jordan
Replacing Chris Kaman as the Los Angeles Clippers center, DeAndre Jordan appears to have already assimilated well to his new teammate in point guard Chris Paul.
Receiving a number of alley-oops in their first two games together in the preseason, it seems that CP3 has found himself a name Tyson Chandler to begin throwing passes up to.
Thanks to his long arms and unbelievable athleticism, Jordan can be that player. He doesn't possess too much of an offense, but it isn't necessary on a team with so many scorers on it already. Jordan's offensive repertoire will be limited to him throwing down put-back dunks, regular dunks, and alley-oop slams.
With Paul as his running mate, Jordan could easily average ten points per game despite not having a go-to move on the offensive end. He doesn't need to have an offensive skill-set as long as he's with the Clippers, since Paul, Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams, or Eric Bledsoe will give him his points.
Jordan specializes on the other side of the court on defense, where he has already begun to excel as an elite shot blocker. Averaging two blocks per in his first starting job last season, Jordan utilized his athleticism and his length to constantly deter slashers who attempted to drive in on him.
Sixth Man: Marcus Thornton
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In the NBA for two seasons, Sacramento Kings sixth man made a name for himself last season after an impressive showing in the 27 games he spent with the Kings.
Thornton spent the first year and a half of his career with the New Orleans Hornets, where he impressed in his rookie season after averaging 15 points per and converting on two three-pointers per game off the bench. He seemed destined for a starting job with the team, but would regress the next year when he averaged 13 points on 43 percent shooting.
The Kings sent out Carl Landry to obtain him, and they might have just pulled a fast one on the Hornets by picking up the multidimensional offensive threat.
Without Tyreke Evans on the floor, Thornton was given the start and significant minutes. He responded extremely well to the opportunity by averaging 21 points, five boards, and three assists per on 45 percent shooting from the field. The two three-pointers per game on 36 percent shooting was an added bonus for a Kings team really needed it.
Thornton capped off the season with a 42 point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bench: Iman Shumpert
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Already being considered one of the steals of the 2011 draft, New York Knicks point guard Iman Shumpert is already receiving a lot of hype despite being taken 17th and not having played a single game yet.
Shumpert's NCAA averages were pretty normal for a player taken at 17th as well. He averaged 17 points on 41 percent shooting, six boards, and four assists per. Standard numbers for your average 17th pick, but it's not the numbers that got Knick fans excited about their first round pick. They're excited to see just how athletic of a player he truly is.
Shumpert's athleticism is out of this world and his defense is nothing to sweep under the rug either. Being a 6'5" point guard gives him a huge advantage as well since he can see over his opponent and get a better view of the court than most opposing point guards.
With Chauncey Billups out of the equation and the team currently led by wild card Baron Davis, the Knicks may see Shumpert playing significant minutes early on in the season.
Bench: Landry Fields
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Who would have guessed that the New York Knicks became drafting guru's all of a sudden?
The Knicks second round pick last season in Landry Fields is coming off a stellar rookie season where he started at shooting guard for New York. A lot of hype is surrounding the 23 year old out of Stanford as Knick fans truly believe that he is the future at the shooting guard position.
At 6'7", Fields definitely holds a key advantage in height over his assignments. While he can improve his lateral quickness and overall speed, he is at least supported by his strength which greatly assists him when he's assigned to defending a guard that utilizes his upper body. With length and strength on his side, Fields is going to become one of the league's better perimeter and individual defenders.
In his rookie year, Fields averaged ten points per on 50 percent shooting while leading all guards in rebounds per at a little over six. Landry also shot 39 percent from deep, while converting on one three-pointer per game.
The Knicks will be looking forward to giving Fields an even more significant role on the team this season as they look for players who can help fill the void left by Chauncey Billups.
Bench: Greg Monroe
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The Detroit Pistons are looking towards the future and they already might have found one of the most important parts to any team by securing a quality center.
Taken with the seventh pick in the 2010 NBA draft, Georgetown product Greg Monroe would start in 48 out of 80 games and would make his presence felt on the boards, and on offense as well, quickly.
By averaging nine points and seven boards per, Monroe gave the Pistons a bright outlook on the direction of their team by proving to them that they had found their center of the future.
He was a physical player when going up for boards and playing defense, and even displayed a quality offensive arsenal that included post moves and a short jumper.
Surrounded by other young talents in Brandon Knight, Austin Daye, and Jonas Jerebko, Monroe should see himself playing a larger role this year as the team looks to focus on their younger players in order to make way for the future.
Bench: MarShon Brooks
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Taken out of Providence University, MarShon Brooks wasn't too well known up until draft day when he was selected by the Boston Celtics and then traded to the New Jersey Nets.
What we found out about Brooks is that he's an incredible scorer. In his final year at the NCAA level, Brooks averaged 25 points per game on an extremely impressive 48 percent from the field. Couple that with the two three-pointers he was hitting per game on 34 percent shooting and the seven boards per and you end up having a quality player that will come in good use.
He was taken with the 25th pick, but he should expect to see plenty of time in his rookie season on a team like the Nets.
With Brook Lopez succumbing to a broken foot that will keep him out over the next eight weeks, the Nets will be scrambling to look for a second scorer next to Deron Williams. Lopez's loss could be Brooks gain as he'll most likely be inserted into the rotation to see what he possesses.
With the current depth chart at shooting guard appearing to have Anthony Morrow as the starter and Sundiatda Gaines as his backup, there should be no reason why we don't get to experience Brooks early on in his NBA career.
Bench: Kemba Walker
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Heavily hyped after a highly publicized season at the University of Connecticut, Kemba Walker will be taking his offensive expertise to a team that could truly use it in the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Bobcats finished 29th in points per game last year after averaging a mere 94 points per. Their leading scorer in Stephen Jackson was recently traded for Corey Maggette, and while the team did say that they plan on making him the focal point of their offense, it's obvious to see that they're opening the door wide open for Walker to step up and take over.
They're desperately hoping that Walker can take his wide-range of offensive weapons to the NBA after an impressive college career. In his final season at UCONN, Walker became well known on the national level thanks to a number of game winning shots and the fact that he was averaging 24 points per on 43 percent shooting.
Walker's extremely athletic and fast, and with a jump shot to support himself from the mid-range, he should have no trouble in figuring out the ropes and getting adjusted to the pace of the professionals.
Bench: Evan Turner
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Taken with the number two pick last season, a lot of hype was built around the multidimensional and versatile Evan Turner out of Ohio State University.
Instead, Turner spent the majority of the season on the bench and only started in 14 games. He averaged seven points, four rebounds, and two assists per in his rookie season, while receiving a minimal chance to prove himself as a first unit type of player. While the Philadelphia 76ers did see potential in Turner, they also saw an extremely raw player that could use some work.
Turner is a player who could do it all. He's a 6'7" guard/forward, is strong enough to defend small forwards, fast and quick enough on his feet to stay with guards, and contains otherworldly athleticism that the Sixers fan base is dying to see put on full display.
The Sixers may give him that chance this season, as they look to develop this new project of theirs. With coach Doug Collins leading the way, the team should have faith that he is capable of converting Turner into a well-rounded individual that is capable of taking over games on both sides of the ball.