Ty Lawson and 5 Players Poised to Have a Breakout 2012 Season

Tim Lewis@timdlewiContributor IDecember 31, 2011

Ty Lawson and 5 Players Poised to Have a Breakout 2012 Season

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    With the first week of the NBA season officially in the books, a few stars have emerged in the early going.

    While the usual suspects are all off to great starts—LeBron, KD, Kobe, Melo, etc.—there's a secondary group making an early impact in the new season.

    Let's take a look at five players who are poised to have a breakout year in 2012.

5. Marcus Thornton: Shooting Guard, Sacramento Kings

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    Marcus Thornton (6'4", 205 lbs) was a second-round draft pick in 2009 out of LSU.

    Thornton had a solid rookie season, averaging 14.5 points per game for the New Orleans Hornets before being traded to the Sacramento Kings last year.

    In 27 games for the Kings last season, Thornton averaged 21.3 points and seemed primed for a breakout campaign in 2011-12.

    Thus far, he has not disappointed, averaging 20.3 points on 49 percent shooting while knocking in nine out of 18 threes.

4. Ryan Anderson: Power Forward, Orlando Magic

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    Ryan Anderson (6'10", 240 lbs) was a first-round pick out of Cal in 2008.

    He entered this season with career averages of 8.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 19 minutes of play.

    When Brandon Bass was dealt to the Boston Celtics, Anderson was thrust into the Orlando Magic starting lineup and he has taken full advantage of the opportunity.

    Now playing over 32 minutes per contest, Anderson is averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and leads the entire NBA with 16 three-pointers in his first four games.

3. Spencer Hawes: Center, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Spencer Hawes (7'1", 245 lbs) was drafted 10th overall out of the University of Washington in 2007.

    He came into the season with career averages of 8.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in just under 23 minutes of play.

    Now a starter for the Philadelphia 76ers, Hawes is playing over 34 minutes per game, averaging 11.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

    He just missed his first career triple-double in the 76ers opening game, tallying 10 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.

2. Kyle Lowry: Point Guard, Houston

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    Kyle Lowry (6'0", 205 lbs) was a first-round pick out of Villanova in 2005.

    Lowry entered the season with career averages of 9.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 26 minutes of play.

    Now the starting point guard for the Houston Rockets, Lowry is averaging 17 points, 9.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds in over 29 minutes of play.

    He's 17-for-19 from the free-throw line and has as many steals (eight) as he does turnovers in the early going.

1. Ty Lawson: Point Guard, Denver Nuggets

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    Ty Lawson (5'11", 195 lbs) was a first-round pick out of North Carolina in 2009.

    After splitting time with Chauncey Billups and Raymond Felton in Denver during his first two years, Lawson is finally in charge of all point-guard duties—and he is taking full advantage.

    In over 32 minutes per game this season, Lawson is averaging 22.3 points on 51.2 percent shooting to go along with three rebounds and three assists.

    He's made five out of 12 threes and 10 out of 12 from the free-throw line while leading the league in steals with 12.

    And for you fantasy basketball players out there, Lawson currently ranks second overall in fantasy scoring—trailing only LeBron James.


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