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NBA: Westbrook, Randle, Cunningham… Five players to watch this season


DECRYPTION - A confirmed all-star, a revenge, the number 1 in the draft… Five players who deserve special attention before the start of the NBA season.

Three months after the coronation of Milwaukee, the NBA resumes its rights on Tuesday.

Before starting this new season, we have selected five players with very different profiles.

Russell Westbrook (32, Los Angeles Lakers)

MVP in 2017, nine times NBA all-star, record holder for the number of career triple-doubles but… no NBA title.

By putting down his suitcases in the City of Angels this summer, Russell Westbrook will play alongside Lebron James and Anthony Davis at the Lakers.

Nevertheless, a question naturally arises: will he manage to come to an understanding on the ground with "King James"?

The former Oklahoma City star point guard enjoys touching the ball, attacking the circle, shooting mid-range and picking up the ball on his own in quick transitions.

But at the Lakers, the boss is called Lebron.

Will they manage to share the ball?

Will Westbrook agree to cut his share of the pie?

To discover

  • NBA: schedule and results

Read alsoNBA: Lakers, new with old


I find that not many people say it, but he is an incredible passer,

" said "LBJ" recently. Indeed, the native of Long Beach finished best passer last season with 11.7 offerings on average per game. Westbrook has acquired the maturity to accept task-sharing in a five-star workforce. The "Marsupilami" has all the cards in hand to shine this season, at home in California.

Julius Randle (26, New York Knicks)

He left the Lakers in 2018, heading to the New Orleans Pelicans. But it was with the New York Knicks that Julius Randle exploded. After a regular season at 24 points average, the Texan colossus won the title of MIP (best progression) last season. However, the revealing of the play-offs proved tricky for Randle. The former angelino has failed to carry his team on his shoulders in the moments that matter. For their big comeback in the finals, the Knicks had to lose 4-1 in the first round against the Atlanta Hawks and Randle's performances (18 points on average over six games) were disappointing.

Randle's season even ended with boos from the public at State Farm Arena in Atlanta where Hawks fans chanted the word "Overrated" when he appeared on the free throw line.

Good war, you might say ... Revenge, the strong winger of the Knicks will in any case be keen to prove to the rest of the NBA that he is not "overrated" and that he is capable of crossing a course for the franchise of "Big Apple".

To read also Evan Fournier: "The more there is pressure, the more it makes me kiff"

Michael Porter Jr (23, Denver Nuggets)

He too could have claimed the MIP title in 2020-21. For his second NBA season, Michael Porter Jr has taken on another dimension under the jersey of the Nuggets. With 19 points on average, he was his team's third scorer last season. The 23-year-old winger is preparing to play his third season in the league, traditionally one of explosion for some players. While Jamal Murray should be absent for many months, many responsibilities will weigh on the broad shoulders of the native of Columbia. Obviously, it is Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP, who will remain the boss, but "MPJ" has all the assets to become a potential All Star and guide the Colorado franchise to the top.

Lonzo Ball (23, Chicago Bulls)

In the Ball family, the big brother. We could have been interested in LaMelo Ball, rookie of the year last season, but it is Lonzo who could achieve a great season in the jersey of a prestigious franchise: the Chicago Bulls. His association with local star Zach LaVine and veteran DeMar DeRozan is salivating. Still, Lonzo Ball's first NBA seasons weren't easy to manage. His talented label, and his daddy's gouialle, LaVar, immediately put him under intense media pressure. The former Lakers point guard has never really exploded in four NBA seasons. Constantly under fire from critics, he has never exceeded 15 points average in a regular season, nohas never played in the play-offs and his shooting percentage is less than 40% over his entire career. It is therefore a milestone that Lonzo Ball must take in Chicago. With LaVine, DeRozan or Nikola Vucevic by his side, the Anaheim native will be able to focus on the pass.

Cade Cunningham (20, Detroit Pistons)

A new kid on the block in the NBA. But not just any since it is him that the Detroit Pistons chose first during the 2021 Draft. Training leader, his large size for the position (2.03m) allows him to evolve as a rear or even on the fenders. Barely arrived and already versatile. In a franchise of Detroit which should vegetate in the second half of the standings in the East, Cade Cunningham will evolve in an environment far from any pressure. Collectively, it's hard to imagine Detroit achieving anything great this season but on a personal level, the Texan already has the technical and physical assets to establish himself as one of the rising stars in the NBA.His association with Frenchman Killian Hayes is enough to make Pistons fans salivate.

Batum, Fournier, Gobert ... the French of the NBA in pictures

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Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-10-18

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