With the NBA Season officially over and the summer about to begin, each team in the league wants to be the next one to have a victory parade and hold up the Larry O’Brien trophy at this time next year. So let’s take a look at one player on each team at the current moment that has to take a major leap in order to get their team one step closer to the championship goal.
- Chicago Bulls- Zach LaVine
How much more of a leap can one player take after setting career highs in almost every statistical category from the season before? For the Bulls to get themselves back into the playoffs, LaVine has to be consistent. He averaged a 7.2 points and shot 7.2% lower in games Chicago lost last season. In the 16 wins that he played in, LaVine averaged 29.1 points a game and shot 51.9 percent from the floor. If can come close those number for a full season, Chicago with the young talent will be fighting for the playoffs.
- Cleveland Cavaliers- Colin Sexton
The most important year of growth for a young player is from his rookie season to his second season. Even though they drafted another point guard type in Darius Garland, Sexton still has a chance to make a huge impact on the Cavaliers in the 2019-2020 season. Colin has to improve on his shooting percentage because shooting 43% is not going to help the Cavaliers make a leap in the Eastern Conference. Outside of the shooting, Sexton has all-NBA defensive team potential.
- Detroit Pistons- Luke Kennard
Detroit hasn’t had a shooting guard finishing the season with over a 15 point a game average since Rodney Stuckey in the 2010-2011 season. In order for the Pistons to have consecutive playoff appearances, Kennard has continue shooting the same way the he did at the end of the season. Luke finished shooting percentages of 46/42/92 (field goal/three-point/ free throw) over his last 25 regular season games.
- Indiana Pacers- T.J. Warren
For the last few seasons, Warren was one of the most underrated scorers in the entire league. Even though he only played 43 games last season, T.J. averaged 18 points per game and if always be counted on to find ways to score. Now that Indiana still is not sure about the return date of Victor Oladipo, Warren has a chance to make his mark on a team that is looking to make a deep playoff run in May.
- Milwaukee Bucks- Pat Connaughton
If Milwaukee has any type of championship aspirations, they need to figure out who will be the starting shooting guard. The Bucks signed Wesley Matthews in the off-season, he hasn’t been the same player since he tore his achilles a few seasons ago. So that leaves Connaughton as the leader to gain a lot of minutes as he will play a big role on the Bucks this season. He doesn’t do anything spectacular, but he does enough of the little things that Milwaukee will need as they will attempt to make the NBA Finals.