SHARE


Clint Capela. There is nothing but soft hands and rim protection around these parts. The addition of Chris Paul tangentially helped Capela become the guy who would make things easier for the rest of the team. These Rockets boast what may finish as the most efficient offense in NBA history due in large part to the attention Capela draws in pick-and-roll sets with either Paul or James Harden. Mike D’Antoni has done a brilliant job of putting Capela in a position to succeed, but it was always up to Capela to turn the corner and take advantage of it all — and he’s done just that. 

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


}
,
{
src: ‘https://res-5.cloudinary.com/ybmedia/image/upload/q_auto/v1/m/6/4/64fbc4313c982c701214a57cee60c1e08198024a/USATSI_10744134.jpg’,
title: ‘No leap: D’Angelo Russell’,
description: ‘

I’m not sure if it’s the new team or the nagging injuries, but D’Angelo Russell was supposed to be better than this. Toward the end of last season, Russell looked like he was turning the corner into a guy who can create his own shot and create great looks for others. The latter still remains true, but Russell is scoring at the same clip on more shots with a considerable dip in three-point shooting. 

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


}
,
{
src: ‘https://res-4.cloudinary.com/ybmedia/image/upload/q_auto/v1/m/5/8/58c9ed58bc203df290cc8e21f0ce786354514d54/USATSI_10604201.jpg’,
title: ‘Leap: Domantas Sabonis’,
description: ‘

One of the biggest reasons the Indiana Pacers didn’t completely crash and burn this year after trading away Paul George is the addition of Domantas Sabonis, who made a huge jump from year one to year two. Sabonis is doing a lot of the things many expected him to grow into during his rookie year. He’s averaging nearly 17 and 11 per 36 minutes and has improved his three-point shooting by four percentage points. Victor Oladipo is another contender for the NBA’s MIP Award for what he’s brought to Indiana this year, but Sabonis’ contributions were an unexpected bonus and have the team fighting for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


}
,
{
src: ‘https://res-2.cloudinary.com/ybmedia/image/upload/q_auto/v1/m/0/3/03f1fa158d5e43378ee38279c05fea41b417e953/USATSI_10518692.jpg’,
title: ‘No leap: Jahlil Okafor’,
description: ‘

At the beginning of the season, Jahlil Okafor asked for a trade just so he could have a second opportunity to show his worth on the court. The 76ers eventually obliged, and now, at the end of the season, Okafor is struggling to find playing time for yet another bad basketball team. The young center has only played in three of Brooklyn’s 18 games since the All-Star break. He’s a restricted free agent this summer, and he’s been so bad that Brooklyn might not want him back, even on a good deal. Brooklyn can only offer Okafor a $6.2 million qualifying offer this summer, but he’s unlikely to even get that much in an offer considering his inability to find playing time during the entirety of his career. 

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


}
,
{
src: ‘https://res-1.cloudinary.com/ybmedia/image/upload/q_auto/v1/m/5/a/5a2875878058914c982531e1fecb1d9269ac578f/USATSI_10722882.jpg’,
title: ‘Leap: Aaron Gordon’,
description: ‘

There may not be a better case study in how to grow into a modern big man than what we’ve seen from Aaron Gordon over his first four years. As a rookie, only 23 percent of his attempts were beyond the three-point line, and he only hit them at a 27 percent clip. In year four, almost 40 percent of his attempts are from deep, and he’s hitting 35 percent of them. You can see the year-over-year improvements from deep and how it’s helped his game near the rim. As one of the NBA’s premier high-flyers, the ability to shoot it is going to make him an extremely sought-out free agent this summer, potentially landing in a place where he can bring his talent to a winning culture. 

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports


}
,
{
src: ‘https://res-4.cloudinary.com/ybmedia/image/upload/q_auto/v1/m/5/e/5e5789fe85388ec4bf98019ba5c53c361f025bdb/USATSI_10744290.jpg’,
title: ‘No leap: Karl-Anthony Towns’,
description: ‘

It’s not that Karl-Anthony Towns has been bad this season; he just seems to have plateaued. Don’t get us wrong, 21 and 12 is a fantastic peak, but for the Timberwolves to make that jump to one of the elite teams in the Western Conference, it’s Towns, not Jimmy Butler or Andrew Wiggins, who is going to have to take them there. There has been some growth and maturity on the defensive end of the floor, but the wall-to-wall, season-long dominance that we’ve seen from some of the best modern big men (Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins immediately come to mind) just hasn’t been there. KAT isn’t in a bad place; he just hasn’t made a huge jump from last season. 

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports


}
],
gallery: {
enabled: true,
preload: [0,2],
},
image: {
markup:
”+

‘+
”+

‘+

‘+
”+

‘+
”+

10 young NBA players who took a leap this season and 10 who didn’t

‘+
‘+

‘+

‘+
”+

‘+

‘+


},
callbacks: {
change: function() {
if (this.isOpen) {
this.wrap.addClass(‘mfp-open’);
}
},
beforeChange: function() {
createAd();
ncrvFireEvent();
},
imageLoadComplete: function() {
if (adIsEditable) {
var url = ‘https://www.yardbarker.com/asset/asset_source/3266’;
loadAsset(“3266”, url);
adIsEditable = false;
}

repositionAd();

// only reload the ad at most every X seconds
setTimeout(“adIsEditable = true;”, 12000);
jQuery(“.mfp-wrap”).scroll(function(){
repositionAd();
});
},
resize: function() {
if (adFrame) {
repositionAd();
}
},
close: function() {
if (adFrame) {
adFrame.remove();
adFrame = null;
}
}
},
type: ‘image’ // this is default type
});


LEAVE A REPLY