Sports 5 players primed for a breakout season
Canadians Andreescu, Dabrowski qualify for WTA Finals
Bianca Andreescu’s whirlwind 2019 has earned her a berth in the year-end WTA Finals. The post Sept. 29: Wrestle Central – Week 13, with Daniel Makabe and Kath Barbadoro appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.The WTA announced Sunday that Andreescu, as well as Romania’s Simona Halep, had secured spots in the final premier event of the season.
Last season,rose from relative obscurity outside Toronto to become an integral part of the Raptors' championship run.
Siakam unleashed the potential that Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri envisioned when he drafted the Cameroon native in 2016. The 25-year-old increased his scoring average by nearly 10 points, consistently put defenders in a blender with his patented spin move, and made huge strides in his outside shooting en route to being named the NBA's Most Improved Player.
While it's hard to foresee one player matching Siakam's ascension, here are five players who could be primed for a breakout campaign of their own this season.
Kerr to stagger D-Lo, Curry's minutes
With Klay Thompson out until at least the All-Star break and the free-agent departures of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, the Golden State Warriors will be missing three of their top four scorers from last season. Head coach Steve Kerr will be challenged to find ways to manufacture offense, and his deployment of newcomer D'Angelo Russell should play a significant role. "I've been thinking a lot about how we'll play him," Kerr said of RussellHead coach Steve Kerr will be challenged to find ways to manufacture offense, and his deployment of newcomer D'Angelo Russell should play a significant role.
Anfernee Simons, Trail Blazers
2018-19 key stats:
' numbers don't immediately pop out, but his performance on the final night of the regular season turned heads around the league. With the resting many of their regulars, the 6-foot-4 guard received his first NBA start and didn't disappoint. Simons poured in 37 points on 13-of-21 shooting - including 7-of-11 from downtown - while adding nine assists and six rebounds without sitting a single second during the game.
The performance isn't all that surprising for those who've followed Simons' journey to the NBA. The 20-year-old was the ninth-ranked recruit on thefor 2018 - ahead of future lottery picks and - and chose to forgo his college eligibility to enter the draft instead.
Bengals place Ross on IR
The Cincinnati Bengals placed wide receiver John Ross on the injured reserve list Wednesday due to a shoulder injury, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Cincinnati is already without perennial Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green, who continues to work his way back from an ankle injury. Ross is a candidate to return this season, as he isn't expected to need surgery, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. After disappointing with just 210 yards receiving in his first two years with the Bengals, the former top-10 draft pick was enjoying a breakout season in the early stages of the campaign, as he put up 328 yards and three scores before the injury.
Simons is a dynamic scorer capable of manufacturing his own offense. He can beat defenders off the bounce or stop on a dime to pull up for a jumper. He's also a reliable catch-and-shoot threat.
Anfernee Simons was ballin' ????
35 points. The most points scored in— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) so far.
After playing sparingly during his rookie year, Simons is expected to back upafter the departures of and . He looks more than prepared for the increased load, averaging 22 points on 56% shooting to earn All-Summer League second-team honors.
Bam Adebayo, Heat
2018-19 key stats:
has shown steady progression since the drafted him 14th overall two years ago, but the center will have a chance to accelerate his growth with out of the picture. The 6-foot-10 Adebayo averaged nearly a double-double in 28 starts last season and had plenty of preparation this offseason for his expanded role, participating in Team USA's World Cup training camp and working out with franchise legend Chris Bosh.
Player Preview: OG Anunoby is primed for a breakout season
After a sophomore season of set backs both on and off the court, Toronto’s OG Anunoby is prepared to bounce back with his best season yet.But the next year? That second year is a beast on its own. The league has a full season of footage. Opponents knowing their tendencies, hot spots, strengths and weaknesses. Fans place borderline unrealistic expectations on the player and, in some cases, organizations do the same. These are all things the player must now overcome if they want to continue that upward trajectory. It’s no coincidence most players struggle. That’s why we call it the sophomore slump.
"If we're talking about raw, natural talent, he's got all that," Bosh toldin September. "The sky's the limit for him."
Miami would be wise to maximize Abebayo's skill set. The Kentucky product could inject some life to the Heat's transition game, which ranked dead last in the Association last season with 9.9 fast-break points per game. Adebayo is more than capable of bringing the ball up the floor and fills passing lanes for his teammates.
His playmaking skills are a huge upgrade over Whiteside and add another wrinkle to the offense. Adebayo's 14.8 assist percentage and 0.92 assist-to-usage ratio ranked in the 83rd and 91st percentile, respectively, among big men. Adebayo isn't the rim-protector that his predecessor is, but he provides more versatility and finished eighth - ahead of Whiteside - in defensive box plus-minus, according to.
Tomas Satoransky, Bulls
2018-19 key stats:
Thedrafted White as their point guard of the future, but in the meantime, could bring some stability to the position after years of turnover. The 27-year-old filled in admirably for the injured , averaging 10.7 points and 6.2 assists in 32.5 minutes across 54 starts for the Washington Wizards last season.
Cantlay in 4-way tie atop Shriners Hospitals Open after Round 2
Patrick Cantlay fired a 7-under 64 in Round 2 on Friday to grab his share of a four-way tie atop the crowded leaderboard at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Kevin Na, Lucas Glover, and Brian Stuard also sit at 12-under par with Cantlay through 36 holes at TPC Summerlin. Cantlay is continuing his dominance of the Las Vegas venue. He won the Shriners in 2017 and was the runner-up last season.Na shot a 9-under 62 on Friday to grab his share of the lead. He played his final six holes at 6-under, a run that included two eagles.
From his shot selection to decision-making, Satoransky was incredibly efficient with the ball in his hands. As a starter, he shot 40.4% on threes and nearly 50% from the field overall despite having a relatively low usage rate. He also posted a 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio during that span, which would've ranked around the NBA's top 10.
.— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) takes a at the newest signing, Tomas Satoransky.
The 6-foot-7 guard joined Chicago via a sign-and-trade this offseason and Bulls fans have many reasons to be excited about their new floor general. The former second-round pick was one of the top players at this summer's FIBA World Cup and thrived as the leader of an underdog Czech Republic squad.
Satoransky finished the tournament second in assists per game with 8.5 and shot just under 50% from distance to help the Czech Republic reach its first-ever World Cup quarterfinal as an independent nation.
Jonathan Isaac, Magic
2018-19 key stats:
Just two years into his NBA career,has already proven to be a solid defender with his length and mobility. He has great shot-blocking instincts and can switch onto smaller guards. Isaac should continue making strides with the under the defensive-minded Steve Clifford. But after a strong second half this past season, the former No. 6 pick also appears ready to take the next step offensively.
AP source: Raptors, Siakam agree on 4-year max extension
Pascal Siakam is officially a major part of the Toronto Raptors' long-term plans. The Raptors and Siakam have agreed on a four-year, $130 million maximum extension, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been publicly announced. The Raptors and Siakam have agreed on a four-year, $130 million maximum extension, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been publicly announced.
Isaac grew more confident in his shooting as the season progressed, especially from distance. Prior to the All-Star break, Isaac made only 28.7% of his 3.1 attempted triples per game. In the subsequent 22 appearances, he averaged 1.5 more threes and connected on nearly 40%. He found his sweet spot in the right corner, hitting 38.1% of his 3-pointers from that area across the regular season.
If the 22-year-old can continue his progression as a stretch-four, he'll see plenty of chances to expand his offense. Opposing defenses will be more aggressive in their closeouts, allowing Isaac more opportunities to pull up or attack the paint. He's a solid free-throw shooter and should look to draw more fouls, especially after adding approximately 25 pounds this offseason.
"It’s just about being comfortable out there on the court and with the changes in my body," Isaacin August. "It’s now about being able to bump and grind on the inside and take those hits."
Mitchell Robinson, Knicks
2018-19 key stats:
You'll be hard-pressed to find a player who was more efficient thanlast season. The center managed to rack up the fourth-most blocks in the NBA despite missing 16 contests and playing less than half a game per night. Robinson's usage rate was among the lowest at his position, but he topped all players with a 69.2 true shooting percentage during the 2018-19 campaign.
At 7-foot-1 and 240 pounds, Robinson was nearly automatic around the rim. He made 70% of his shots within 4 feet of the basket and has the strength to finish through contact, landing in the 72nd percentile among big men in buckets made after drawing a shooting foul.
Canada sets record with 16 national players on opening rosters for NBA season
NEW YORK — NBA opening-night rosters will include 16 Canadians, setting a record for most players from a non-U.S. country. A robust class of Canadian rookies will bolster what was already a strong contingent of national players in the league. Canadians entering the NBA in 2019-20 include RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis of the New York Knicks, Mfiondu Kabengele of the Los Angeles Clippers, Brandon Clarke of the Memphis Grizzlies and NickeilA robust class of Canadian rookies will bolster what was already a strong contingent of national players in the league.
Kevin Knox throws the alley-oop to Mitchell Robinson for the and-1 dunk!
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife)
Robinson's rebounding took major strides that can't solely be attributed to a bump in playing time. Before the All-Star break, he had averaged 4.7 boards in 17.9 minutes across 42 appearances but doubled his average in the 24 games that followed despite just 7.5 more minutes of play per contest.
His 109 contested rebounds and 226 overall over that span ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, in the Association. Robinson ended the 2018-19 campaign with a 13.1% offensive rebounding rate on his team's missed field goals, which ranked in the 91st percentile for his position.
While Robinson struggled with foul trouble at times, he should build on his already impressive numbers as the Knicks' full-time starting center this season.
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