The Most Impressive Players After Week One
The NBA has completed its first week of the 2018-19 season and we have seen some amazing starts to the season by some great players. Here are five that stand out.
Jokic has been great for the Denver Nuggets, off to a 4-0 start this season. Through four games, Jokic is putting up 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists per game while shooting over 60% from the field and 50% from three. He continues to be the most consistent Denver player and he is the key to their offense. Although it is still early in the season, you have to believe that Jokic can continue to put up those types of numbers. Defensively, Jokic is still not great, but the Nuggets find themselves at number one in defensive rating after a week of the season. While they may not stay there, a consistent effort on that end could have Denver near the top of the standings in the West.
DeMarcus who? Just kidding, but the Pelicans have to be ecstatic with how Mirotic has looked in their first three games. While starting the season 3-0, the Pelicans scored 280 points in their first two games resulting in two blowout wins over the Rockets and the Kings. They followed that up with another great performance to beat the Clippers. Mirotic has been a huge part of that with two 30 point games to start the season and 18 in a win over the Clippers. That is one more 30 point game than he had all of last year, which bodes well for a New Orleans offense that is really pushing the pace. While it is unlikely that the Pelicans can keep up this level of offense, they could be serious players in the Western Conference with their current roster. Mirotic's ability to space the floor makes him ideal to put next to Davis and he is having a great deal of success in his time with the franchise. With per game averages of 28 points and 10 rebounds, Mirotic is really starting strong.
Kawhi Leonard looks great through the first four games of the season. While Leonard did sit out their win against the Wizards, he has been outstanding when he has been on the floor. The Raptors look good and they are deep. As much as DeMar DeRozan was a huge part of the Raptors last season, switching him with Leonard makes them look much more formidable. Leonard has the ability to score in bunches and is also a lock-down defender. He is also making a huge difference when he is on the court, his plus-minus numbers are crazy in the three games that he has played in, including a plus 17 against the Celtics. Let's hope that Leonard can stay healthy and not have any more issues.
I get it, it is so easy to dismiss Griffin and the Pistons. Griffin's injury history makes it difficult to put him in with the upper echelon of players, but when healthy Griffin is a great player. After three games, his numbers are so sick that it is hard to not be impressed. 36 points, 11 rebounds, and almost 6 assists while shooting 53% from the field and a crazy 61% from three. I will be the first to say that he cannot keep up that pace, but if Griffin can avoid a big injury, the Pistons could be a team that surprises in the East. They are off to a 3-0 start and have one of the better forwards in the game.
There is not much more that you can say about Giannis. The Greek Freak is a great player and we all thought that he would be great under new coach Mike Budeholzer. The Bucks are off to a 3-0 start and have looked like a real player in the East. Giannis has scored at a great clip, but he is leading the league in rebounding with 16 rebounds per game including five offensive boards. Giannis has shot over 24 times per game and has not been afraid to put up threes. If he can find consistency from deep and continue to generate amazing offense, the Bucks are going places in the East.