NBA

D'Angelo Russell.

Five players poised for breakout seasons this year

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After just two weeks, the 2017/18 NBA season is already shaping up to be one of the best in recent years.

The start of the campaign has already thrown up some huge surprises and it's a great sign of things to come.

There are many players looking to prove a point this year and finally live up to their potential or simply make a name for themselves.

Every NBA season sees an unexpected player take a huge leap and announce himself as a star, which is the beauty of the league.

Here are five players already poised to have a breakout year:

Victor Oladipo

After being traded to the Indiana Pacers by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the guard has already made a great start to life back 'home'.

Oladipo played his college basketball at Indiana University and said: "I feel like I have an opportunity to do a little more than I have in my first four years. There's nothing like playing for your hometown team. I'm looking forward to it."

Sacramento Kings v Indiana Pacers

The 25-year-old looks like a different player in a Pacers uniform. He's averaging 23.8 points, 3.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds to begin the campaign and is thriving in a bigger role.

If he continues to put up these numbers, he'll definitely be a serious contender for the Most Improved Player award at the end of the year. This game-winning shot against the Spurs could prove to be a defining moment:

D'Angelo Russell

After being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the number two overall pick in 2015, Russell struggled to live up to expectations in one of the most demanding markets in the NBA.

Being viewed as the man to rejuvenate the Lakers franchise was too much pressure for the young point guard and his inconsistent play on the court wasn't helped by issues off the floor.

L.A's patience ran out with him and shipped him off to the Brooklyn Nets in the summer but it could just the move he needed.

Being the number one offensive option in Brooklyn will give him a better platform to showcase his undeniable scoring ability and he's already playing with a chip on his shoulder which is paying dividends for the Nets.

Brooklyn Nets v Indiana Pacers

21.7 points, 5.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds are strong early numbers in what will be a big year for the 21-year-old.

Aaron Gordon

The Orlando Magic chose not to give Gordon a max rookie extension last month as they're still waiting for him to fulfill his talent. The franchise has effectively given him a year to show that he's worthy of a huge contract next summer when he hits restricted free agency.

After eight games, the high-flyer is responding to the challenge in some style. He is easily the biggest surprise of the campaign so far as he's put up some impressive numbers and expanded his game.

Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2017

He's currently posting 20.7 points and 8.7 rebounds on 56.1 percent shooting and an incredible 57.7 percent from three-point range.

He is finally playing in his favoured position of power forward after he was forced to play as a small forward last season and is showing signs that he could become a franchise player for the Magic.

Rodney Hood

With Gordon Hayward's departure to the Boston Celtics in free agency, the Utah Jazz will need somebody to fill his shoes and Hood could be just the man to do it.

He has shown flashes of his talent in his first two years in the league but he'll now have a bigger responsibility on the offensive end and his production should increase as a result.

Los Angeles Clippers v Utah Jazz - Game Four

The shooting guard will have more shot attempts come his way and can develop into the team's go-to option on offence and it'll be up to him to prove that he can become a legitimate scoring threat as the opportunity will be there for him.

Clint Capela

The Houston Rockets center is one of the most underrated big men in the league and with the arrival of Chris Paul, he should benefit from having another elite playmaker on the team.

The 23-year-old has improved in each of his three seasons, and some might consider his efforts last year - which included career highs in scoring and rebounding - breakout-worthy on their own. But even in the midst of that campaign, Capela showed growth.

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors

In nine games so far this season, the man from Switzerland is improving his numbers again as he's currently posting a double-double of 13.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

With James Harden and CP3 commanding so much attention he'll get many easy looks inside and he's turned himself into an important defensive presence too. This might be the year he gets the recognition he deserves.

Topics:
NBA
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Brooklyn Nets
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Clint Capela

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