We’re only a few games into the NBA season, so any attempt to analyze and make sense of what’s going on could be nullified with another week of games. That said, we’re going to try anyway and break down what we have learned up to this point.
These 4 players are new to their teams in the Central Division, have made noteworthy impacts, and should continue to do so all season.
Dion Waiters - Cavaliers
Picked right after sure thing SG Bradley Beal, who’s struggling out of the gate for the Wizards, is Cavaliers SG Dion Waiters. Through 4 games the Cavs are 2-2 and just took care of the Clippers on the road. Waiters took big shots and made big shots. He dropped 28 at Staples Center shooting 7-11 from downtown. He’s averaging a solid 16 PPG shooting 48% FG and has nailed 11 of his 20 three point attempts. Waiters and Irving make an exciting backcourt and could begin to lead the Cavs in the right direction. Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard have some competition for rookie of the year.
Nate Robinson - Bulls
We know the name but sometimes shrug off the game. Nate is back at it again, this time off the bench for the Chicago Bulls. Without Rose, Robinson (along with every other Bull) is looked to for offensive production. In 3 games Robinson has come off the bench and averaged 12-5-5. It’s unlikely he keeps up the all around numbers, but his energy and scoring spark will be much needed. Him and Kirk Hinrich provide a contrasting veteran PG duo that will push opponents and stabilize the Bulls.
Andre Drummond - Pistons
This 7 footer can be the future front court mate of Greg Monroe if and when he develops. The Pistons are slowly bringing him along and he as yet to disappoint. The Pistons will be a bad team all year and are in a rebuilding phase that centers around Monroe, Drummond, and Brandon Knight. He’s playing less than 20 minutes a night but he’s grabbing rebounds and blocking shots, something any athletic big man should be doing. The offense will come, but the Pistons like his effort and presence inside.
Gerald Green - Pacers
Green is trying to hold things down on the wing until Danny Granger gets back on the court. In and out of the league his whole career, he’s getting a chance by default right now on a team with high hopes. He has time to prove himself worthy of time in the rotation. He started the first three games then came off the bench against the Spurs and gave them 9 points and 8 rebounds. You’ll see his highlight dunks all year and he may be approaching the time in his career when he realizes his role and is able to fulfill it. The Indiana Pacers are a solid team to play any role for.