What to Expect From Our Players This Season

As another season is fast approaching, a reinvigorated sense of expectations develop for our favourite NBA players. With basketball in Australia growing with each passing day, the bar has been set higher on what we expect from our local stars in the NBA. 

Joe Ingles

The 29 year old small forward has been the veteran locker room presence the Utah Jazz have sorely needed as they have spent the last three seasons rebuilding.

After failing to make the Los Angeles Clippers squad in the 2014/15 NBA season, the journeyman had a surprisingly productive debut campaign where he started 32 games and averaged 35% from three point land.

With new players brought in through the draft and the increased progression of Gordon Haywood and Derrick Favors, the 2015/16 season saw Ingles average less minutes however managed to increase his 3 point percentage to 38%.

This season will be pretty identical to the role he played last season. A veteran presence in the locker room and playing sparing minutes where he will be used to space the floor and increase ball movement at either the small forward or small ball power forward position.

However with Haywood missing the first few weeks with a broken hand the Aussie should see increased minutes most likely backing up Joe Johnson at the small forward position to start the season.

Andrew Bogut

After an excruciating end to a pretty good season with the Golden State Warriors, the centre was moved to the Dallas Mavericks in order for the squad to get a certain Mr. Durant on their team.

While it may seem like a demotion of sorts, the move to the Mavs should mean a much more productive season; numbers wise.

Looking at only the numbers, you could say Bogut was a weak chain to the Warriors armoury ,however a look deeper shows just how important he was to the side.

You only have to look at how the Warriors fared during the finals once he was out injured.

With the Mavs, he will be the defensive anchor that will help offset the defensive limitations of Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams.

The addition of Harrison Barnes should make the transition at least a little easier and with Bogut often being the start of the offense for the Dubs, the Dallas offense should flourish under Rick Carlisle.

If healthy, and that’s a big if…expect Bogut to see a dramatic increase in rebounds, blocks, assists and points.

Thon Maker

Everybody let’s welcome the 2016 edition of the International Man of Mystery for the NBA. Expectations have been like a rollercoaster for Maker already in his early career. There were talks of a 7ft Kevin Durant type player when his Hoops Mixtape was released a few years back, then it went to undrafted, possible bust after his disappointing Nike Hoop Summit.

Fast forward to now and the expectations have risen back up again to a possible Kevin Garnett mold following his very impressive Summer League campaign.

However we should temper those expectations at least for this season as with the Bucks having John Henson, Miles Plumlee, Greg Monroe, Jabari Parker and even Giannis Antetounkmpo in the front court, the minutes will be limited and he will often go back and forth between the NBA and the D-league.

Matthew Dellavedova

Delly now has a ring and a new squad to go along with it, however while some may think he needs to drastically change his game, that’s not necessarily the case. His team is entirely different, but still the same.

There is a change of scenery and players around but the game plan for Dellavedova on the starting squad is relatively the same.

Giannis won’t be in the PG position but he might as well be, as coach Jason Kidd has continually told the media that play making responsibilities will be on him.

So within the starting 5, Delly will have the same role as the Cavs however with more playing time and more shooting opportunities.

Defend like crazy and shoot the three. That’s his role and will continue to be his role for the rest of his career.

While he enjoyed a career high in 3 point percentages last season, expect a slight blip in percentage this year. Due to Parker, Giannis and Monroe and/or Plumlee having limited to no range, there won’t be as much space to operate then when he had Kyrie Irving, Lebron James and Kevin Love around him.

Despite that, expect this to be the year we finally see what type of player Delly can be in the NBA. A legitimate NBA starting point guard or an energizer off the bench.

Patty Mills

This might be the year in which Patty Mills truly breaks out. After a sub par campaign last season while recovering from injuries, a fully fit Mills will be hoping for a different outcome this NBA season.

While previously experiencing back up like minutes, this season should see him get more minutes and possible a starting position down the road.

With Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli both getting a year older, Gregg Popovich will look to rest them both as much as possible during the regular season. With that in mind expect their minutes to drop and Patty Mills’ to gain.

More minutes and more opportunities with the best moving offense in the league. Expect a rise in numbers across the board for Mills in the 2016/17 season.

Dante Exum

A debut season 2.0 is what it feels like for Exum this season. After having an impressive first debut campaign his career stalled with a serious knee injury that wiped him out of the 2015/16 NBA season.

While he was the starting PG before the injury, he wont be this season as the Jazz acquired George Hill. However with Alec Burks and Gordon Haywood injured expect to see Exum playing with Hill in a two guard lineup.

In preseason action, Exum looked physically great and still possessed the defensive and passing skills that the Jazz loved two seasons ago.

Expect a slow start though as he adjusts to the pace again. However after the all star break expect a full firing Exum back for the hopeful playoff bound Jazz.

Aron Baynes

The back up centre enjoyed a great season for the Pistons last year and he possesses something that Andre Drummond doesn’t….free throw shooting. With that skill, Baynes will always get minutes, especially in crunch time as Stan Van Gundy has shown not to trust the more talented Drummond in those situations.

However this season will see Baynes compete with Boban Marjanovic after the massive Serb was picked up by the Pistons.

So despite having a successful season last year, his minutes and numbers could possibly go down as the season progresses due to the Pistons playing their new $21 million man.

Ben Simmons

Well if you ask his agent Rich Paul, expect to see Simmons in suits for the rest of the season. While coach Brett Brown has said he will be back in January, knowing the risk of the injury reoccurring and the absolute no chance of contending for the Sixers. The expectations for Ben Simmons this season is to rest and get healthy so he can polarise the league next season.


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