Young players make moves in the NBA



Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) makes a second quarter shot over Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson (6) on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn. He had 25 points at halftime. (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Daniel Pachino

Younger players are emerging as stars in the NBA this season.

So far, the young guys have taken the league by storm this year, and many of them are under 23 years old.

Minnesota’s Dynamic Duo

While the Timberwolves may not be a very good team yet at 5-12, their two best players are without a doubt their two young stars.

Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, both just 21 years old, are already emerging as two of the top players at their positions in the league this year.

Already an elite defender, Wiggins is now becoming the focal point of Minnesota’s offensive attack, averaging 23 points per game, including a 47 point outburst this season.

After putting up poor shooting season in his first two years, Wiggins has improved his shooting greatly, especially his three-point shooting, after working on it all offseason. Wiggins’ three-point shooting is up to just under 40 percent for the year, after being a roughly 30 percent shooter from deep in his career before this season.

The reigning Rookie of the Year, Karl-Anthony Towns, in just his second season, might already be the league’s best center.

This season, he is averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds per game. Towns can also shoot the ball well from the mid-range and from three-point range. His three-point attempts have quadrupled  from last season, while his shooting percentage has gone up from 34 percent to 39 percent.

The T-Wolves now have two of the brightest young stars in the NBA, and it is up to them to build a strong team around them, as Minnesota looks poised for a great future.

The Knicks’ best player is not Carmelo Anthony or Derrick Rose

The New York Knicks’ best player is Kristaps Porzingis. The first and third picks respectively in last year’s draft, Towns and Porzingis, are already looking like home run picks. Porzingis can really do it all, he can score inside, shoot from outside, handle the ball, defend the paint and jump through the roof. At seven feet, three inches tall, his ability to stretch the floor at power forward makes him almost impossible to guard.

This season, he’s averaging 21 points, seven rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

It is time for the Knicks to start building around their new star.

The Greek Freak is for real

While the Milwaukee Bucks have struggled mightily without Khris Middleton, their best player just keeps getting better. After showing what he could do last year, Giannis Antetokounmpo is proving he is the Bucks’ best player in his fourth season.

Without much offensive talent around him aside from Jabari Parker, Antetokounmpo has carried a lot of Milwaukee’s offensive load this season. His efficiency, however has not suffered at all as he is averaging 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists on the season while ranking fifteenth in the league in PER at 25.5.

If he can add an outside shot element to his game, the Greek Freak will become one of the most unguardable players in the league.

The 6’11’’ point guard is one of the most unique players in the league, and now he’s proving to be one of the league’s best.

D’Angelo Russell and the Lakers’ young core

In the past three drafts, the Lakers have added arguably their four best players.

In 2014, they drafted Julius Randle seventh overall and Jordan Clarkson in the 2nd Round. The following year, they drafted D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick and this year they drafted Brandon Ingram second overall.

So far, it appears as if the Lakers hit on every single one of those picks.

While it is early for Ingram who is just a rookie, Russell and Clarkson are probably the two best Lakers already.

New head coach Luke Walton has revitalized the Lakers offensive attack, making it all about distributing the ball and sharing the points.

Russell and Co. have more than embraced the new mentality.