Standout Players from the Start of the 2021-22 NBA Season

Colin McGee ’22

The first month of the NBA’s 75th season has officially come and gone. Hopefully, it appears that for the first time since the 2018-19 season the NBA will be able to follow their regular schedule and format for the NBA season. The first month of the NBA season has showcased many huge performances by players both familiar and relatively new. These players have risen above expectations to help their teams through this first part of the season.

Stephen Curry

Although Stephen Curry has been one of the faces of the NBA and one of the best players in the NBA for a while, he has had a fantastic season and is the early MVP favorite. Curry, fresh off his scoring title last season, has actually scored less points per game this season. However, what makes Curry’s play remarkable this season is with mostly the same roster he is leading the Golden State Warriors to the best record in the NBA at 15-2 as of November 23rd. With fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson expecting to make his return soon, the Warriors seem to be once again a juggernaut in the NBA, thanks in large part to Stephen Curry.

DeMar DeRozan

After spending three seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, DeMar DeRozan joined the Chicago Bulls in the offseason by way of a sign-and-trade. Many were skeptical of the move at first as DeRozan’s fit with the Bulls was put into question. So far, DeRozan has proved the doubters wrong. DeRozan, alongside Zach LaVine, have been one of the most lethal scoring duos in the NBA this year. As of November 23rd, DeRozan is averaging 26.3 points per game which is a noticeable increase from his scoring average in San Antonio. If DeRozan can keep up his scoring prowess, the Chicago Bulls will be a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. 

Ja Morant

Ja Morant, the former second overall pick in the 2019 Draft and 2020 Rookie of the Year, has gotten his third season off to a great start. Morant is averaging about 25 points per game and has the Memphis Grizzlies right in the thick of the crowded Western Conference playoff race. Morant seems to be the early frontrunner for the Most Improved Player award and deservedly so.

LaMelo Ball

While Hornets teammate Miles Bridges has also enjoyed significant improvement this season, LaMelo Ball has done so while leading this young Charlotte Hornets team. The Hornets have a 11-8 record and the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference as of November 23rd. For the reigning Rookie of the Year Ball, who is just 20 years old, to lead the Hornets to this position is unquestionably impressive.

Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro had an underwhelming year last year considering the phenomenal play he had in the 2020 playoffs. In that playoff run, which saw the Miami Heat reach the NBA playoffs, Tyler Herro was one of the primary scorers for the Heat as just a rookie. This season, Herro has shown why Miami fans were so optimistic about his future as his scoring average has gone up significantly. For the Miami Heat to have another deep playoff run, they need to rely on Tyler Herro to be a key contributor.