The NBA is home to some of the best basketball players in the world. Legends like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird have all inspired generations to pick up the sport. The aforementioned athletes time and again proved their worth by giving their best on any given night.
However, when you play in a league like NBA, there are some games or even seasons that may not go in favor of a particular player. The same can be said about the players of today's generation.
After ending the 2019-20 NBA season in the Orlando bubble, the NBA returned to playing in regular stadiums in the 2020-21 season. But many players didn't have a great time there. So they will hope for a much-improved performance when they set foot on the court for the 2021-22 campaign.
On that note, here's a look at five such NBA players who need to have great 2021-22 campaigns.
#5 D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell was touted as one of the next big things when he was drafted second overall by the LA Lakers in 2015. Although Russell has shown glimpses of his prowess, the 25-year-old is definitely capable of more.
He moved from the Golden State Warriors to the Minnesota Timberwolves to play alongside his friend, Karl Anthony Towns. The guard has been averaging 19.6 points per game since his arrival in Minnesota. Having played his first full NBA season there last year, Russell started in only 26 games, averaging 19 points per game at 43.1 % shooting from the field.
His campaign was hampered by injuries, and he also had to undergo a knee surgery that kept him out for a while. Coming into the 2021-22 season, D'Angelo Russell will hope to stay healthy and give his best performance for the team.
The arrival of Anthony Edwards does make the team a lot stronger, So Russell's performance could play a vital role in how the Timberwolves fare in the NBA Western Conference next season.
#4 Julius Randle
Julius Randle had one of the best years of his NBA career last season. He was named the All-Star for the first time since he was drafted. The Knicks forward averaged 24. 1 points, 10.2 rebounds and six assists per game. He was a vital cog in the Knicks team that made their first playoffs in nine years.
Having performed exceptionally well in the regular season, expectations were at an all-time high from Randle for the postseason. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old failed to deliver. He had a poor run in the postseason as the Knicks fell 4-1 to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.
Randle averaged 18 points per game during the postseason. Although that may sound pretty decent, for a player who was the team's leading scorer during the regular season, he wasn't as efficient as he needed to be. He shot only 29.8% from the field and looked short of his usual best through the series against the Hawks.
The Knicks will need Randle to have a great regular season in 2021-22. After falling short in the playoffs, he will hope to perform better at the business end of the league next campaign.
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