NBA 2015-16: Top 5 players expected to bounce back this season
Derrick Rose has been searching for a full, complete close to MVP type comeback season for 3 years.Injuries can change the face of an NBA player’s career or any sports athlete for that matter, ask former NBA MVPs Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant. The Bulls superstar has suffered and rehabilitated from 3 injuries in the span of 4 years : torn ACL in left knee in 2011, torn right meniscus in 2013 and a most recent right orbital fracture in the 2015 pre-season.Meanwhile, Bryant has successfully recovered from the same number of injuries in 2 years: an Achilles tear in 2013, a fractured left knee in the latter half of 2013 and a rotator cuff tear in the right shoulder in 2015.Injuries and bad situations are a part and parcel of the game, superstars personify greatness by bouncing back no matter what the adversity. There were multiple players last season that had a disappointing year whether it because of an injury or a bad situation (team wise).Here are the top 5 players who are expected to deliver this upcoming season after a dismal 2014-15 year:
#5 Roy Hibbert
Roy Hibbert has probably been absent on the court for the Indiana Pacers since the second half of the 2013-14 season. His numbers and his presence in the paint have been on a constant decline since that time.
However, there might be more to last year than many might think, the Pacers switched their plans of playing a team with 2 physical big men in the paint to going small given the success the eventual champions the Golden State Warriors tasted during the regular season.
Going down that direction, the roster certainly didn’t need Hibbert’s 7 foot 2 inch figure in the paint. So what makes Hibbert a candidate for a bounce back season this year?
Having played seven years of NBA basketball, Hibbert understood the need to adapt to the team’s needs if he wanted to be valued. He shed close to 15 pounds this past summer in order to move faster and player more minutes.
More minutes should help him improve the Lakers’ defensive efficiency; something the team has not been too familiar with the last couple of seasons. One in five or so possessions he can post up and get them some easy buckets, again something the team lacked last season.
Being a veteran who is not used to being the first option on offense, Hibbert won’t have any difficulty playing second fiddle to Bryant while helping the young players like Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell develop at the same time.
If he can impress the Lakers with his contribution this season then he should be able to extend his time in Los Angeles by resigning with the team when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.