A goal for every NBA player entering the season is to be better than the previous year.
That is exactly what the best players do; they adapt to where the game is currently at and where it is potentially heading.
The best is when you see players improve to a point where they exceed expectations.
These are the players that have surpassed every expectation and shown that they are for real.
Jerami Grant might play on one of the worst teams in the league, but his development from the previous season is one nobody had anticipated.
Grant’s career outlook was never supposed to get here.
He was a tiny bright spot on the “Trust the Process” Sixers, which led to a second contract with OKC.
Even last season with the Denver Nuggets, he was looked at as a nice addition that can defend.
He started to show up in the post-season with a few good scoring outputs, which generated his eventual contract with the Detroit Pistons.
We knew that he would get more scoring opportunities, but we didn’t think he would deliver like this.
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) March 25, 2021
He has bumped his averages of 12 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 1 APG to 23 PPG, 5 RPG, and 3 APG.
Grant has improved so much with him originally being a developmental guy from a tanking team that has now turned into a legit scoring option.
Lugentz Dort, better known as Lu Dort, is one of the most surprising revelations this season.
The second-year player was put on the map for his defensive prowess against James Harden in the playoffs last season.
That was our introduction to the “Dortress” and we expected that same level of defense for the following season.
John Wall goes for the win, guess who’s there to save the game again … LU DORT.
THE DORTURE CHAMBER pic.twitter.com/EJB56pfryM
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 21, 2021
The one thing we were not expecting, was an offensive game from Dort.
Inside the bubble, teams were advised to let him shoot any time he touched the ball.
He had a great game 7 offensively against the Rockets, but it was looked at as an aberration more than anything.
Lu Dort is averaging 13 PPG and shooting 33% from three.
He has shown so much improvement on the offensive end this season that when the Thunder get better, he can easily be a key cog for the franchise.
His defense is still superb and his offense is just continuing to grow.
The New York Knicks are playing great basketball for the first time since 2013 and the charge is being led by Julius Randle.
The first time all-star is having a career season that nobody saw coming.
The verdict on Randle was he could score, but had nothing else to show for it.
A switch was definitely flipped with how Randle has played all season.
Averages of 23 PPG, 11 RPG, 6 APG, and plus a potential playoff berth has him in elite company this season.
A lot of people liked his game to a certain extent, but the thought of an all-star level player seemed far fetched after his failed tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now the Knicks have an all-star who is improving throughout the year.
He has had monstrous outings, including a 37 point game with 7 threes made.
JULIUS RANDLE IS CASHING FROM 3PT LAND 🔥🔥
He's got 35 PTS and has hit 7 3PTs before the 4Q pic.twitter.com/zl7W6y76DS
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 24, 2021
The Big Apple has something special.