The NBA content team here at Fantrax all want to wish you a Happy New Year and hope you’re all enjoying the 2021-22 NBA Season. Health & Safety protocols continue to affect NBA games but that won’t keep our spirits down! The FantraxHQ team shares their biggest surprises of the 2021-22 season as well as who will break out in the second half! A buy-low opportunity perhaps? And who will win the NBA Championship!? Check below to find out!
Below are the analysts that will be sharing their biggest surprises and 2nd half predictions for the 2021-22 NBA season. We’ve included their initials so that you know who is who down below, and also their Twitter handles, so you can give them a follow and let them know what you think of their opinions and interact with them throughout the season for great insight!
- BK – Bradlee Kilgore – @SirBradleeK
- KF – Kyle Frank – @kylefrank_11
- MT – Michael Tomlinson – @PDX_Michael
- MO – Mike Omelan – @mikeomelan
BK – Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG – Sacramento Kings
My biggest surprise this year is Tyrese Haliburton. When the year began, I thought he’d be recovering from his injury from late last year, and Buddy Hield would be a big part of the offense because he never got traded. Further, DeAaron Fox was going to make a leap. As it turns out, Haliburton is back and better than ever, while also taking usage away from Hield and Fox. He looks like a future All-NBA talent.
KF – Franz Wagner, SG/SF – Orlando Magic
Obviously, the eighth overall pick in the NBA draft is expected to develop into a solid player, but I’m not sure if anyone thought Franz Wagner would be this good this quickly. The rookie out of Michigan is contributing to every major category, while putting up 20 points per game over the past month of the season. He has to be the frontrunner for rookie of the year at this point, and the sky is the limit in terms of the player he could become.
MT – Miles Bridges, SF/PF – Charlotte Hornets
I never thought Miles Bridges had elite scorer in him.
MO – DeMar DeRozan, SF/PF – Chicago Bulls
With Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Nikola Vucevic and company in the mix I did not expect these numbers from DeMar DeRozan. Not only is he leading the Bulls in scoring, but DeRozan is also 6th in the NBA averaging 26.8 PPG. His 5.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game are nice contributors as well and is definitely my biggest surprise of the season thus far.
BK – John Wall, PG – Houston Rockets
My second-half breakout is going to be John Wall. He’s ready to play, but his role isn’t defined for the Rockets. I feel as though we’ll have a big trade on the horizon. With the Cavs as a threatening playoff team, they’re going to need someone to replace Ricky Rubio’s production. Why not?!
KF – Isaiah Stewart, PF/C – Detroit Pistons
The sophomore big man underwhelmed for most of the season to this point, but he quietly was 0.4 points per game away from averaging a double-double over the last month. With the Pistons heading into full tank mode, Stewart will see minutes in the 30s every night, and I don’t think it’s too crazy to think he can turn into a 15-point, 12-rebound guy while adding some solid block numbers. Stewart is still just 20 years old, and his breakout is right around the corner.
MT – Alperen Sengun, C – Houston Rockets
Alperen Sengun currently has the 35th best player efficiency rating in the league at 20.38 in just under 19 minutes a night. Daniel Theis was told he would play a reserve role going forward, so he should see more chances. He just needs to cut down on turnovers.
MO – Dennis Schroder, PG – Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are struggling mightily in the standings and are dealing with quite a few health and protocol cases Dennis Schroder included. Schroder was red hot in November averaging 26.5 points for a week and started December with a force averaging 23.3 per game. The Celtics are thin at guard at the moment and Schroder could be in for a great second half. Not to mention all that money he needs to win back…
NBA Championship Prediction
BK – Golden State Warriors
This is Golden State’s world and we’re all living in it. When Klay Thompson gets back this team will be as scary as it’s ever been.
KF – Brooklyn Nets
The return of Kyrie Irving will make a huge difference for Brooklyn, even if he can only play on the road. This big three is one of the best the NBA has ever seen, and I can’t imagine they’re pleased with how last season turned out. The Nets will be on a mission this year, and I believe they have what it takes to get the job done this time.
MT – Golden State Warriors
There is nobody stopping Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Plain and simple.
MO – Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets would have won last year’s Championship if healthy and will get revenge against the Bucks this year. Kevin Durant will once again get a Finals MVP over Stephen Curry.
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