The NBA regular season is almost coming to a close. A lot of players have either underachieve or overachieve during the 2015-16 season. Teams are locking in for a playoff spot and taking some nights off. But some of them players are also ready to have a long playoff run. Here are four NBA players that exceeded expectations this season.
1. Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
This season, no point guard has taken the next step in their career than Kyle Lowry. He’s averaging 21.9 points, 6.4 assists and 5 rebounds, leading the Raptors to a second seed. Lowry came into the season more slim and focus. He’s been better at shooting the ball and making good decisions with others around him. He’s making DeMar DeRozan better offensively, putting him in good spots. No question if the Raptors want to make it to the eastern conference finals, Lowry needs to play at this level.
2.Hassan Whiteside (Miami Heat)
Without Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside has been the only big men contributing offensively and defensively on the team. Whiteside is averaging 13.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.8 blocks. He’s stepping his game up since Bosh was down with an illness until further notice. Heat are in the top four thanks to the addition of Joe Johnson. But for most of the season, Whiteside was the most consistent player and continues to do that late in the season.
3. Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
The biggest surprise was not what LaMarcus Aldridge is doing on the Spurs, but the big jump made from reigning defensive player of the year Kawhi Leonard. Averaging 20.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and shooting 47 percent from the three point line, Leonard made tremendous strides. Playing on one of the best teams ever in NBA history at such a young age, it’s clear to everyone just how much Leonard is doing on the Spurs. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all past their prime. They now rely on their young superstar who can possibly win defensive player of the year and most improved.
4. C.J. McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers)
The Blazers may have one of the best point guards in Damian Lillard. But they also one of the rising stars shooting guards in C.J. McCollum. Last season McCollum averaged seven points in 15 minutes. This season took a leap averaging 20.9 points, 4.2 assists and shooting 41 percent from the three point line. McCollum’s part of the best backcourts in the NBA with Lillard leading the way. Blazers are in the playoff hunt and can seriously do damage with this backcourt against the top teams in the West.