Simmons is finding his role in Orlando, being a part of a team that is off to a hot 6-2 start to begin the year. The former Spur is averaging 14.7 points per game so far. He dropped a career-high 27 points against Charlotte on Oct. 27, and then followed it up with a 20-point night against the Pelicans three days later. He has scored double-digit points in nine of the Magic’s 12 games so far this year, and is looking to slide into a starter spot in Orlando after his productive play as of late.
T.J. Warren has had a monstrous start to the season for the Suns, putting up 16.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game so far. Warren went off for a career-high 40 points in Phoenix’s win over the Wizards on Nov. 1, where he added 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks. After starting the season 0-3, the Suns have won four out of of five games, and Warren was been a key part of it. He has dropped 20 points or more four times so far this season, including three of the past four contests.
Robert Covington has proved to be a key part of the young 76ers’ core this season. Covington, who has been with Philadelphia since 2014, is averaging 16.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while knocking down exactly 50 percent of his 3-pointers. He is fifth in the entire NBA in triples made this season (41). Not only has Covington been able to space the floor for the Sixers and knock down shots, but he’s been a vital part of the team’s defense as well, grabbing 1.5 steals and almost a block per game so far.
With Dennis Smith Jr. sliding into the starting role at point guard in Dallas, Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea have split time with the second unit this season. But in 28.3 minutes per game, Ferrell is averaging 10.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Although Ferrell is just 24 years old and has only a half season of NBA experience, he has become a veteran in the Mavs’ locker room, after seeing time with the team last season.
Having had a solid NBA Summer League showing with the Cleveland Cavaliers and then being signed by San Antonio, Brandon Paul might have found his place with the Spurs. After seeing little time in the team’s first three games, Paul flourished in the Spurs’ contest in Boston. Paul scored a career-high 18 points (hitting three 3-pointers) and five rebounds in 30 minutes on the floor. He has already turned heads of San Antonio’s coaching staff, as Gregg Popovich said after the Boston game that Paul has fit in “perfectly” with the team and the system in San Antonio.
Dewayne Dedmon has been a monster on the glass for the Hawks to start the season. The four-year pro is averaging 7.9 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game, while adding 9.5 points. In his most recent contest, against Boston on Nov. 6, he went for 19 points and 12 rebounds, while adding a pair of assists and blocks. He has five double-digit point games this year, including three in the past four games. He’s obviously fitting in very well on the defensive end for the Hawks, while adding some monster dunks on the other side so far this year.
Spencer Dinwiddie has been one of the main reasons the Nets are averaging an NBA third-best 111.9 points per game this season. Not only did he hit the game-winning 3-pointer from the parking lot in the Nets’ win over the Cavs on Oct. 25, but he is averaging almost 10 points and 5.1 assists in 22 minutes per game so far. With Jeremy Lin going down with a season-ending injury in Brooklyn’s season opener, Dinwiddie has been forced into a bigger role in the offense, and he has shined. Dinwiddie has scored 15 or more points on four occasions, including three in a four-game stretch at the end of October, and has two 20-plus point performances as well.
Kevon Looney has only seen action in two games for the Warriors so far this season, but he has taken full advantage. On Oct. 27 against the Wizards, Looney and the Warriors were trailing in the fourth quarter, before Looney sparked for two big dunks and finished with nine points, five rebounds and a block.