Last time we checked up on Georgia Tech's NBA pros, a couple saw some early success, but most were struggling to make a huge impact for their teams. It's now been three weeks, which has given them plenty of time to turn their seasons around. Chris Bosh, while already having a pretty stellar year, has been able to improve on his numbers from the first two months of the season. He's receiving about 5 more minutes per game than he usually does, which has increased his points and rebounding totals. The Heat have hit a snag the last few games, but their success as a team won't be measured until the start of the postseason.
Derrick Favors has also continued to have a great year, which has to make Utah fans happy. So far through the month of January, Favors is averaging 14.1 points per game, 9.5 rebounds per game, and is shooting over 50% from the floor. It's a very good sign that he continues to play at a high level in his first full year of starting, but one has to wonder if he will eventually start to decline due to fatigue. He's averaging nearly 10 more minutes per game than he has any other season in his career, so his performance into March and April will be interesting to watch.
While both Favors and Bosh have improved throughout the season, Thaddeus Young is starting to hit a dry spell. In his last four games, only once has he shot greater than .365 from the field. Couple that with some low rebounding numbers and you'll see he's had a few disappointing games in recent weeks. I wasn't expecting too much from Young at the beginning of the season given the 76ers situation, but they're relying on him to help them win games. If he isn't playing well, they're going to keep piling up the losses (which is what the 76ers front office wants anyways).
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons are two team who made some noticeable signings in the offseason in an attempt to make it back into the playoffs. As of right now, both teams are sitting just outside of the final spot in the East, which means a winning streak could push both of them into a solid playoff spot. Jarrett Jack and Will Bynum, while both being backups on their respective teams, have a sizable impact on how their teams play. Jack has struggled in recent games to score, but has still managed to impact the game in other areas. Bynum, on the other hand, has continued his scoring off the bench and has had a respectable season for the Pistons. Neither team has played well, but some impressive games off the bench from either of the Yellow Jackets would go a long ways in helping them right the ship (think of Jarrett Jack last year for the Warriors).
Last time we talked about Iman Shumpert, things were not going well for the young shooting guard. He has managed to see all of his stats return to his career averages, but that really isn't what the Knicks front office wanted to see. They're relying on him to have a bigger impact on the team (besides his great defense) and they'll patiently wait to see if he can develop into a more reliable scorer.
Extra: In last weekends AFC Championship game, Demaryius Thomas looked like one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Although Manning was his usual self and Aqib Talib went down with an injury early, Thomas still managed to carve up the Patriots defense for 7 catches, 134 yards, and a TD. His longest catch of the day was only 30 yards, which shows he was consistently picking up first downs for the Broncos. He'll have a huge impact on the outcome of the Super Bowl, going against arguably the game's best CB in Richard Sherman. If he (and the rest of the Broncos receivers) can play well against Sherman, I have a feeling the Broncos will pull away in the end.
Over the next few weeks, I'll continue the NBA pros articles, but I will also be doing scouting reports for the majority of Georgia Tech's football players who are entering the draft. While players like Jemea Thomas, Attaochu, Beno, Finch, Sims and Godhigh are all givens, is there anyone else you feel I should do a scouting report on?