At one point or another, every NBA player has experienced a slump of some sort. Whether it lasted a few days, weeks, months, or a full year, It’s only human nature to go through a rut of some sort. However, some players recover and get back to their all-world level, but some never seem to fully regain their former self. So here are three players that will bounce back in the 2018-19 NBA season.
In the past year, Isaiah Thomas has seen four different organizations. After starting the summer with the Celtics, Thomas was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving. But between his hip injury and overall lousy fit in Cleveland, Thomas was then traded once again to the Los Angeles Lakers where he struggled to find a rhythm or comfortable role on the team. Below are season statistics for Thomas’ 2018 campaign versus his 2017 campaign.
2017: 28.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 5.9 APG, 2.8 TOV, 46.3 FG%, 37.9 3P%, 76 GP
2018: 15.2 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 4.8 APG, 3.0 TOV, 37.3 FG%, 29.3 3P%, 32 GP
As you can see, Thomas saw a significant dropoff in just about every statistic over the past year. Whether it was his inefficient scoring or simply not being able to stay on the court, the media ripped Isaiah as a system player who would never be the same. And although there may be some truth that Thomas performed un-ordinarily well when playing under Brad Stevens, he is in no way a system player. He is simply an injury victim who struggled to find a consistent role within franchises. However, in Denver, it is very likely Isaiah will be the main scoring option which should significantly boost his confidence and give him time to find a rhythm. Overall, although it is improbable Thomas will return to an all-star team due to an elite Western Conference, He could easily become a reliable scorer and valuable asset for a playoff-bound Nuggets team.
2019 Predicted Stats: 20.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 5.1 APG, 3.3 TOV, 45.8 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 64 GP
Following two different ACL tears, Jabari Parker’s career is on the brink of annihilation. Over his first four years in the NBA, Parker played a total of 183 games out of a possible 328. Averaging out to just over 63 games per year, the talented scorer has yet to live up to his college hype. Below are his career stats.
Career Stats: 15.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 49.0 FG%, 35.2 3P%
However, just a few weeks ago Parker was traded to the Chicago Bulls which would not only provide a new environment but a chance to revamp his career. Because although the former Buck has had his problems with the injury bug, in 2017, Parker averaged 20.1 points per game in 51 games. Solid numbers for the second option on a playoff team, it is very possible that Parker will be the main scoring option on the new look Bulls. This would not be unfamiliar territory for Parker as he was also widely considered the main catalyst for the Duke offense during their 2014 campaign. And yes I understand that was many injuries ago. But if Parker can find a way to stay on the court, I could easily see him averaging 20+ points per game next year and maybe even earning an all-star spot.
Predicted 2019 Stats: 23.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 46.3 FG%, 34.6 3P%, 70 GP
In 2018, Mike Conley played just 12 games as the Grizzlies went on to win just 22 of their 82 total games. A player that has struggled with injuries throughout his career, Conley was at one time the highest paid player in NBA history. However, when healthy Conley has proven to be one of the most productive and underrated players in the league.
2018: 17.1 PPG, 4.1 APG, 2.3 RPG, 38.1 FG%, 31.2 3P%, 12 GP
Although he struggled shooting the ball, we must remember that this was only a course of twelve games, and it is unknown how many of those games he was playing with an injury. Because in the 2016-17 season, Conley averaged 20.5 points per game on over 46% shooting from the field and 40% from behind the arc. Proving that he can still be an incredibly efficient point guard, it only adds fuel to the fire knowing both him and the Grizzlies team want to prove they can still compete in this ultra-competitive Western Conference.
Predicted 2019 Stats: 19.4 PPG, 5.2 APG, 2.1 RPG, 43.5 FG%, 38.9 3P%, 68 GP