Saturday, March 15, 2008

Four Breakout NBA Stars

NBA Inside Access with Ahmad Rashad took a look at 4 NBA players who've been having breakout seasons this year. David West, Louis Williams, Al Jefferson and Hedo Turkoglu.

David West of the New Orleans Hornets has had one of the best breakout seasons in the NBA, as he achieved All-Star status this season. It's his first selection and probably not his last. The forward was described by his coach Byron Scott as shy and quiet, but forceful when it comes to his play on the court. His teammate Chris Paul, fellow All-star, says West isn't concerned with being an All-star as much as just playing the game. West himself said he doesn't mind if people don't know who he is when he's out and about, because basketball is a game and entertainment. David West continues to play great the forward spot for New Orleans as they are one of the top teams in the NBA's West.

Hedo Turkoglu isn't really an unknown star, as he's shown his brilliance previously for the Sacramento Kings. This season he's been making Magic in Orlando, as they are one of the Top 4 teams of the Eastern Conference. Hedo was groomed early in his career by teammates in Sacramento, Peja Stoyakovic and Vlade Divac. Hedo's currently enjoying the coaching style and system of Stan Van Gundy, which gives him more opportunities to excel. Now a confident Turkoglu is scoring 20 ppg, and hitting game winners and helping the Magic to be one of the top teams in the East. Although Hedo didn't make the All-star team this season, he may be a lead candidate for the Most Improved Player award.

Al Jefferson is considered the man filling the shoes of KG in Minnesota, the new face of the TWolves. Jefferson was taken by the Celtics in the 2004 draft, after he played basketball growing up since age 5. Jefferson admitted in his second season he just didn't prepare like he should have, then he injured his leg and ankle twice. After a serious commitment to rehab, Jefferson was back to take over for the Celtics, emerging as a top star. Big Al said the trade from Boston to Minnesota for KG was more of a sign of respect to him. Now Al learns from an all-time great forward in Kevin McHale of Minnesota. Al says if he takes care of his game, "his game will take care of him" and his goal is to be remembered in this league. Al Jefferson is currently a 20/10 man with points and rebounds.

Louis Williams of the Philadelphia Sixers is not only a baller, but a radio DJ. The guard has been a part of this season's resurgence in Philly, as the Sixers are part of the playoff chase again. His weekly radio show for 100.3 the Beat features R&B and Hip Hop. Williams wants to broaden his horizons, and is definitely giving basketball and music his all. He's averaging a career high 11 points as a reserve to help spark the Sixers. Teammate Andre Iguodola says Louis has a "street mentality" from music to the hardwood courts. Early in his career he received rookie lessons and pranks courtesy of Allen Iverson. Louis may be a bench player for the Sixers but he gets plenty of play time when it comes to DJing. One guests he'd like to have on his show is rapper Lil' Wayne.

Note: ABC will be featuring a doubleheader starting at 12:30 PM on Sunday. New Orleans heads to Detroit, with the second game featuring the 20 game win-streak Rockets against the Lakers.

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