Nets Preview: Eagle on Breakout Players

10/24/2012 10:38 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

The Pistons may lean more on Greg Monroe this year, says Ian Eagle.(AP)
As mentioned when we profiled Jim Spanarkel’s potential “breakout stars” earlier in our 2012-13 Nets season preview, the definition of “breakout” varies widely. Whether it’s a young veteran going from complement to star, a starting-caliber player becoming a superstar, or simply a young player first making his name, any number of NBA players could be considered for that breakout depending on which angle you look at.

In asking Nets play-by-play man Ian Eagle to name a few players that he felt could have breakout seasons, we found that his thoughts echoed all of the above; in giving his reasoning for the three men he mentioned, Eagle explained that each prognostication comes from a different thought process, and each player profiled might fit into a different one of the categories above.

No. 1: Paul George, Indiana
“George is ready to take that next step. We saw improvement in his first season as a starter (in 2011-12), and he has a chance to be a star.”

No. 2: Greg Monroe, Detroit:
“Monroe is unlike any other player in the league. He probably needs to get a little more selfish, and on a young team, he can take over a big role. The Pistons are going to lean on him, and more often than not, the players that break out are the ones that are given more responsibility.”

No. 3: John Wall, Washington:
“Wall’s extremely talented, and has dealt with a tough hand with the Wizards. His numbers are there, but I think John is still trying to figure out where he fits in. I also think he’s taken the Wizards’ failures personally, even though he’s been in a tough situation with a lot of guys who didn’t gel. Wall needs to make the players around him better, but he’s got a chance to make a big leap.”

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