Sports Illustrated this week released its Top 100 NBA Players for the 2021-2022 season. Three former Virginia Cavaliers male basketball players have cracked the roster.
Joe Harris was ranked No.72, up 14 spots from No.86 in the SI standings since last season. Harris is entering his eighth season in the NBA and his fifth season with the Brooklyn Nets. The 2019 three-point contest champion is looking to reprise his role as one of the league’s top snipers alongside a loaded list of the Nets, led by Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. If the Nets can stay healthy, they will be the sure-fire favorites to win the Eastern Conference and advance to the NBA Finals.
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Pickman said this about Harris in the SI Ranking Story:
âOne of the best long-range shooters in the game, Harris led the NBA in three-point percentage for the second time in three seasons in 2021, converting 47.5% of his attempts. Much of his success, however, has been overshadowed by his struggles against the Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, which saw him shoot just 24.2% on three in the last five games of the series. That cold streak aside, Harris is a sniper and ready for another stellar season alongside the Nets’ big three.
De’Andre Hunter made the biggest jump of the three, rising to 56th after not being ranked in the standings last season. Hunter is entering his third year in the NBA as one of the league’s top two-way young players for the Atlanta Hawks, and many pundits have signed Hunter for an exceptional year in the 2021-2022 NBA season. Hunter missed a lot of time with injury last season, including most of the playoffs in which the Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, before losing to the eventual champion. of the NBA, Milwaukee Bucks. This season, Hunter and Trae Young are looking to lead the Hawks to another playoff streak.
Sports Illustrated writer Jeremy Woo wrote this about De’Andre Hunter:
âLiving up to his reputation as a top manager, Hunter, 23, quickly established himself as a valuable supporting piece in Atlanta, able to defend all around the perimeter and knock down jumpers on the other end. He only played 23 games last year due to a lingering knee problem, but looked like the Hawks’ second-best player before the injury, showing dramatically improved shot creation skills. A good jump in production in high season could be on the table. “
Finally, Malcolm Brogdon moved up seven places, moving from 54th to 47th place in this year’s standings. Brogdon is entering his sixth NBA season and his third season with the Indiana Pacers. After becoming the eighth player in NBA history to record a 50-40-90 season in 2019 with the Milwaukee Bucks, Brogdon signed a contract to join the Pacers and was the Indiana playmaker in the over the past two seasons. After missing the playoffs in 2021, the Pacers hired former Dallas Mavericks head coach (and UVA men’s basketball alum) Rick Carlisle as their head coach. Brogdon and Carlisle will look to put the Pacers in position to play in the franchise’s first-ever NBA Championship this season.
Chris Herring of Sports Illustrated wrote the following about Brogdon:
âBrogdon would improve just about any team. He’s someone who shouldn’t necessarily be your best player. But he can create his own plan if necessary, set the table for others, and cast an open look. He can play either guard post and is a strong defender. Not as good as Jrue Holiday, who is a more natural ground general and a superior dog on defense. Still, Brogdon is a bigger, more potent dietary version of him. Who wouldn’t want that? “
As Tony Bennett continues to send UVA basketball players to the NBA, we look forward to seeing more Wahoos on this list in the near future.
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