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NBA Daily: New Year, New You 2018

Here’s a look at seven NBA players who are performing much better since the start of the new year.

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The New Year is a time for self-reflection. Some may view the New Year as a time to fulfill a resolution, while others proclaim they will be achieving success in the coming months.

In NBA Daily, we’ll take a look at seven players playing at a higher level since the beginning of 2018.

Lou Williams, Guard, Los Angeles Clippers
January 2018 averages:
29 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 44% FG, 40% 3PT, 97% FT

Williams has been exceptional all season for the injury ravaged Clippers, but what he’s doing to start the year is even more incredible; the veteran is averaging nearly 30 points per game.

Williams has a long history in the league of consistently producing offensive firepower, however, the job he’s doing in Los Angeles this season overall and in the New Year in particular should definitely be commended.

Manu Ginobili, Guard, San Antonio Spurs
January 2018 averages:
19.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists

Ginobili is a throwback to the Spurs’ success during the early 2000s. Father Time is undefeated and retirement is undoubtedly near for the veteran, but he has been on fire since the start of the year shooting 63% from the field and 69% from three-point range.

Gerald Green, Guard, Houston Rockets
January 2018 averages:
23.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 52% FG, 50% 3PT, 29 minutes per game

Green’s NBA career has been a wild ride.  He has played on eight different teams since entering the league. Green has done in a marvelous job fitting into the Houston Rockets’ system averaging nearly 25 points per game since the franchise rescued him from shooting one-on-one in his driveway as a free agent. The Rockets boast one of the most potent offenses in the league and adding Green just boosted it even further. Green is always been a player that has produced when receiving quality minutes. In 92 career games where he played at least 30 minutes, the veteran is averaging 17 points. The problem for Green, however, has always been the consistency.

DeAndre Jordan, Center, Los Angeles Clippers
January 2018 averages:
74% FT, 19.5 points, 13.8 rebounds

In four January contests, Jordan is shooting 74 percent from the charity stripe. Jordan’s free throw shooting, in recent years, has been the subject of plenty of jokes since entering the league. Overall this season, Jordan’s having a career year behind the charity stripe shooting 61%, however, since the start of the year he is shooting 74% from the free-throw line.

Trey Lyles, Forward, Denver Nuggets
January 2018 averages:
20.5 points, 8 rebounds, 50% 3PT

Since the start of the year, Lyles has posted a usage rate of 26.7 and is averaging a shade over 20 points per despite playing just 20 minutes per contest. Lyles is enjoying a career season despite being moved during the offseason and has developed into a consistent bench threat for the emerging Nuggets – on pace for a potential playoff inquiry.

Michael Beasley, Forward, New York Knicks
January 2018 averages:
19.3 points, 9.3 rebounds

Similar to the aforementioned Gerald Green, Beasley has been a consistent performer in the league when he receives steady minutes. To start off the New Year, the veteran is averaging 25 minutes per game and nearly producing close to a 20/10 stat line. But it always comes down to consistency with Beasley. As we dive deeper into 2018 it’ll be interesting to see if his level of attentiveness is maintained at a similar level even if the minutes evaporate.

Dwight Howard, Center, Charlotte Hornets
January 2018 averages:
17.5 points, 9 rebounds, 63% FG, +/- 14.5

No, Howard is no longer the player he used to be but once you get over the decline of Superman, you’ll still find a very productive center anchoring the paint. Since the start of the year, Howard is averaging shade under 18 points per contest while maintaining a sparkling 14.5 plus/minus and a usage rate hovering near 25 to start off 2018.

Lang Greene is a senior NBA writer for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 10 seasons

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