The 2019-20 NBA season is still in its infancy but even this early on there are numerous storylines that need some attention.
One of these is the question of which players have a point to prove to NBA media and fans around the world? With the rise of African players in the league, we take a look at a few of the superstars and upcoming players who will be looking to make a statement this campaign.
Mo Bamba (Ivorian-American): Center, Orlando Magic
Born in Harlem in New York to parents from Cote D’Ivoire, Mohamed “Mo” Bamba is a sophomore this season having been drafted as the 6th pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He was widely touted as a big pickup by Orlando with his impressive wingspan, 7 foot 10 inches (2.39m), his major asset. Thus his defensive capabilities were in sharp focus.
He played 47 games with only one start in his first season and had a fair showing, only averaging 6.2 points per game (ppg), which is not bad for a rookie learning their trade, but he impressed with 5.0 rebounds per game (rpg) and crucially 1.4 blocks per game (bpg). According to NBA.com, he had a defensive rating of 109.2 last campaign. His shot-blocking will be the thing that the Magic will work on as he gains a better defensive awareness in the NBA.
Bamba picked up an injury last term, a stress fracture to his left leg in February, that ended his season early and he’s been working his way back to full fitness ever since. Much will be expected from him as he eases his way back into active duty with the Magic eager to get the most out of their young star talent. Bamba will want to show the world that he can be a huge presence for the team to prove that the organisation were correct to select him so high in the lottery. So far in 2019 he’s done well but hasn’t been spectacular. Read more…