In case you didn’t know, last season there were only two players in the NBA that averaged over 2.0 steals per game – whereas every season since 2004-05 there have been at least five. And now that the offseason landscape has finally settled down, with the majority of the big trades and free agents signings out of the way, here are five guys that will average 2+steals this coming season that didn’t last year.
1. Mario Chalmers – As a rookie last year, Chalmers averaged 1.95 steals per game in 32 minutes a night. So with an increased role this season and a year under his belt, I have no doubt that he’ll be getting at least two swipes a night. The fact that Dwyane Wade averaged 2.19 spg last year makes them the most dangerous backcourt in the League.
2. Rajon Rondo – In his three years in the NBA, Rondo has never averaged 2+ steals per game. That is, in the regular season. In the playoffs last year Rondo was good for 2.5 swipes per game and should be a monster this season as he terrorizes opposing guards.
3. Ronnie Brewer – After averaging 1.7 steals per game last season, I expect Brewer to become a master thief. While the Jazz have tons of weapons offensively, the only way they go far this year is if they buckle down on D. And if Brewer wants to maintain a constant in the rotation, he’s going to have to be that lockdown guy for Utah.
4. Gerald Wallace – Before last season, Wallace had spent three years above the 2+ steals per game mark with the Bobcats. Whether it was new blood in the lineup or just a lapse in defense, if the Bobcats want to make the playoffs this year they’re going to need Wallace to get steal the ball at least two times a night.
5. Trevor Ariza – While Ariza averaged a career high 1.67 steals per game last year with the Lakers, you have to understand that he did that in less than 25 minutes a night. If you looked at steals per 48 minutes, he’d be second in the League behind Chris Paul. So now that Ariza is in Houston and will have all the opportunity and minutes to shine, he should easily average more than two steals per game.
From the guys that didn’t last year, who do you think will average 2+ steals this coming season?