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An update on Tar Heels in the NBA

The NBA season is well underway, and several Tar Heels are beginning to make an impact for their teams.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Harrison Barnes – Barnes is continuing to prove all the naysayers wrong, as he lights it up for a terrible Dallas Mavericks squad. He could be in the running for Most Improved Player: he’s averaging 20.5 points and 5.6 rebounds on 46.3 percent shooting. Barnes still isn’t a great creator or facilitator for other guys, but he can get his.

Reggie Bullock – Bullock has barely played for the Detroit Pistons this season and is currently out following knee surgery. Even when healthy, he doesn’t make much of an impact for the team.

Vince Carter – Carter is still doing his thing and shooing away Father Time for another season. He’s been great off the bench for the Memphis Grizzlies. Throw in his experience and locker-room presence, and Carter’s a perfect fit.

Ed Davis – After being such a crucial part of the Portland Trailblazers bench last season, Davis—and the whole team for that matter—is struggling. He’s under 20 minutes per game, shooting under 50 percent and making no real impact for the team. Portland has looked off to start, and don’t be surprised if some moves are made rather quickly.

Wayne Ellington – Ellington is basically having the best season of his professional career for a woeful Miami Heat team. He’s averaging a career-high 13.4 points, in addition to a career-high 32.8 minutes per game. It’s nice to see Ellington getting so much run and playing rather well, but there’s an obvious reason why. The tank is on.

Raymond Felton – Felton has been a solid backup to Chris Paul for the LA Clippers. His numbers don’t pop out at you, but he’s shooting a tremendous 45 percent from deep. The real test for him will come in the playoffs and whether or not he can support the Clippers bench in playoff games.

Danny Green – Green is in the midst of one of his weaker seasons in a San Antonio Spurs. His three-point shooting is still terrific at just over 40 percent, but he’s not doing much else on the court. If the Spurs are really to contend with the Golden State Warriors, he’ll need to find the same magic he had from a few seasons ago.

John Henson – Henson’s arguably having the best season of his career since his 2013-14 season. His averages 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds are second to only that year, and he’s actually already started 14 games for an exciting, up-and-coming Milwaukee Bucks squad.

Ty Lawson – The fall of Lawson from top-10 point guard to entirely inconsequential NBA player has been sad to watch. He used to be so electric and dynamic for the Denver Nuggets. Now, for the Sacramento Kings, he’s just sluggish and a shell of his former self. His numbers are of 6.8 points and 4.5 assists are the equivalent of a half-hearted shrug.

James Michael McAdoo – McAdoo is still an NBA player on one of the best teams in the league. He’s averaging under seven minutes a game, but he’s still likely to get another ring.

Marvin Williams – Williams had such a great year last season for the Charlotte Hornets, it’s been shocking to see how much he’s dropped off. He found a niche as a small-ball, shooting power forward, but his shot has abandoned recently. He’s at 35.3 percent from the field and an even worse 34 percent from deep. If he can’t pick his shooting back up, Williams might not have much of a place left in the league.

Tyler Zeller – Zeller continues to be a decent piece for the Boston Celtics, averaging 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds for Coach Brad Stephens. He’s actually picked up his minutes from last season, up to 13.1 minutes per game, and is a good fit with a balanced Celtics roster.

Brandan Wright – The lanky Wright has been solid for the Memphis Grizzles when he’s played this season. Unfortunately for both, he’s played in just 11 games so far and looks to be out for another month following ankle surgery. When he is out there, he’s a terrific backup big averaging 6.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on 67.3 percent shooting.

Brice Johnson – Sadly, Johnson still has yet to play for the L.A. Clippers this season.