01-13-2010, 02:20 PM
...can anyone with insider post this? I feel an A.J. Price mention coming in his "hidden gems" section.
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=thorpe_david&page=Rookies-100113&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba %2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dthorpe_ david%26page%3dRookies-100113
01-13-2010, 06:39 PM
Giving myself the assist...
01-14-2010, 04:21 AM
I know someone does...do not hide from us gypsy :devil:
01-14-2010, 04:46 AM
Didn't say anything about AJ Price, I was surprised, especially since he was in the main photo with Maynor.
consolation prize ;)
from Hoopsworld's Joel Brigham
A.J. Price, Indiana Pacers – No rookie saw a bigger jump this week than Indiana point guard A.J. Price, who is currently receiving the benefits of T.J. Ford's benching by Pacers coach Jim O'Brien. Price isn't starting games, but he's seen a big bump in minutes as a result. He's played over 20 minutes a game in four of the last five contests after not having played 20 minutes at all previously this season. In his last three games, he's averaging 16.3 points and 4 assists—much higher than his season averages of 6.6ppg and 1.7apg.
01-14-2010, 07:31 AM
Rookie Watch: Class secrets (http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=thorpe_david&page=Rookies-100113&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba %2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dthorpe_ david%26page%3dRookies-100113)
By David Thorpe
Originally Published: January 13, 2010
Talent alone is not enough to guarantee playing time for a rookie. Opportunity counts just as much. Thus, some rookies start the season mostly riding pine, and others lose a spot in the rotation because another teammate is playing better. Does this mean that these rooks are not going to be impact players down the road? Of course not.
Let's play a game and you'll see what I mean.
MATCH THE PLAYER WITH HIS ROOKIE STATS:
(1) Dirk Nowitzki (a) 7.6 ppg on 43.8 percent shooting
(2) Steve Nash (b) 8.2 ppg, 40.5 percent from the field, 20.6 from 3
(3) Joe Johnson (c) 3.3 ppg, 42.3 percent from the field, 2.1 apg
(4) Manu Ginobili (d) 7.5 ppg, 43 percent from field, 29 percent from 3
* Answer key below
All four of these players have obviously had much success in their NBA careers. But who would have predicted major success for any of them during their rookie seasons?
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the rookies who are under the radar right now but still finding ways to make an impact on their teams. Will any of them achieve what those four All-Stars above have? Probably not. Will some of them end up being far better players than what we saw from them in November and December? Without a doubt.
Eric Maynor, Thunder | Rookie card
Traded from Utah on Dec. 22, Maynor looks to be a valuable part of OKC's rotation. He has played solid minutes in every game since the trade and has been very reliable with the ball every time out. How reliable? He hasn't committed more than one turnover in any game save one. And he didn't commit any turnovers in four of those games. I cannot think of a better way to get in the good graces of his new coach than by playing error-free basketball.
Sam Young, Grizzlies | Rookie card
A big part of the Grizzlies' recent surge, Young has been getting consistent minutes and has put up 22 points twice in January. He has shown an ability to get to the rim -- 11 percent of his buckets come off dunks.
I also like the energy he brings on defense. He's averaging almost a steal a game in January and causing all sorts of chaos on that end.
Dante Cunningham, Blazers | Rookie card
He appeared in just nine games through November, playing less than seven minutes in five of those games. But with the injuries in Portland, he earned a chance to play a lot more and has answered the bell.
Since Dec. 30, he has played 23 or more minutes three times and is averaging 7 ppg. His seven points and five rebounds in 17 minutes helped the Blazers beat the Lakers on Friday.
Jon Brockman, Kings | Rookie card
Overshadowed by fellow rookie teammates Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi, "The Brock Ness Monster" (easily my favorite nickname of the class) has a few things working against him. Most notably, he is too short and stubby (short arms) for an NBA power forward.
However, in a lesson I learned long ago, when players find a way to produce despite obvious flaws, they are to be respected and sometimes even feared. Brockman, despite his physical limitations, is averaging two offensive rebounds and two defensive boards a game in just 12 minutes. He has one of the highest offensive rebound rates in the NBA and is No. 1 in rebound rate for all rookies.
Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies | Rookie card
Sure, as No. 2 picks go, Thabeet has done little. But the Grizzlies knew they were drafting a project and are determined to develop him one step at a time.
Dave Joerger, one of the top young assistant coaches in the NBA, is doing everything he can to help Thabeet earn more minutes. Since Thanksgiving, Thabeet has played in every game and shown some positive signs.
Serge Ibaka, Thunder | Rookie card
In OKC's first seven games, Ibaka played a total of five minutes. Since then, he has played in 23 of its past 24 games, earning at least 11 minutes in all but four of those appearances. He's better at finishing inside now and his jumper is looking more polished. He also averages a block a game.
As the Thunder continue to evolve, Ibaka can learn to be an energizing presence in the paint -- an important role on playoff-caliber teams.
James Johnson, Bulls | Rookie card
Johnson has appeared in 10 straight games, his longest streak of the season. He's still struggling as a shooter, but he's finding ways to attack the basket. With his size and athleticism, it would also be good to see him work the offensive glass more.
Players like Johnson, who see themselves as polished offensive players, tend to make the mistake of overestimating their skills and underestimating their ability to make an impact with sheer physical talents.
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors | Rookie card
DeRozan is finding his way in Toronto, slowly but surely improving. Lately, he's put together a nice run, scoring 10 or more points in six of the Raptors' past 11 games as their starting 2-guard. In that span, he's made 41 of 69 shots.
I compared him to Courtney Lee this past summer, and I still see the similarities (except for his current lack of range as a shooter). He plays under control despite being one of the youngest players in the NBA.
Austin Daye, Pistons | Rookie card
Most of the attention in Detroit has been on the Pistons' recent losing streak and their Swedish surprise, rookie Jonas Jerebko. But Daye, who is talented and only 21, has played in all but two games since November. He may not be ready to help the team win today, but this kind of consistent playing time gives him the chance to develop into a much better player next season. Or maybe even by March of this season.
David Andersen, Rockets | Rookie card
Houston has been one of the better stories of the first half of the season and Andersen has found a way to be a part of it despite shooting poorly from the field -- he's made just 8 of his last 37 3-point attempts. Any rookie getting quality minutes on a playoff team is worthy of mention.
* Answer key: (1) b; (2) c; (3) d; (4) a.
ROOKIE 50: WHO'S NO. 1?
Tyreke Evans had a monster game against Denver on Saturday which included him hitting the game-winner over Kenyon Martin. And until Tuesday's game against Orlando, he had passed for at least five assists in each of the Kings' past five games. Because he played well during the past week and has been the best rookie overall this season, he is back in the top spot of our rankings. But it's closer than you think.
Omri Casspi is going through his first shooting slump of the season, making just three of his last 14 3-pointers. But it's not much of a slump when you consider he's made 10 of 26 over his last five games. In that same span, he is also averaging 8.6 rebounds a game and has posted two double-doubles. He's becoming a far better all-around talent.
Both Kings, however, are now facing a challenge from Ty Lawson, who scored 20-plus points in three straight games before turning his ankle and missing three straight games. If he returns to form soon, he'll be in the thick of this race. He is now second among rookies in PER behind Evans.
Brandon Jennings, a top-two performer here all season, is falling fast. He's been awful in 2010, averaging just 10 ppg on 25.4 percent shooting. It will be interesting to see if he can recover quickly now that he's lost wingman Michael Redd for the season. A straight-shooting Jennings can easily get himself back into ROY contention.
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