We’re pretty much half way through the 2010-2011 NBA season, so it’s time to hand out some awards and do some top 10 ranking. Here are the 10 best rookies so far this season.
Number 10 – Gary Neal, San Antonio Spurs
Stats: 8.7 Points, 2.7 rebounds, 1 assists in 18.7 minutes a game.
The 26(!!) year old combo guard did some touring in Europe before landing the bench-gig with the Spurs, impressing especially with his outside shooting (39.6% from three point) and rebounding.
Number 9 – Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers
Stats: 7.1 Points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists in 24.4 minutes per game.
The number 2 pick out of Ohio State isn’t the future of the Philadelphia 76ers, not just yet, or at least not in the superstar way you expect your number 2 pick to be. Whether it’s growing pains or just getting picked too high, Turner is suffering from the most common rookie ailment – inconsistency, especially with his shot – 39.5% from the field, 28% from three point.
Number 8 – Derrick Favors, New Jersey Nets
Stats: 6.6 Points, 4.9 rebounds, 55.1% from the field in 18.7 minutes a night.
The number 3 pick in the 2010 draft, turning pro after only one year with Georgia Tech is struggling like many expected, especially with his offensive game. The defense looks good, but the offense – Favors is struggling to get off shots and hasn’t been able to score in twice in the last three games, resulting in fewer minutes from Avery Johnson.
Number 7 – Wesley Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves
Stats: 8.9 Points, 2.9 rebounds, 2 assists in 27.4 minutes a night.
2011 Has been rough on Johnson who keeps showing glimpses of his talents that made him a 2010 All-American but far from on regular basis. Johnson has scored only once in double figures in January and is shooting 33.3% from the field this month. His three point shooting is impressive, just under 40% for the season, but he’s settling for too many jump shot instead of taking it to the hole.
Number 6 – Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers
Stats: 7 Points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists in 25.1 minutes a night.
Got tons of minutes while Baron Davis was out, Bledsoe is now settling in the role that was intended for him in the first place – being a back up. Doesn’t usually play more than 17-18 minutes a game these days, Bledsoe is developing nicely into a very good backup Point or a mediocre starter. Has got to work on his outside shot (27.6% from three point).
Number 5 – Greg Monroe, Detorit Pistons
Stats: 6.3 Points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals in 22.4 minutes a night.
Unlike others we mentioned, Monroe is having a fantastic start to 2011. Getting Ben Wallace’s starting role since his injury, Monroe has been scoring in double figures in seven consecutive games including four double double games with the Pistons currently riding a three game win streak, a rarity for the Pistons the last two years.
Number 4 – DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Stats: 13 Points, 7.7 rebounds in 26.1 minutes a night.
Sometimes, Cousins looks like an All-Star player. Enormous amount of talent, no doubt about it. Sometimes, Cousins has the decision making ability of a bad high school player. It’s not all his fault – He has a coach (Paul Westphal) that changes lineups and rotations every other day and that’s never good. January has been very good for Cousins, averaging 17.4 points per game. The Kings however still suck most of the time.
Number 3 – Landry Fields, New York Knicks
Stats: 10.1 Points, 7.4 rebounds in 32.1 minutes a night.
Probably the biggest and most pleasant surprise in this draft class, Fields seems to blend in perfectly with D’Antoni’s Knicks who look like they’re finally going to make a post season. They haven’t been there since the 2003-2004 season. The biggest surprise about Fields is his decision making and his shooting. He doesn’t take bad shots too often, and is shooting 51.8% from the field and 38.8% from the three point. Already a crowd favorite with Knicks fans, Fields can develop into a very good player for many years.
Number 2 – John Wall, Washington Wizards
Stats: 15.4 Points, 3.7 rebounds, 9.1 assists in 36.9 minutes a night.
Like the league needed another young All-Star bound point guard. The deepest position in the league got another superstar in the making with John Wall who’s doing very well on a bad Wizards team. Problems – Too many turnovers and the outside shot. Not the first one to have those hamper his rookie and early years in the league. An All-Star player very soon.
Mid Season Rookie of the Year – Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Stats: 22.5 Points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists in 37.3 minutes a night.
Very easy to pick. Griffin scored 47 points last night against the Pacers as the Clippers continue to recover from their bad start to the season, winning five of their last six games. Griffin, doing his rookie tour a year late, is currently carrying a 27 consecutive double-double streak and has scored at least 20 points in 16 straight games. Hottest player in the league right now, and if he starts hitting those free throws…