|1||DAMIAN LILLARD, G, PORTLAND: The gap between Nos. 1 and 2 has narrowed. His 28-8-0 turnovers vs. Minnesota was a gem but was followed by Portland’s first extended road trip – and Lillard’s first extended poor stretch (14-of-51, 9 turnovers, three losses). He also is nursing a knee injury.||1|
|2||HARRISON BARNES, F, GOLDEN STATE: Played just twice this week – a four-point stinker vs. Denver and a double-double vs. Minnesota in which he introduced himself to Nikola Pekovic. He gets another shot at the Nuggets on TNT, where another nuclear dunk will create the buzz he should be getting.||3|
|3||KYLE SINGLER, F, DETROIT: We’re not that big on advanced stats, but we do like points per shot, because it factors in throws and threes. Guess who leads all rookies with a 1.39 PPS (17th overall) and a .592 adjusted FG pct. (seventh)? Has showdowns with Dion Waiters and Barnes next week.||5|
|4||MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, F, CHARLOTTE: After five straight double-digit games, his offense regressed this week, and he is losing minutes when coach Mike Dunlap goes small. Still solid and trustworthy but needs to pick it up again or he won’t even be the best rookie on his team. (See below.)||4|
|5||DION WAITERS, G, CLEVELAND: Already a streaky shooter with little conscience, his attempts are way up and his percentage is down since Kyrie Irving went out five games ago. But his scoring and assists are up as he has taken on more playmaking responsibility. Not quite sure if that’s a good thing.||6|
|6||JONAS VALANCIUNAS, F-C, TORONTO: Was building some momentum after a slow start, highlighted by a season-high 22 points in the 2OT crusher to the Spurs. But that was stymied Wednesday, when he was manhandled by the Memphis Maulers. Blocking shots (1.19 pg) but still fouling way too much.||8|
|7||ANTHONY DAVIS, F-C, NEW ORLEANS: “Out tonight” became “day to day” became “out two weeks.” We don’t blame the going-nowhere Hornets for being cautious with their crown jewel, but he has missed more games (8) than he has played (6). Won’t be back in this table until he is back on the court.||2|
|8||JEFFERY TAYLOR, G-F, CHARLOTTE: Gotta love Dunlap’s trust in MKG and Taylor, whose run of five double-digit games ended Wednesday in Atlanta. Has a great nose for the ball but needs to maintain shooting consistency he has shown lately to help a guard-heavy offense.||-|
|9||ALEXEY SHVED, G, MINNESOTA: His minutes are on the rise, primarily because his 6-6 frame makes him more of a deterrent than mighty mites Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea – even though he can’t defend a lick. From what we saw this week, he is prone to occasional awful decisions with the ball.||7|
|10||BRIAN ROBERTS, G, NEW ORLEANS: The injury to Davis makes the free agent point guard the best of New Orleans’ rookies – which probably says more about the disappointing Austin Rivers. Averaging 12.3 points on 15-of-27 shooting in his last three games and has to keep that up to stay here.||-|
DROPOUTS: Bradley Beal, G, Washington (9); John Henson, F-C, Milwaukee (10).
FIVE TO WATCH: Andre Drummond, F-C, Detroit; Andrew Nicholson, F, Orlando; Austin Rivers, G, New Orleans; Terrence Ross, G, Toronto; Jared Sullinger, F, Boston.
Chris Bernucca is the managing editor of SheridanHoops.com. His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.
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