Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week 17

RANKROOKIERUNDOWNRECENT
1DAMIAN LILLARD, G, PORTLAND: The Blazers have lost eight of nine and are sliding out of the playoff chase. But please don’t blame the kid. He averaged 19.0 points and 5.7 assists in three games this week, and sealed Portland’s only win when he outraced Kevin Garnett to a loose ball.1
2WizardsBRADLEY BEAL, G, WASHINGTON: Has four 20-point games in his last seven and nine since Jan. 1 after managing just two in the season’s first two months. Minutes are up to almost 32 per game – only Lillard plays more among rookies – and the Wizards should ride him the rest of the way.3
3DION WAITERS, G, CLEVELAND: Averaged 21.5 points on 51 percent shooting in four games, including two without Kyrie Irving attracting attention and delivering the ball. Should unseat Beal for East Rookie of the Month with 15.8 points, 51 percent shooting and Cleveland’s 7-5 mark.4
4HornetsANTHONY DAVIS, F-C, NEW ORLEANS: Led all rookies with two injuries this week, a sprained right knee vs. Dallas and a sprained left shoulder vs. Brooklyn. That ended a stretch of five straight games in double figures with three double-doubles. Maybe Beal can give him some toughness lessons.2
5MagicMOE HARKLESS, F, ORLANDO: Showed the Sixers what they gave up with 10 points and four boards in Tuesday’s road win – and that was his worst game of the week. Averaging 33.2 minutes, 14.9 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 53 percent in last six and is really coming on strong.6
6MagicANDREW NICHOLSON, F, ORLANDO: Took a small step back as his double-dgit streak ended at six and managed just nine rebounds in four games. Still completed his best month by far with 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 53 percent shooting and 25 trips to the line, all monthly season highs.5
7PistonsKYLE SINGLER, F, DETROIT: Totally shut down (4 points, 2-of-13) in two losses to Indiana but bounced back with 22 points on 9-of-18 in next two. One of four rookies now in Detroit’s rotation, and the group should be called K-Mart as Kyle is joined by Kim (English), Khris (Middleton) and Kravtsov (Slava).7
8HARRISON BARNES, F, GOLDEN STATE: Continues to get squeezed by coach Mark Jackson’s three-guard lineup and hasn’t been in double figures in last seven games. Even David Lee’s suspension didn’t help as fellow rook Draymond Green got the bulk of the minutes against Carmelo Anthony.8
9BobcatsMICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, F, CHARLOTTE: Looked like he was turning the corner with three straight double-digit games and good aggression on both ends. Then he put up a 22-minute donut vs. the Clippers in the opener of a four-game road trip. Averaged a season-low 20.8 minutes in February.10
10PistonsKIM ENGLISH, G, DETROIT: Third Piston to crash the table this season, joining Singler and injured Andre Drummond. Does so with back-to-back 10-point games off the bench and looks like he is now part of the rotation. Has scored 35 points in his last five games after totaling 52 in his first 22.-

DROPOUTS: Tyler Zeller, C, Cleveland (9).

FIVE TO WATCH: John Henson, F-C, Milwaukee; Orlando Johnson, G, Indiana; Meyers Leonard, C, Portland; Jeffery Taylor, G-F, Charlotte; Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Rookie | Power | Most Improved | MVP | Sixth Man

Chris Bernucca is the deputy editor of SheridanHoops.com. His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.

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