Rookie Rankings, Edition 4: Kings, Pacers Go Big With Rookies

Willie-Cauley-Stein

Right now, the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers have a lot in common. Both teams are on the cusp of the playoff race while being carried by an All-Star. Both teams have made a decision to go with a big lineup by reinserting a rookie who was injured earlier this season. And both teams hope things improve quickly. The Kings have gone back to starting sixth overall pick Willie Cauley-Stein at center, which moves monstrous DeMarcus Cousins to power forward and Rudy

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Bernucca: Handing Out My Midseason Awards

Curry

This is the time of year when we give out our midseason awards. But before we get to the drudgery of Sixth Man Award and Most Valuable Player, let’s start the festivities with a special award for individual achievement that goes to Rashad Vaughn. Vaughn is a shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks and the second-youngest player in the NBA. He is one of the dozens of rookies who have made virtually no impact in their first season. He is averaging 2.5 points

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Rookie Rankings, Edition 3: Injuries Offer Opportunities

Boban

Even though he stands 7-3 and weighs in at 290 pounds, Boban Marjanovic has been easy to overlook. Marjanovic is a rookie center on the San Antonio Spurs and not part of their rotation. While other rookie big men such as Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and Jahlil Okafor have dominated the headlines this season, Marjanovic has played almost exclusively during garbage time while also collecting 17 DNPs. But the giant from Serbia got a chance to be more than a cheerleader this

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Mitnick: Looking at the NBA’s 2015-16 Euro Rookies

Magic Rob Hennigan Mario Hezonja

In the past, a handful of players have come over from Europe and made a big impact in their rookie seasons in the NBA. Pau Gasol came from Spain to win NBA Rookie of the Year with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002. Coming off two straight Italian League MVP awards, Manu Ginobili gave the San Antonio Spurs the extra push off the bench they needed to win the NBA title in 2003. Luis Scola and Juan Carlos Navarro were immediate contributors as

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Sheridan: My Postseason Awards Ballot; Toughest MVP Vote Ever

silverMVP

There is a reason why I always wait until the 82nd game of the season is in the books before deciding on my postseason awards choices. Three words: What’s the hurry? This is a lesson I learned way back in 1999 when I was covering a late regular-season game at the Alamodome during the lockout-shortened 50-game season. There were still three of four games left, and I was sitting alongside a veteran reporter from USA Today and asked him which way he

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Bernucca: My annual NBA award picks

Coach of the Year

I write this column every year two days before the regular season ends, and I usually get right to the point. But this year I am going to start a little differently. So let me get one item off my chest and out of the way: Michele Roberts is way off base. The new executive director of the NBA Players Association tried to reinvent the wheel this week when it was reported that she is instituting the Players Choice Awards, which will

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Rookie Rankings, Week 21: Get a Grip, People. Wiggins is Rookie of the Year

Andrew Wiggins

In recent weeks, there have been a number of folks advancing the theory that someone other than Andrew Wiggins deserves Rookie of the Year. There was a piece that said Nikola Mirotic was more deserving. There was another that said the award should go to Nerlens Noel. There was even one that said the top rookie is Elfrid Payton. Get a grip, people. Mirotic, Noel and Payton all have had fine rookie campaigns. All three are putting together strong finishes to their season. And

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Rookie Rankings, Week 20: April Fool’s Jokes and Rookie Mistakes

Elfrif Payton haircut

NBA players aren’t the only ones susceptible to rookie mistakes. NBA writers and editors are, too. I spent nearly 20 years in newsrooms, and every year in late March, we received a staff-wide email warning us of April Fool’s jokes masquerading as news releases. At a later point in my career, I became the one writing these emails, cautioning the staff. Be careful. Don’t assume, no matter how innocuous the release may be. Make a phone call. If something sounds hinky, it

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