Rookie Rankings, Week 3: Trey Burke, Shane Larkin make strong debuts

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Trey-Burke-Utah-JazzLast week, we discussed how the race for Rookie of the Year is wide open because of injuries to several of the top picks.

No. 3 Otto Porter, No. 6 Nerlens Noel and No. 10 C.J. McCollum still haven’t taken the court this season. But a couple of first-round picks – both point guards – made their NBA debuts this week.

On Monday, it was Dallas Mavericks guard Shane Larkin, who suffered a broken ankle in the last practice before summer league. On Wednesday, it was Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke, who suffered a broken finger in training camp.

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Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week 23

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Damian LillardThis is the final edition of the Rookie Rankings, and we will allow Kobe Bryant to have the final word on a race that was decided long ago.

Bryant is a student of the game who understands its history and normally is not given to hyperbole. So when he offers an evaluation of an opponent – most of whom he holds in disdain – it should not be taken with a grain of salt.

And here’s what he had to say about Portland Trail Blazers rookie point guard Damian Lillard.

“He’s spectacular … really fantastic,” Bryant said. “A lot of players get hot, but he’s got the moves, patience, intelligence, the balance on his jumpers. He’s the real deal.”

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Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week 22

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Damian Lillard This week, Damian Lillard set an NBA rookie record for 3-pointers, passing Stephen Curry’s mark set three years ago. But that is not his most impressive number.

For virtually the entire season, Lillard has led all rookies in scoring, assists and free throws. But those are not his most impressive numbers, either.

As this version of our Rookie Rankings is published, Lillard leads in minutes played.

Not all rookies. All players.

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Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week 21

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MagicEarly next week, Rookies of the Month for March will be handed out. It is possible that Anthony Davis could end Damian Lillard’s stranglehold on the Western Conference honor, while the East will be a toss-up between Moe Harkless and Jonas Valanciunas.

Davis, Harkless and Valanciunas have yet to win the award. But as we approach the season’s final month, it is the time where many previously unheralded rookies make a name for themselves.

Last year, Atlanta’s Ivan Johnson broke through in the East as Kyrie Irving spent most of April on the sidelines. Ditto Denver’s Kenneth Faried after Ricky Rubio and Isaiah Thomas shared the first three West awards.

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Sheridan Hoops Rookie Rankings: Week 20

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El Magic Moe HarklessThis coming weekend, Moe Harkless will have to match up against both LeBron James and Kevin Durant for the second time in three weeks. But that doesn’t scare him.

Do you know what does spook the 19-year-old rookie forward of the Orlando Magic? Haunted hotels.

Last weekend, Harkless and his Magic teammates made a trip to Oklahoma City and stayed in the Skirvin Hilton, which is supposedly haunted. After his first stay there, Harkless may be a believer. 

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