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
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
It’s time for the Los Angeles Lakers to get serious about rebuilding. The Lakers aren’t making the playoffs this season. They are 2-9, with losses already to Minnesota, Sacramento, Denver, New York and Dallas twice. One of their wins came against Brooklyn. The only thing between the Lakers and the bottom of the Western Conference is the New Orleans Pelicans, who have almost as many injuries as the 3rd Ranger Battalion. This is uncharted territory for the Lakers, who already have missed
Isaiah Canaan is no longer a rookie. He’s beginning his second year now with the Houston Rockets, who selected him 34th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft. The second-year guard from Murray State has already surpassed his start totals from last year through the first eight games this season, starting five this year compared to last. He spent a good part of his rookie season playing with the Rockets D-League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. When Canaan did join his
Last 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.
This 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
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. [Read more…]
Early 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