Patrick Patterson — OK, so he hasn’t put up ridiculous numbers this week, but I owe it to him to include him on this list when I forgot about him last week. Whoops. Sorry Mr. Patterson. TBJ commenter “Sir_Thursday” was right, I messed this one up.
Patterson was solid last week, putting up three double-doubles in three straight victories for the Rockets. Patterson is averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, but over that three-game stretch, he upped those averages to 14.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. A small sample for sure, but a pretty good one. Patterson’s numbers have gone down this week, but so has his playing time. He’s got the classic rookie struggle of trying to get consistent playing time while trying to combat the inconsistency that often accompanies fluctuating minutes.
Still, Patterson has been impressive as of late, showing why he was taken with 14th pick in the draft. In addition to his skills on the court, the 22-year-old is one of the more mature rookies from the class of 2010 and his level head has helped him to steadily improve over the course of the season.
John Wall — The Washington Wizards won their second road game of the season last night. Moving to 2-35 on the road is hardly a cause for celebration, right? Wrong. For these Wizards, getting that second road win took an overtime and a solid performance from John Wall who finished with 28 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
The performance capped off a strong week for Wall who also had a 32-point outburst against the Clippers where he added 10 assists (he did have six ugly turnovers, but the rest of his line helped to gloss over those miscues). Against the Nuggets, Wall struggled from the floor, shooting a horrendous 2-for-10, but managed to continue to help his team by getting to the line where he was a perfect 9-for-9, still finishing with 13 points and six assists. Against the Warriors, Wall notched another double-double, with 18 points and 12 assists. Wall had a solid week from the line, and was aggressive, something we didn’t see as much of in a loss against the Raptors last Friday. As the season winds down, Wall is averaging 16.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. A fine rookie campaign, albeit one that has been overshadowed by the brilliant season Blake Griffin has produced.
Ed Davis — After finding himself on the “not” last last week, Davis brought his A-game with him to the West Coast and put in back-to-back impressive performances. First against the Nuggets, Davis finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. A day later the rookie shook off tired legs to score a career-high 21 points (also hauling down 11 rebounds) against Blake Griffin and the Clippers. Most impressive? Davis shot 8-for-11 from the floor for those 21 points. Not bad.
Evan Turner — Once again, Evan Turner is on a down swing. In three games this week, there isn’t much to write home about where Turner is concerned. A two-point night, a five-point night and then a scoreless night, the second pick in the 2010 NBA draft didn’t have a lot going on. While his Sixers continue to overachieve and impress, Turner has been in a slump for most of March. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was a disappointment. With so many rookies impressing, Turner looks as though he may have hit the wall, fading into rookie obscurity after a few solid scoring nights to kick off the month.
Eric Bledsoe — Similarly to Turner, Eric Bledsoe has been quiet lately. Too quiet. After showing flashes of his potential earlier this month, Bledsoe has been MIA during the Clippers’ last four games. Playing less minutes, Bledsoe has struggled to get into a rhythm, but a stat-line littered with zeroes makes getting more minutes a challenge. While Bledsoe has looked like a capable scorer at times, his ability to get to the line and his aggressive offensive game seems to have disappeared. He’s gotten to the free throw line just three times in his last six games. Averaging 3.7 assists per game on the season, Bledsoe has five assists over his last five games. The numbers haven’t been great. Hopefully, he’ll shake the past few weeks off and find a way to finish the season strong.
Milwaukee @ Toronto, Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET — This is one to watch for the defense. Larry Sanders and Ed Davis are second and third among all rookies for blocked shots, trailing only Ekpe Udoh of the Golden State Warriors. Davis is coming off a solid West Coast road trip for the Raptors where he had back-to-back double-doubles and scored a career-high 21 points. Sanders is also playing well for the Bucks, shooting 11-for-20 over his last four games while also blocking seven shots over the same span.