Archive for the ‘Rated Rookies’ Category

Rated Rookies: Week 24

Jordan Crawford — Talk about making the most of an opportunity. Crawford has been on this list before, but wow is he finishing out the season the right way.

After a 39-point explosion against Miami, Crawford has only gotten more impressive. There was the triple-double against the Cavs where he finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, then a 23-point night against Charlotte in a rare road win for the Wizards and then 17 points against the Pistons last night. Crawford only shot 35 percent from the floor last night, but his numbers are giving the Wizards victories as Washington has won four of its last five games, with Crawford topping the 40-minute mark in each.

Crawford has upped his scoring average to 11.2 points per game and he’s making everyone wonder how the Hawks could have allowed him to stay hidden on the bench. He’s also making Wizards fans feel like they got a steal in that deadline-day deal.

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Rated Rookies: Week 23

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.

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Rated Rookies: Week 22

Trevor Booker — Booker is only averaging 5.1 points per game on the season, but has put up 10.7 points over his last nine games and shown that John Wall isn’t the only notable rookie on the Wizards roster. The young big man has benefitted greatly from filling in for the injured Andray Blatche, and made a case for more minutes even after Blatche’s eventual return to the lineup. After topping double figures four times in the month of March, Booker had a career night last Friday when he dropped 26 points in a loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Most impressive about Booker’s high-scoring performance: his efficiency. The rookie out of Clemson shot 12-for-16 from the field and had his coaches smiling. Fellow rookie teammate Jordan Crawford’s 25 points on 12-for-27 shooting provides a stark contrast, and only makes the 23-year-old forward look that much more impressive. For the 23rd pick in the 2010 draft, opportunity came knocking — Wizards faithful are happy to see Booker answered the door.

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Rated Rookies: Week 21

Samardo Samuels – Samuels has quietly been putting up numbers while the rest of the basketball world has forgotten about Cleveland. Averaging 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game on the season, Samuels has been on a tear for the month of March. Increased playing time has led to Samuels doubling his season stats in his last six games. First there were 23 points and 10 rebounds against San Antonio, then 15 points in the Cavs’ second straight victory against the Knicks. The young big man has reached double figures in each of his games in March and is averaging 14.1 points and eight rebounds over those last six games. The 22-year-old is showing that as his minutes increase, so does his productivity. Those 23 points to kick off the month of March were a career-high. Not too bad for a kid who didn’t hear his name called on draft night last year.

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Rated Rookies: Week 20

Evan Turner — He’s been on the hot list and he’s definitely been on the not list, but this week, Evan Turner is moving on up thanks to a solid start to the month of March. Turner had 10 points and four assists in the Sixers last victory over the Indiana Pacers and he also had 10 points in a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 4. Most impressive, however, was the line of 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block that Turner put up in a big overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors. The 20 points were three off of his career-high and he scored them on 60 percent shooting from the floor. After the game Turner was given the postgame interview and he admitted to being surprised to hear his hometown fans cheering him. For the second overall pick in the draft, there’s a lot of pressure.

It’s been a bumpy road for Turner as he’s tried to adjust to the NBA game, but one thing that has to be said about him is that he’s kept his composure and has taken his fair share of criticism without letting it affect him too much. Thanks to Turner’s improved play, the Sixers have won their past three games and have gone 30-17 after starting the season 3-13. Pretty impressive.

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Rated Rookies: Week 19

Greg Monroe – Monroe has been on a tear since January. And while the rest of his team is in a state of disarray, Monroe keeps coming to work and putting up solid numbers for the Pistons. He’s been the one positive thing in a tumultuous time for Detroit fans. He’s been fantastic while showing more maturity than most of the veterans on his team.

On his recent hot streak, Monroe has upped his season averages to 8.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, but his slow start to the season weighs those numbers down. Check what he’s done over his last five games: 13 points, a 12-point, 12-rebound game, a 27-point, 12-rebound game, a 16-point, 11-rebound game and then a 12-point, 16-rebound game one rebound away from tying his career-high. The 20-year-old has been a real bright spot. Shooting 54 percent from the floor in 26 minutes per game, expect Monroe’s minutes to climb for the final stretch of the season.

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Rated Rookies: Week 15

Christian Eyenga – While the Cavaliers had to wait a season to get Christian Eyenga playing for their club — when he was drafted in 2009 with the 30th pick, he was playing for the Spanish Second Division club Prat — he’s become a bit of a bright spot in an otherwise horrendous season. After signing his contract in the summer of 2010, Eyenga had an up-and-down start to the season and was sent to the Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate Erie BayHawks for seven weeks. After he was called up on January 2, there have been ups and downs, but for the past week, Eyenga has been solid. Or, as solid as one can be, playing for the Cavaliers this season.

In his last four games, Eyenga has scored 12.3 points per game, while shooting 48 percent from the floor and upping his season averages to 8.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He’s got plenty to learn, but lots of freedom to make mistakes on a team that’s currently going through a 25-game losing streak.

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