By Hocine LOUKKAF on 3/14/2019
After being criticized due to Doncic’ exceptional beginning in the League, the Hawks may end up the winners of the draft day trade… and they may get another top ten pick this year.
Trae Young, 6-1 PG Atlanta
Young is proving that Atlanta may have made a good deal trading for him and this year’s pick for Doncic. Young was good in February with 23.3pts and 9.3as on 43% 3pt. More recently, he has started the month with an incredible 49pts 16as in a 4ot game against Chicago but struggled then with four games under 36% FG. Young will have to work on his strength to become more consistent but has the talent to very very special.
Luka Doncic, 6-8 SF/SG, Dallas
Since the Porzingis trade, Doncic has been asked to do everything by himself, which he did pretty well by averaging 24.4pts 9.4rbds and 7.4as in February including two triple doubles. He’s started March pretty badly with three games under 40% and only 25% 3pt on seven attempts per game. Hopefully, the Mavs won’t put Doncic at risk (he’s already injured) by overplaying him until the end of the season.
Marvin Bagley, 6-10 PF, Sacramento
With six double doubles and averages of 17.5pts 9.4rbds and 1.1bl in only 29min, Bagley has proved why he was drafted at the 2nd spot. Playing for a bastly improved Kings team, Bagley had just two bad games in February against Miami (3pts on 1/7 7rbds) and Houston (10pts on 4/12 10rbds). He tied to shoot more from three with almost two attempts but still struggled with 27%. If he can become more reliable from outside, he will have the total package to be a force at the PF spot.
Deandre Ayton, 7-0 C, Phoenix
The stats for march seem nice with 16.4pts 10.1rbds on 55% FG. Yet, Phoenix only won one game while Ayton averaged a poor 0.4bl per game. Surprisingly, the Suns have been able to beat two of the best teams in the league recently, the Warriors and the Bucks with two good games from the Bahamian (19pts 12rbds 3bl vs Milwaukee, 18pts 9rbds 4as vs Golden State) before an awful game against Utah and his DPOY Gobert (2pts on 1/9 9rbds for Ayton). The Suns’ center has the talent but really needs to work on his toughness and defense or will be just a stat filling player with no title at the end of the day.
Mitchell Robinson, 7-1 C, New York
The steal of the 2018 draft, Robinson is improving month by month and used February as his coming out party. 11pts 8.7rbds 3.2bl for the month, three games with at least 14pts 13rbds 4bl, 70+% from both the field and the FT line and only 0.4to in 23min, Robinson is looking like a unicorn of his own. He’s started March more slowly with 8.5pts 8.2rbds 3.5bl AND 1.2tobut has proven doubters wrong big time.
Collin Sexton, 6-2 PG, Cleveland
Is Sexton a PG or a diminutive SG a la Allen Iverson? With 18.8pts and 3.2as on 41% from three in February, Sexton has benefited from the return of Kevin Love. Yet, the Alabama alumni only averaged under 40% FG, a bad feat considering his good 3pt percentage, and had four games under 34% FG. He has been far better to start March with 21pts on 49% FG including 45% from three despite two games under 35% FG. Sexton will use the end of the year to refine his shot selection.
Jalen Brunson, 6-2 PG, Dallas
If there’s one player who gets the best of DSJ’ departure, here he is. 11.9pts 3.9as in February on a nice 48% FG including 43% from three. And despite a poor 28% from three, Brunson has started March even better with 15.5pts and 4.7as on 53% FG (sic). The former Villanova Wildcat may not have the length or the athleticism but has high a basketball IQ as you can get, a real steaf for the Mavs.
Shai Gilgeous Alexander, 6-6 PG, LA Clippers
Being a rookie for a playoff bound team is not that easy but despite the same inconsistency that hit his team in February (6-6), SGA doess the job pretty well. He’s had some nice moments like his19pts 5rbds 3as against Toronto and others where he struggled like his 1pt on 0/9 from the field against Denver, food for 9.2pts and 3.2as for the month. March is going better with at least 9pts in each of the six games he’s played so far including promising 75% from three.
Landry Shamet, 6-5 SG/PG, LA Clippers
SGA’s new teammate has acclimated pretty well to his new team. After a difficult end of February with five games under 10pts, Shamet has started March with 14.3pts per game on an impressive 52% 3pt with seven attempts per game. He’s also very careful with the ball with only 0.5to for 2.2as per game during that stretch.
Jaren Jackson Jr, 6-11 PF, Memphis
Seven games in February before an injury have allowed JJJ to display his traditional strengths and weaknesses, offensive talent with 16.8pts on 52% from three but a very low 5rbds in 29min and less than 45% inside the 3pt line. Out indefinitely with a quad injury, JJJ may have played the last games of his rookie season.
Best of the rest : Kevin Huerter (6-7 SG Atlanta) could have been in the top 10 with averages for now of 13.4pts 2.6as on 42%. Rodion Kurucs (6-9 SF Brooklyn) saw his playing limited in February but bounced back with 12/18 from three in a four wins streak in March. Mikal Bridges (6-7 SF Phoenix) has also struggled in February but displayed to begin the March the special talent he has as a thief with more than 2st but also a 6a/to ratio (sic)