By Hocine LOUKKAF on 1/11/2021
After ten games, several rookies have already displayed what type of player they can become in the NBA with Ball probably the most surprising.
Lamelo Ball, 6-7 PG/SG Charlotte
Stats : 12.8pts 6.3rbds 5.9as 1.5st
Until a few days ago, Haliburton was my choice. Then Ball flirted with a triple double (12pts 10rbds 9as on 36% FG against New Orleans) before becoming the youngest player ever to have a triple double with 22pts 12rbds 11as for only 1to on 69% FG (3/5 3pt). Ball has understood what was expected from him. He’s a top passer and rebounder for his position but needs to be more consistent offensively to reach his full potential.
Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG Sacramento
Stats : 12.1pts 5.5as 1.4st 1to 50% 3pt 0.7as
The full opposite of Ball, Haliburton had only one game under 11pts and has been the most impactful rookie. With a 4+a/to ratio, more than 50% both from the floor and behind the 3pt line, Haliburton is already playing like a vet, and a pretty efficient one who is already considered a steal for the Kings.
James Wiseman, 7-1 C Golden State
Stats : 10.9pts 6.1rbds 1.5bl 40% 3pt
An impressive and agile athlete at 7-1, Wiseman has been a steady contributor with at least eight points in each of the last six games despite limited minutes. He’s struggling a bit from three but displayed in december the ability to be consistent. If he can add more toughness in the paint and setting screens, he has it all to become one of the best big men of the league.
Tyrese Maxey, 6-3 SG Philadelphia
Stats : 10.1pts 2.2rbds 2as 36% 3pt
Playing for a stacked Sixers team, Maxey benefiting from Currytesting positive to Covid to show what he was worth. After scoring 16pts in 21min against Brooklyn, Maxey exploded for 39pts 7rbds 6as against Denver, displaying all his offensive repertoire.
Patrick Williams, 6-8 SF/PF Chicago
Stats : 10.3pts 3.5rbds 46% 3pt
The athletic forward has been pretty consistent with at least 6pts in every game and more than 40% from three. He had his best game in tonight’s loss against the Clippers with 17pts and 3/5 3pt. His physical tools should allow him to be more impactful on the boards (only three games with at least 5 rebounds).
Payton Pritchard, 6-2 PG Boston
Stats : 8.3pts 3.1rbds 42% 3pt
Truth is I didn’t expect him to be that good. Pritchard is bringing his tenacity and scoring from the bench with 50/40/90 from the floor and 3.1as in 23min. He already had several double-digit games including 26pts 8as in a win against Toronto. The perfect microwave once Walker will be back.
Precious Achiuwa, 6-8 PF Miami
Stats : 7.3pts 4.4rbds
With at least 6pts in all but one game with almost 60% from the floor, Achiuwa has been efficient right away for the Heat. He needs now to work on stretching the floor as he didn’t attempt any 3pt and hit only 54% from the foul line.
Deni Avdija, 6-8 SF Washington
Stats : 7.1pts 3.9rbds 2.3as 46% 3pt
Despite his team’s struggles (2-8), Avdija has been one of the only bright spots for the Wizards as the Israeli forward has been efficient from the get-go. After three consecutive bad scoring games last week (3, 1, 0), he bounced back on saturday with a 20pts 5rbds 5as perf in a short loss against the Heat.
Desmond bane, 6-6 SG Memphis
Stats :8.9pts 2.9rbds 49% 3pt
Drafted for his shooting prowess in college, Bane has picked up where he left as he already hit 19/39 from three in nine games. Morant’s injury make the task harder for him as the elite PG can create opportunities for shooters but at least Memphis knows they have someone who can connect from three at will.
Anthony Edwards, 6-5 SG Minnesota
Stats : 13.6pts 2.9rbds 2as
It’s far too early to say Edwards is a bust but there are some concerning facts about the last number one pick’s play. As it was the case last year in college, Edwards is struggling with shooting efficiency, averaging 39% FG and 28% 3pt with a lot of points scored in the garbage time. Moreover, his defense is weak as he had only 2bl and 6st in ten games, very low numbers considering his physical tools. Consistency will be the key for Edwards to emerge as one of the best rookies as he displayed it recently in a back to back against the Spurs with 13pts 4rbds 4as followed by an awful 0pt on 0/8 from the floor the very next day.
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