By Hocine LOUKKAF On 11/1/2021
While top 2-picked Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green are struggling in losing environments, their immediate draftmates at 3 and 4 Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes are surprisingly efficient for playoffs-contending teams. Let’s take a look at them and the other players who have begun well their NBA career.
Evan Mobley, 7-0 PF/C Cleveland Cavaliers
Stats : 15.6pts 7.3rbds 2.9as 1.5bl
Some were worried about Mobley’s lack oF weight but his agility, length and high IQ has made up for it pretty well. With only one game below 10pts as of today and more 3pts taken with an improved percentage lately, Mobley is doing a very good job helping the winning Cavs coming back at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Scottie Barnes, 6-8 SF/PF Toronto Raptors
Stats : 16.2pts 8.3rbds 2.8as
Barnes’ combination of size, athleticism and handling allow him to be efficient right away, with a game very similar to Ben Simmons’. He has also already improved his a/to ratio since the start of the season. Only thing lacking, like Simmons, is a reliable outside shot as he’s been 0/2 from three over the last seven games.
Josh Giddey, 6-8 PG OKC Thunder
Stats : 9.3pts 6.4rbds 5.9as
Australia got talent !! Giddey has filled the rebounding and passing columns on the statsheet with already five games with at least 5rbds and 5as. He now needs to work on his offensive efficiency as he’s averaged below 30% FG over the last five games with 4tos or more in four of these five games.
Chris Duarte, 6-6 SG Indiana Pcers
Stats : 14.3pts 4.4rbds 2.1as 40% 3pt
With 27pts against the Hornets to start his NBA career, Duarte has made the Pacers management look like a genius. Despite being less efficient over the last games, he’s still averaging around 40% from three and proved his age wasn’t a problem.
Alperen Sengun, 6-9 C Houston Rockets
Stats : 9.4pts 4.8rbds 2.3as 41% 3pt
Making what he can for the poor Rockets (10 losses in a row), Sengun is displaying his rebounding and finishing abilities, but also good passing and even outside shooting recently, making at least one 3pt in four of the last five games.
Franz Wagner, 6-9 SF/PF Orlando Magic
Stats : 13pts 3.8rbds 1.8as 36% 3pt
Playing 30+min per game and starting at the SF position, Wagner has been good, even if he somehow hit a wall recently as he shot 2/18 from three over the last five games compared to his 44% 3pt in October. Consistency is what the German needs to work to help the hopeful Magic win more games.
Bones Hyland, 6-3 PG Denver Nuggets
Stats : 9.1pts 2.3as
Playing in a much better environement than most highly-ranked rookies, Hyland has been good when given playing time, scoring 12pts or more over the last three games, shooting 9/19 from three during that stretch.
Jalen Green, 6-5 SG Houston Rockets
Stats : 13.8pts 3.5rbds 2.8as
Despite some good games against nice teams (30pts vs Boston, 24vs the Lakers), the #2 pick has been wildly inconsistent. That shooting consistency (two games with 0 3pt made and at least five attempts over the last five games) and playing better defense (3st over the last seven games) are some of the numerous things the Californian needs to work on to help the Rockets.
Davion Mitchell, 6-2 PG Sacramento Kings
Stats : 9.6pts 3.9as 1.1to
Despite struggling with his FG percentages, Mitchell has been terrific on defense on several occasions, limiting Lillard or Donovan Mitchell when matched against them. He also had five 10pt-game over the last eight contests but improving his consistency will be the key to the success of his team.
Cade Cunningham, 6-7 SG Detroit Pistons
Stats : 11.7pts 5.1rbds 3as
A lot is expected from Cunningham, above all after his difficult beginning with four games under 36% FG. It has been better lately with three 40+% FG in a row. Cunningham will adapt quickly and he probably will be already much better in a month.
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