Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Top 5 Rookie peformers in the NBA So Far

Here are a look at the top 5 picks in the NBA Draft last year:

#1 Greg Oden - Portland Trailblazers
Key Stats: N/A - out for the year
#2 Kevin Durant - Seattle Supersonics
Key Stats: 19.3 points 4.2 rebounds 1.14 blocks.
#3 Al Horford - Atlanta Hawks
Key Stats: 8.9 points 9.7 rebounds 1.12 blocks.
#4 Mike Conley Jr. - Memphis Grizzlies
Key Stats: 8.7 points 5.0 assists in 26 minutes.
#5 Jeff Green - Seattle Supersonics
Key Stats: 9 points 4.8 rebounds.

My Top 5 Thus Far:
#1 Kevin Durant - Seattle Supersonics
WOW. While the Sonics have flopped this year Durant has been a definite bright spot! Durant's biggest criticism coming out of college was that he was too lanky, and needed to put on more weight. While this might effect his rebounding ability, his long arms and freakish wingspan have made him difficult to guard on the offense end and have allowed him to block more than a shot a game. He's already averaging nearly 20 points a night as a rookie, expect his game to really flourish in the next 2-3 seasons. Remember he is only 19, as his game and body develop, we are looking at a guy who will eventually be averaging 25+ points, 6-7 rebounds. His game reminds me a little of a taller more athletic Allen Iverson....that's a good thing. This kid is going to be around for a long time!

#2 Yi Jilian - Milwaukee Bucks
I'm not going to lie, I didn't like this pick for the Bucks at all when it happened. However, Yi continues to surprise me with his overall talent level, and as good as Al Horford is, I think Yi would have been a better pick for the Hawks. Yi's got more upside as a scorer, and probably projects better as a shot-blocker, too. Being as he's had to adjust to the American game and culture (unlike Al) suggests that when he figures it out, he'll stand alongside Durant as one of the top two rookies of this class (Greg Oden considered a rookie next season).

#3 Al Horford - Atlanta Hawks
He's real helped to breathe some life into the franchise and he's got them sitting around .500 which is quite an accomplishment. He's had a fine rookie season, already playing big minutes and contributing nearly a double- double a night. He has room to improve and although he's not a prolific scorer he moves great without the ball and has established him down in the paint. and he's a great rebounder He's also a lot quicker than I thought he was.

#4 Sean Williams - NJ Nets
Williams still has a lot of growing to do offensively, but he has a nice turnaround jumper from the block and he can finish strong drives with his left hand. This shows in my mind that he has a solid scoring foundation, and the fact that he has these moves suggests he is not as raw as people think. When I watch Williams, I see a young man who is always around the ball and the rim, keeping balls alive and creating opportunities for teammates and He's one of the fastest guys I've ever seen, in terms of his recovery speed as a basketball player. Overall I'm very pleasantly surprised by when I've seen from Mr. Williams and I think he is on his way to becoming a very good player.

#5 Jamario Moon - Toronto Raptors
This guy is a hustler. He works so hard and is only just starting to get some of the recognition that he deserves. He had a 19-game shot-blocking streak in December and in my opinion Moon has the size, agility and length to be a very good defensive stopper. Right now he might lack the strength to defend some of the league's stronger guards and wings. With his high-energy hustling play I think he has to be accounted for on both ends of the floor.


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Anonymous said...

Durant has been impressive but nothing spectacular likely a product of the team he plays on. Curious to see how he develops over the next couple years.