NBA

Rookie Report: Week Five

Troy Pierce    | November 20th, 2019

Since we last met, several rookies, have risen and fallen in the rookie hierarchy, and for various reasons. With many rookies continuing to have impressive scoring performances, it’ll be the little things that separate the candidates as the season progresses.

Power Rankings

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

Season Averages: 18.4-3.3-6; 47/42/73
Since November 6: 17.3-2.8-6.5; 41/35/73

You could certainly make the case that Morant doesn’t deserve the top spot, especially when the former top-ranked rookie helped his team to a top-five record in the league. However, Morant is continuing to put his star power on display, & has claimed the void left by Zion Williamson.

Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors

Season Averages: 16.7-4.8-1.3; 51/27/84
Since November 6: 16.7-5.2-1.2; 44/26/82

Eric Paschall has pretty much been the only bright spot for the Golden State Warriors to this point. With the top three rookies all neck-and-neck, the next month of the season will be pivotal in the race for Rookie of the Year. In order to separate himself further from the pack, he needs to continue building on the signature outings we saw early on from him.

Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat

Season Averages: 17.8-2.5-3.2; 1.6 steals; 47/38/84
Since November 6: 17.2-3-3.2; 1.4 steals: 49/34/85

Kendrick Nunn has largely come back to earth from his early 20-point scoring average. However, he still remains near the top of the ladder.
Overall, Nunn has shown the most consistency of all the rookies, but just being consistent won’t be enough to keep him at the top of the rankings. He needs a signature moment to go with his stellar play.

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

Season Averages: 15.8-5.6-3.6; 1.3 steals; 41/37/50
Since November 6: 13.3-5-3.9; 1 steal; 37/38/55

RJ Barrett is still showing glimpses of being the next scorer for the New York Knicks. The main thing he needs to work on is his free throw shooting. We are now approaching the one-month mark of the season & Barrett is floundering at just 50% from the charity stripe.

PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets

Season Averages: 12.5-5.4-1.5; 1.1 steals; 51/48/71
Since November 6: 9.9-4.6-1.6; 1 steal; 1 block; 44/52/71

Though Washington hasn’t continued to put up eye-popping point totals, he is making a concerted effort on both ends. He has maintained his scoring efficiency despite the slight hit to his scoring average and is now making an impact on the defensive end, averaging one block and one steal over the last two weeks.

Coby White, Chicago Bulls

Season Averages: 13.1-3.8-2.4; 35/31/75
Since November 6: 15.5-4.2-2.3; 1.2 steals; 34/36/73

Coby White has been the talk of the league when it comes to rookies over the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, his break-out 27 point performance isn’t quite enough to push him into the top five.

He still needs to work on his efficiency shooting the basketball, but he has all the makings to be one of the best point guards in the league when he reaches his peak.
For White to continue moving up the ladder he needs to show improvement with his shot selection.

Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies

Season Averages: 12.3-6.2-1; 1.2 blocks; 64/50/67
Since November 6: 14.5-6.2-1.2; 74/66/87

Brandon Clarke is likely the most overlooked name on this list. Playing alongside Ja Morant will do that, though. Don’t get it twisted, Clarke is still playing very well despite the lack of attention.

Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards

Season Averages: 13.1-5.5-1.7; 50/21/83
Since November 6: 11.2-5.4-2.2; 1 steal; 55/0/66

Hachimura has also become a bit of an afterthought, and the lack of any big moments or impact plays only causes him to fade further into the background. Hachimura has developed a sort of cult following, but that will not be enough to propel him back into relevancy for the Rookie of the Year award.

Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

Season Averages: 13.3-4.5-2.1; 43/37/86
Since November 6: 12.5-2.5-1.3; 46/42/100

Allow me to clear up any confusion on Herro’s ranking because ninth certainly seems low for someone with as much fanfare as the 14th overall pick. Herro only fell by virtue of other rookies rising up the board.

Herro is still playing well, albeit getting his points quietly. Like other rookies on the list, the lack of a signature game or moment hampers his ranking to this point. With the season still young, Herro has plenty of time to rise back up the leader board.

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers

Season Averages: 9.1-1.6-3.3; 1 steal; 33/29/77
Since November 6: 10.8-1.8-3.3; 1.5 steals; 39/35/83

Darius Garland makes his first appearance in the power rankings thanks to his impact on both ends of the floor. Garland is quickly taking over as the Cavaliers primary ball-handler, and his play is benefitting. He’s showing good poise early on in his career.

Rookie of the Week

This week’s rookie of the week is Coby White for his 27-point performance against the New York Knicks. His hot shooting was not only good enough for a career night in the point guards very young career, but was also good enough for Bulls franchise record for three’s made in the fourth quarter. White sparked Chicago’s comeback effort by hitting all seven of their long-range bombs in the final frame.

Past Rookie Reports

Rookie Report: 2019 Summer League Edition

Rookie Report: Week One

Rookie Report: Week Three

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